Sunday, October 24, 2021

En Vogue’s Dawn Robinson Reveals Why She Quit the Group

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*En Vogue dominated the music charts in the 90’s with R&B/Pop hits such as “Hold On”, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”, “Free Your Mind” and “Don’t Let Go (Love)” — which became the group’s third, and most successful single to reach number two in the US.

The original lineup consisted of singers Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones. Robinson left the group in 1997 shortly before the release of their third album EV3. Jones called it quits in 2001 and was replaced by Amanda Cole; however, in 2003, Cole left and was replaced by Rhona Bennett.

In 2005, the original members briefly united and again in 2009 for their “En Vogue: 20th Anniversary.” Shortly after the tour, Robinson and Jones again departed from En Vogue, with Bennett rejoining the group as a trio.

En Vogue has sold more than 20 million records worldwide to date.

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Dawn Robinson

In speaking with Black Doctor, Robinson dished about why really left the group, despite being labeled as the trouble maker.


“I’ve told people for years that each member of En Vogue made two pennies a piece. We garnered millions of dollars for the label, but we did not make a million dollars a piece. There is a huge problem with that, so yes I was extremely difficult… I stood up for what was right when I saw wrong, and because I did, and because I was alone, it made it look like I was the problem.”

Continuing, “I was just telling my girlfriend the other day that when slavery was abolished, many slaves didn’t want to leave the plantations because the master would give them food and shelter and they were afraid to leave. The same kind of mentality exists today where people don’t leave their current situation because they are afraid. It’s scary to go out there and say enough is enough! It’s scary to fight the record company because they’re huge and have money. I am a trouble maker! We deserve so much more,” she explained.

“When we first got together in 1989 there was no information out there for us. There were very few books and minimal information about how to run your business. You just had to depend on your attorney to give you the right information. You’re learning lessons as you go along, and you’re paying the price with your career.”

Despite the personal and professional hardships, Dawn persevered and is now volunteering at local schools and still performing solo in the states and abroad.



Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



  1. Dawn Robinson is absolutely correct. She took a stand for full and complete justice and equality. And it was the Right thing to do.

  2. Exploitation in the music business is widely known. How much this factored in creating group tension, between the women of En Vogue, I don’t know. Yet, Ms. Robinson is entirely correct in her other statements. Most recently, actress/comedienne Mo’nique has been blacklisted because she has the self-regard to refuse to promote a film with no compensation for her time and energy. Young people (black and white) are at a serious disadvantage when they begin their careers: little understanding of the myriad ways they can get beaten out of their money at the most productive years of their lives, contracts that bind them for year, loss of their future earnings. Thanks Ms. Robinson for standing up.


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