From Academic Kids

Missing image
SWV album "New Beginning" cover

SWV, also known as Sisters With Voices, is a new jill swing trio from New York that formed as three school friends in 1990: Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, Tamara "Taj" Johnson, and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons. All three girls began getting their singing experience in church when they were little, which is where they learned how to harmonize. Teddy Riley took notice of a demo tape the threesome had set up. He was one of the main producers responsible for making the finishing touches on their debut album released in 1992, It's About Time, which went platinum within its first year of release. SWV's series of Top Ten R&B hits made them one of the most successful and most popular urban R&B groups of the 1990s.

Their first single, "Right Here", came out in the autumn of 1992. It came in 13th place on the R&B chart that year, but the No. 2 hit "I'm So Into You" was what caused them to become a commercial force among urban fans. The two singles were followed by a couple of first place singles in a row, "Weak" and "Right Here/Human Nature" (a remix of their first single featuring samples of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature"). "Weak" was No. 1 on the Pop chart as well and "Right Here/Human Nature" became a No. 2 hit on the Pop chart. One other Top Ten R&B hit from It's About Time is "Always on My Mind". Those singles did very well throughout 1993.

In the spring of 1994, SWV contributed the old school radio version of "Anything", featuring Wu-Tang Clan to the soundtrack of the movie Above the Rim, which became another hit single. The remix album, SWV: The Remixes, was unleashed the same year and went gold by the end of the year. In the summer of 1995, they made a guest appearance on Blackstreet's Top 40 hit "Tonight's the Night", lending their vocal harmonies.

The trio returned in 1996 with their second album, A New Beginning, and had a No. 1 R&B hit again with the song "You're The One". The album was followed by Release Some Tension in 1997, which features a bevy of rappers guest appearing including Lil' Kim, Missy Elliott, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Two years later, their previous successes were recalled on their Greatest Hits compilation. SWV disbanded in 1998 and Gamble moved on to continue with a solo career. Her solo debut, Hot Coko, came out in 1999.

The latest news regarding SWV is that Johnson has married current Dallas Cowboys player Eddie George recently. There has also been mention of a probable chance that SWV will band together once again to record a reunion album, which has been slated to come out sometime in 2004.


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