SWV Singer Coko Talks Being ‘Criticized’ By Gospel Community For Secular Music Career


R&B “Sisters With Voices” (SWV) singer, Cheryl Elizabeth Clemons, a.k.a. Coko debuted her first solo gospel composition, Grateful, in 2006 and followed it up with The Winner In Me in 2009.

She struggled thinking she couldn’t fully win over the faith community that “criticized” her secular roots.

In a Wednesday, Jan. 22 interview with Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club,” the vocalist shared her feelings of  being judged and never fully accepted.

The topic came up after one of the co-hosts, Angela Yee, mentioned that Coko had not been satisfied with the sales of her solo projects.

“[In] Gospel, I did well,” explained Coko, who is currently featured on a new WE tv reality show, SWV Reunited with fellow group members, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons and Tamara “Taj” George.

Co-host Charlamagne chimed in, “Now you back with Lelee filthy mouth, sinning,” suggesting that a Christian woman has no place in an R&B group.

Coko responded, “Singing gospel, they just always kind of criticized me ‘cause, they never looked at me as Coko—as Cheryl—the gospel singer, but it was always Coko from SWV and I was always criticized for that.”

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