Sisters With Voices, better known as SWV, is an American female R&B, Grammy Award–nominated vocal trio from New York City, New York. Formed in 1990 as a gospel group, SWV became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 1990s. They had a series of hits, including “Weak”, “Right Here/Human Nature”, “I’m So into You”, and “You’re the One”. The group disbanded in 1998 to pursue solo projects, and reunited in 2005. As of 2015, they have sold more than 25 million records, making them one of the best selling girl groups of all time.

SWV was formed by Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons (with Lelee and Coko as founding members). After getting their demo together, the trio sent out demo tapes along with bottles of Perrier (“We couldn’t afford champagne”, says Taj) to catch the attention of record execs all over America. In 1991, after being invited to sing live in front of RCA executives, SWV was signed to an eight-album record deal.

It’s About Time is the debut studio album by female R&B trio SWV, released by RCA Records on 27 October 1992. It was certified multi platinum by the RIAA for more than two million copies shipped to store. SWV’s first single, “Right Here”, was released in the fall of 1992, reaching No. 13 on the R&B charts. Their second single, “I’m So into You”, peaked at No. 2 on R&B and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single, “Weak”, reached No. 1 on both the R&B and Hot 100 charts. “Right Here/Human Nature”, the fourth single and a remix of their first single, “Right Here”, featured samples of Michael Jackson’s hit “Human Nature”.

Pharrell Williams performed a small rap solo on “Right Here (UK Remix)”. “Right Here/Human Nature” peaked at No. 1 on R&B and No. 2 on the Hot 100 and it stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts for 7 weeks, making it one of the longest-running singles of 1993. It was followed up with the additional Top10 R&B hits, “Downtown” (No. 2), and “You’re Always on My Mind” (No. 8). The album peak at 8 on the US Billboard 200. Following the success of their first album, SWV appeared on the soundtrack for the 1994 film Above the Rim.

The single, “Anything”, became a top ten R&B hit and reached No. 18 on the Hot 100 in the spring of 1994. That same year, SWV released The Remixes, which went gold by the end of the year. In the summer of 1995, the trio lent vocal harmonies to Blackstreet’s Top 40 R&B hit “Tonight’s the Night”.

New Beginning is the second album from SWV. The first single, “You’re the One”, became one of their signature songs peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. The second single, “Use Your Heart”, saw the debut of the super producers The Neptunes. This song peaked at twenty-two on the Hot 100 and number six on the R&B chart. The last single, “It’s All About U”, found Taj taking most of the lead as opposed to Coko. The album was certified platinum for shipping 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Also, in 1995 SWV appeared on the Waiting to Exhale: Original Soundtrack Album, recording the track, “All Night Long”.

Release Some Tension is SWV’s third album. Guest appearances are made by 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. The album features hits like “Rain” (which samples Jaco Pastorius’s classic “Portrait of Tracy”), “Someone”, “Can We” (which was originally included on the soundtrack for the Jamie Foxx film Booty Call), and canceled single “Lose My Cool”. “Someone”, although featuring one of the biggest producers/artists of the year, Puff Daddy, only reached No. 19 on the Billboard charts which sampled The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandment’s and Les McCann’s “Valantra”. “When U Cry” also sampled Tyrone Davis’ “In the Mood”. The album was certified gold for shipping 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone.

The group split in 1998. The members began leading their own careers. After SWV disbanded, Coko went on to release her first solo album under RCA, titled Hot Coko, released August 1999. The first single, “Sunshine”, which was dedicated to her son Jazz, reached the Top 40 position in the R&B charts that summer. However, neither the album nor the singles gathered the same mainstream success as Coko once did with SWV. Meanwhile, Coko was working on a second solo album titled Music Doll in early 2001, but RCA closed the black music division and the project was shelved.

Coko’s full gospel solo debut, Grateful, was released in the United States on 31 October 2006 and debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Independent albums chart. Grateful includes an all-star cover of The Clark Sisters’ “Endow Me” which features R&B singers Faith Evans, Fantasia Barrino and Lil Mo. An alternate version, minus Faith Evans was performed on BET’s Celebration of Gospel’ 07.

In 2011, SWV signed a record deal with Mass Appeal Entertainment and E1 Entertainment. On 10 June 2011, SWV was featured on the official remix of Chris Brown’s remake of their “Right Here/Human Nature” song, “She Ain’t You”. SWV released “Co-Sign” on 15 December 2011 via iTunes as the first single from their fourth studio album, I Missed Us. VH1 ranked SWV No. 88 on their 100 Greatest: Women in Music list. Billboard named SWV the No. 7 R&B Act and the No. 2 Top Selling/Airplay R&B Female Group of the 1990s. The track listing for SWV’s I Missed Us was released on Amazon.com. The album was released on 17 April 2012 via eOne Music and Mass Appeal Entertainment.


