By: Leticia Latrice
Sing live in front of the executives at RCA… where you would be signed to an eight album record deal?
The Grammy-Award winning R&B group consisted of Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “LeLee” Lyons in NYC, New York.
The trios debut album, It’s About Time went multi-platinum and sold over two million copies. Their first single, “Right Here” reached number 13 on the charts. The song they may be most known for, “Weak” reached number 1 on both the R&B charts as well as the Hot 100 Charts. Between 1992 and 1995, the group would work with Pharrell Williams, who would perform a small rap solo on “Right Here (UK Remix),” sample Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” and would work with Blackstreet to provide vocal harmonies for the song “Tonight’s the Night.”
1996 and 1997, the group released two more albums, New Beginning and Release Some Tension, and then a Christmas album. New Beginning would go platinum for selling 1 million records just in the US. They would also appear on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack in 1995.
The group would work with artists like E-40, P. Diddy, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Lil’ Cease, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, MC Lyte, and Redman on the Release Some Tension album, which only went to gold by selling 500,000 copies in the US. The album featured hits like “Rain,” “Someone,” and “Can We” which was also included in the soundtrack for Booty Call.
In 1998, the ladies went their separate ways to begin their own careers. Coko would release her first solo under RCA called Hot Coko in 1999. She was working on her second album in 2001 called Music Doll, but RCA shut down the black music division and the project was put on the shelf. Since then, she focused more on her family and would go on to marry Mike Clemmons, the drummer for Israel and New Breed
In 2011, the group signed a record deal with Mass Appeal Entertainmenuntit and E1 Entertainment. They were featured on Chris Brown’s remake of their hit, “Right Here/Human Nature” song, “She Ain’t You.” The ladies released “Co-Sign” as the first single of their fourth studio album I Missed Us on iTunes in 2011.
In 2015, it was officially been announced on Coko’s Instagram that the reality show that SWV Reunited, which premiered on WE TV in 2014 was canceled only after 2 seasons. The show detailed their lives as professionals as well as individuals. It also addressed their break up and the group’s reunion.
The recently came out with their recent hit Man Crush Monday MCE Man Crush Everyday. This song is a reminder of the great SWV makes. Their songs are R&B classics that are timeless.
What was your favorite SWV song from back in the day?