The trio SWV (Sisters With Voices) was formed in New York 1990 by Cheryl “Coko” Gamble-Clemons (born June 13, 1974), Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (born April 1974), and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons (born July 17, 1973). They boasted a string of hits and became one of the most popular R&B of the 1990’s.
All three girls began singing in church at a young age. Brian Alexander Morgan took notice of a demo tape the trio had created. He was one of the main producers responsible for the making of their debut album, It’s About Time, released in 1992. The album went double platinum within its first year of release.
Their first single, “Right Here”, was released in the autumn of 1992. It peaked at #13 on the R&B chart, but the hit follow-up single, “I’m So Into You”, is what caused them to become a commercial force among urban fans. The two singles were followed by the biggest hits of their career, “Weak” and “Right Here/Human Nature.” “Weak” became their only single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart where it stayed for 2 weeks while “Right Here (Human Nature)” peaked at #2. The fifth single, “You’re Always on My Mind” was another top ten R&B hit. In December 1993 the group was honored with 11 Billboard Music Award nominations.
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; it became another hit single. Their remix EP, The Remixes, was unleashed the same year and reached gold status by the end of the year. In the summer of 1995, they added vocals to Blackstreet’s top 40 hit “Tonight’s The Night”.
The trio returned in 1996 with a sophomore album, New Beginning, and had another #1 R&B hit with the song “You’re The One.” The follow-up single “Use Your Heart” was a Top 10 R&B hit. The album was followed by next single, “Can We” produced by Timbaland and Missy Elliott, which appeared on the Booty Call soundtrack.
SWV’s third album, Release Some Tension, which featured a bevy of guest appearances by rappers Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Snoop Dogg, and E-40, and contained the hits “Someone” and “Rain” (another Top 10 R&B Hit). Later that year, they released a Christmas album titled A Special Christmas.
SWV disbanded in 1998 and Gamble moved on to continue with a solo career. Her solo debut, Hot Coko, was released in 1999, but the album and its main single, “Sunshine,” which was dedicated to Coko’s firstborn son, Jazz, did not receive much commercial attention. She has since become a Gospel recording artist.