Artist: SWV
Title: Ain’t No Man
Album: Still
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2016)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2016)
Artist: SWV
Title: Love Unconditionally
Album: I Missed Us
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2012)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2012)
Artist: SWV
Title: Can We (Missy Elliott)
Album: Release Some Tension
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1997)
Buy Album: £5.99 (1997)
Artist: SWV
Title: You’re the One
Album: New Beginning
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1996)
Buy Album: £5.99 (1996)
Artist: SWV
Title: Right Here
Album: It’s About Time
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1992)
Buy Album: £5.99 (1992)
Artist: SWV
Title: I’m So Into You
Album: Greatest Hits
Buy MP3: £0.69 (1999)
Buy Album: £7.99 (1999)
Artist: SWV
Title: Downtown
Album: Best of SWV
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2001)
Buy Album: £4.99 (2001)
Artist: SWV
Title: Mystery
Album: Platinum & Gold Collection
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2003)
Buy Album: £7.99 (2003)
Artist: SWV
Title: Use Your Heart
Album: The Encore Collection
Buy MP3: £0.99 (2004)
Buy Album: £3.60 (2004)
Artist: SWV
Title: Weak (Radio Edit)
Album: S.O.U.L.
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1996)
Buy Album: £2.53 (1996)
Artist: SWV
Title: This Christmas
Album: A Special Christmas
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1997)
Buy Album: £5.99 (1997)
Artist: SWV
Title: My Favorite Things
Album: A Special Christmas
Buy MP3: £0.99 (1997)
Buy Album: £5.99 (1997)

Studio albums
Still (2016), I Missed Us (2012). Release Some Tension (1997). New Beginning (1996). It’s About Time (1992).

Compilation albums
Greatest Hits (RCA  1999). Greatest Hits (Simitar 1999), Best of SWV (2001). Platinum & Gold Collection (2003). The Encore Collection (2004).  S.O.U.L. (2011).

Christmas albums
A Special Christmas (Released: 18 November 1997, Label: RCA, Format: CD).

Extended plays
The Remixes (1994 Label: RCA Peak chart positions: US 92 and US R&B 9. Certifications: US: Gold).

“On Tonight” (2016 Album Still). “MCE (Man Crush Everyday)” (2015 Album Still). “Ain’t No Man” (2015 Album Still). “All About You” (2014 Album I Missed Us). “Love Unconditionally” (2012 Album I Missed Us). “Co-Sign” (2011 Album I Missed Us). “Rain” (1998 Album Release Some Tension). “Lose My Cool” (featuring Redman) (1997 Album Release Some Tension). “Someone” (featuring Puff Daddy) (1997 Album Release Some Tension). “Can We” (featuring Missy Elliott) (1997 Album Release Some Tension). “It’s All About U” (1996 Album New Beginning). “Use Your Heart” (1996 Album New Beginning). “You’re the One” (1996 Album New Beginning). “Anything” (1994 Album Above the Rim soundtrack). “You’re Always on My Mind” (1993 It’s About Time). “Downtown” (1993 It’s About Time). “Right Here/Human Nature” (1993 It’s About Time). (“Weak” 1993 It’s About Time). “I’m So into You” (1993 It’s About Time). “Right Here” (1992 It’s About Time).

Featured singles
“She Ain’t You (Remix)” (Chris Brown) (2011 Non-album singles). “Hey AZ”(AZ ) (1997 Non-album singles),.”Tonight’s the Night” (BLACKstreet)  (1995 Album BLACKstreet). “Freedom (Theme from Panther)” (Various Artists) (1995 Panther soundtrack).

Album appearances
“I Wanna Be Where You Are” (1998 Album Hav Plenty). “Tell Me How You Want It” (1997 Album Money Talks). “Can We” (featuring Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott) (1997 Album Booty Call). “I’ll Take You There” (1996 Album NBA at 50: A Musical Celebration). “All Night Long” (1995 Album Waiting to Exhale). “Freedom (Theme from Panther)” (with Various Artists) (1995 Album Panther). “Anything” (featuring Wu-Tang Clan) (1994 Album Above the Rim). “Right Here/Human Nature” (1993 Album Free Willy).

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