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From Gospel Beginnings to R&B Legends: SWV

SWV (Sisters with Voices) is an American R&B vocal trio from New York City that achieved monumental success in the 1990s. Consisting of Cheryl (Coko) Gamble, Tamara (Taj) George, and Leanne (Lelee) Lyons, SWV became one of the most influential R&B groups of their time. Originally formed as a gospel group in 1988, their transition to R&B brought them fame and a series of timeless hits.

Formation and Early Days

SWV was born out of the shared vision of Cheryl "Coko" Gamble and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons. Initially a gospel group, they aimed to bring their powerful voices to a broader audience. Gamble later recruited Tamara "Taj" Johnson, along with a fourth member named Samantha, who eventually left the group. With their lineup set, the trio began working on their demo.

Their manager, Maureen Singleton, played a crucial role in getting their music noticed. In a creative bid to attract attention, Singleton sent out demo tapes accompanied by bottles of Perrier to record executives nationwide. This unconventional approach paid off when RCA executives invited SWV to perform live. Impressed by their talent, RCA signed the group to an eight-album record deal in 1991.

Rise to Stardom

SWV's debut album, It's About Time, released in 1992, catapulted them to stardom. The album featured a string of hits, including "Weak," "Right Here (Human Nature Remix)," "I'm So into You," and "You're the One." These songs dominated the charts and became anthems of the 90s R&B scene. "Weak," in particular, showcased Coko's distinctive high tone and vocal acrobatics, solidifying her as a standout lead singer.

The Members of SWV

  • Cheryl "Coko" Gamble: Born on June 13, 1970, in The Bronx, New York, Coko is the soprano and lead singer of SWV. Known for her powerful voice and impressive range, Coko's vocal prowess has been a defining feature of the group. She currently resides in Virginia Beach.

  • Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George: Born on April 29, 1971, in Brooklyn, New York, Taj is the mezzo-soprano of the group. Her jazzy and blues-infused sound adds a unique flavor to SWV's music. Taj lives in Nashville and has also pursued a career in reality television.

  • Leanne "Lelee" Lyons: Born on July 17, 1973, in The Bronx, New York, Lelee sings the alto parts despite having the lightest voice of the trio. Her contributions provide a solid foundation to SWV's harmonies. Lelee resides in Atlanta.

Disbandment and Reunion

In 1998, after a decade of success, SWV disbanded to pursue solo projects. However, the allure of their musical chemistry brought them back together in 2005. The reunion was a testament to their enduring bond and the timeless appeal of their music. Since reuniting, SWV has continued to perform and release new music, rekindling the magic that made them stars.

Legacy and Influence

SWV's impact on R&B cannot be overstated. Their ability to blend powerful vocals with relatable lyrics resonated with fans worldwide. Hits like "Weak" and "Right Here (Human Nature Remix)" remain staples in R&B playlists, and their influence can be seen in the work of many contemporary artists.

Looking Forward

As they continue to tour and connect with fans, SWV remains a beloved fixture in the music industry. Their journey from gospel beginnings to R&B legends is a testament to their talent, resilience, and the timeless nature of their music. For those looking to experience the magic of SWV, following their latest endeavors and performances is a must.

SWV's story is one of passion, perseverance, and the power of sisterhood. Their music continues to inspire and uplift, proving that true artistry never fades.

Stay connected with SWV and their journey by following their social media and streaming their timeless hits. The legacy of Sisters with Voices lives on, captivating new generations and reminding us all of the golden era of 90s R&B.

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