SWV Music Group


SWV, which stands for, Sister with Voices, is an American R&B vocal trio from New York City. The members of this group are Cheryl Gamble also known as “Coco”, Tamara Johnson also known as “Taj” and Leanna Lyons also known as “LeLee”. This group formed in 1998 as a gospel group but eventually transition into R&B. Some key influences of the group were Whitney Houston, Keith Sweat, and Prince. SWV was very popular and made many hit singles such as “Weak”, “I’m So into You” and “You’re the One”. 

For this specific assignment, I conducted research on scholarly articles that told the legacy and career of the all female musical  group, SWV. Personally, the articles  did not go into depth about SWV in their personal life, but it did talk a lot about their most popular songs and them being one of the most influential R&B groups of the 90s.

Music Career

Unfortunately in 1998 the group disbanded in order to pursue their own solo career but managed to reunite in 2005. This trio has sold 25 million records, making them one of the best selling girl music groups of all time. SWV will continue to play on our radios and in my opinion, will never be forgotten, especially for those born in Generation Y. 

Originally they were gospel group and forms and 88 but as time progressed they began to be known as the most successful R&B group of the 90s. One of their most popular songs, Weak was certified platinum and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.

The trio released their second album, New Beginning, in 1996. This album was number three on the R&B charts and sold over 1 million copies. 


"I Can't Explain Why your Loving Makes me Weak"

SWV had a certified multi-platinum debut album, It’s About Time, which was produced by the king of New Jack Swing, Ted Riley. This album included their main hits “I’m So Into You”, “Weak”, and “Right Here”. Originally, LeLee and Coco both had the same grandmother and both Sang. So they decided that they should start a singing group but soon realized they needed an extra girl and That’s when Tamara came in. The girls had loved the music group, New addition, and eventually put a demo together. As a child, each girl sang in the church. This allowed each of the girls to learn how to harmonize and project their voices. The demo tape that the group had produced quite the attention of Teddy Riley, the father of new jack swing. Riley was known for helping establish the careers of Mary J Blige in Jodeci and helped the group craft there hit album It’s About Time, which managed to go double platinum within its first year of release. 


SWV was one of the first female music groups to certain set precedents for many to come after them. Some people SWV has influenced is K. Michelle and another musical group, Xscape. SWV was one of the first ‘round-the-way girl music groups. SWV was and forever will be one of the most popular urban R&B groups of the 90s. 



Staff, N. (2019). Coko From SWV Holds Nothing Back Critiquing Today’s R&B And The Internet Is Losing It. [online] News One. Available at: https://newsone.com/playlist/coko-swv-rb-critiques/ [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

Discogs. (2019). SWV. [online] Available at: https://www.discogs.com/artist/7699-SWV [Accessed 24 Nov. 2019].

Erlewine, S. (2019). SWV | Biography & History | AllMusic. [online] AllMusic. Available at: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/swv-mn0000498987/biography [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

Essence. (2019). SWV Through the Years. [online] Available at: https://www.essence.com/photos/beyonces-revel-concert-costumes-2/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2019].

Monaé, A. (2019). TBT: What Millennials Should Know About… SWV. [online] Vibe. Available at: https://www.vibe.com/2016/02/what-millennials-should-know-swv [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

Nero, M. (2019). SWV (Sisters With Voices) Bio. [online] LiveAbout. Available at: https://www.liveabout.com/sisters-with-voices-profile-2850623 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].

SoulTracks – Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. (2019). SWV (Sisters With Voices). [online] Available at: https://www.soultracks.com/swv [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].Staff, N. (2019).