Arts center brings Coko to town

Published 8:26 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

Many people may not know who Cheryl Clemons is.

But, if you call her “Coko,” “one of the people in the band SWV,” or “the backup singer in ‘Men in Black,’” they will almost definitely remember her.

Clemons, who goes by the name “Coko” and now lives in Virginia Beach, will be performing at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts at 8 p.m Dec. 6.

Email newsletter signup

Clemons, 35, originally became known as one of the R&B trio Sisters With Voices, also known as SWV. Formed in 1990, the group put out four albums and two compilations before disbanding in 1999. The group, which also included Tamara Johnson-George and Leanne Lyons, also picked up dozens of awards, including American Music Awards, Kids Choice Awards and Billboard Music Awards throughout the years.

The group’s most successful single, “Weak,” reached No. 1 on both the Hot R&B list and the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles included “Right Here,” “Right Here/Human Nature” (a remix of the first), “I’m So Into You,” “I’m Always On My Mind,” and “Anything.”

In 1999, SWV parted ways to pursue various solo projects. Afterward, Coko released her first solo album under RCA, titled “Hot Coko.” The first single on the album, “Sunshine,” reached the top 40 charts that summer. Recently, the SWV group has been doing performances together, and has released two compilation albums in the last few years.

One of Coko’s most notable accomplishments with another singer was with Will Smith on the “Men in Black” song, the title song on the “Men in Black” movie’s soundtrack.

Coko’s debut gospel album, “Grateful,” and her Christmas album, “A Coko Christmas,” are in stores now. For tickets to the SCCA performance, call 923-2900. Tickets cost $30/$35.

For more information about Coko, visit her Web site,