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Acronym for Sisters With Voices, these ‘ghetto sisters’ from Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York, comprised the talents of Coko (b. Cheryl Gamble), Taj (b. Tamara Johnson) and Lelee (b. Leanne Lyons). Shaped by swingbeat producer Teddy Riley to reflect streetwise dress and attitude, the trio’s sound was somewhat harder than that which might be expected of ‘new jill swingers’. On tracks like ‘Downtown’ they revealed themselves happy to engage in intimate details of the sex wars. Their 1993 debut also encompassed both rap and a cappella vocal stylings, and included three massive crossover US hit singles, ‘I’m So Into You’ (number 6), the chart-topping ‘Weak’ and ‘Right Here/Human Nature’ (number 2). The latter also provided the trio with a UK number 3 hit single. Nominated for a Grammy in 1995 they returned in 1996 with the equally slickA New Beginning, and repeated the formula in 1997 with Release Some Tension. More sexual innuendo recorded to perfection, but too smooth for some people’s taste in urban R&B. The group broke up in 1998, with Coko releasing her solo debut the following year.

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