EXCLUSIVE: SWV On New BET Series “Ladies’ Night,” How They’ve Stayed Friends For 30 Years + If Winning A Grammy Matters To Them
The ladies of SWV – Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons, and Tamara “Taj” Johnson – have churned out countless hits since thier 1992 debut, and have never left the spotlight! The R&B trio are fresh off a national tour with Toni Braxton, and their latest reality TV stint is set to premiere this month. They recently sat down with us at theJasmineBRAND to dish on how they’ve remained friends for over 30 years, their show “Ladies’ Night” with Salt-N-Pepa, and why this show is special. See excerpts from the interview below.
Why SWV chose to be a part of “Ladies’ Night:”
“Coko: When we were at the treatment, we thought it was a good idea just ’cause it was [with] Salt-N-Pepa, ladies night, ladies empowerment, and the music, the touring- we thought it was a great idea. To see our lives, when we’re at home as wives, and how we manage our home and career- so we thought that was a great idea.
Taj: Any publicity is good publicity!”
What they wish was included in the show:
“Taj: We did a Toni Braxton tour, and it happened after we finished filming, so they didn’t get a chance to get any of that footage- which is so unfortunate, ’cause we had so much fun! We killed the game on that tour!”
How they’ve managed to stay friends for over 30 years:
“Coko: We get over it, we get back on that stage, and you get your money!
Lelee: We’re on tour! Everybody is not gonna like everybody and everything, everyday…at the end of the day, there’s a reason why we’re still here…sometimes you have to put the bullcrap aside.”
SWV’s recipe for a great ladies night:
“Lelee: Chippendales! We don’t drink, but fruity cocktails!
Coko: With a little bit of Hennessy in there!
Taj: Good music!
Lelee: -and a little bit of sexual healing in there!
Coko: And the Hennessy tea!…This is her [Taj’s] specialty that she doesn’t drink, but she makes for us.
Taj: I drink everything but the Hennessy part. It’s lemon, honey, ginger, and cayenne pepper. But I’ll toss a little sip of Hennessy!”
On how they handle reality TV:
“Coko: If you give it to them, then they have it. If you don’t give it to them, they don’t have it to use- so you have to learn that. Sometimes we forget they’re filming!”
How they’ve stayed away from drugs:
“Lelee: You know, that’s the one question everybody asks, like, ‘How did you all go all these years without doing drugs?’ Once you’re from the Bronx and Brooklyn- you never wanna do drugs!”
On whether or not a Grammy Award still matters:
“Lelee: I want us to finally get a Grammy. I don’t want us to die without a Grammy.
Coko: They need to give us an honorary Grammy!
Taj: It doesn’t make you or break you, but…it’s something we haven’t had yet! So we want to experience the feeling. It doesn’t erase what we’ve done, but it does make it feel a little better!”
Watch our entire interview with SWV below.
Written by Miata Shanay