News / Arts & Entertainment

Sisters With Voices, The Grammy Comeback Kids

Sisters With Voices
Sisters With Voices
Katherine Cole
At last year’s Grammy Awards, Adele was the big "comeback kid," triumphant after vocal cord surgery and a long recovery.  And while there is no such drama around the Grammys this weekend, there is a comeback to cheer for - the return of SWV, Sisters With Voices.

It’s been 20 years since we first heard from SWV. Originally a gospel group, the trio from New York City had a long string of R&B hits in the 1990s, including "I'm So Into You," "Right Here," "You’re The One," and "Weak."

But their chart success wasn’t enough to keep SWV happy, and the band called it quits in 1998.

"It was a tumultuous breakup, actually. We spent years not even talking," said SWV's Tamara Johnson George, or Taj.  "We all tried different projects and we realized we weren’t being as fulfilled as we were as a group together. So we put our differences aside and put this album together. And it is really and truly one of the best albums we’ve ever done."

Sisters With Voices, The Grammy Comeback Kids
Sisters With Voices, The Grammy Comeback Kidsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Taj isn’t the only one to feel that way about SWV’s first CD in 15 years. "I Missed Us" was released in April and debuted at number 6 on Billboard’s R&B chart. And at a time when "girl groups" don’t have many spots on the charts, a Grammy nomination for return of Taj, LeAnne "LeLee" Lyons and Cheryl "Coko" Clemmons is all the more amazing.

SWV is one of the five acts up for the Best Traditional R&B Performance trophy at the 55th Grammy Awards this Sunday in Los Angeles. Competition is fierce - the other nominees are: Anita Baker’s "Lately," Melanie Fiona’s "Wrong Side of a Love Song," "Real Good Hands" By Gregory Porter and "Love on Top" by Beyoncé. SWV’s nomination comes for their cover of Patti LaBelle’s 1984 hit "If Only You Knew."

When Taj was in the studio cutting this song, did she just know that it had "it"?

"As an artist, every time you record a song, you want to believe that it has 'it' And the only person who can tell you it doesn’t have it is God," she said. "So, yes, every song you record is 'it.'"

The group’s last Grammy nomination was in 1993, when they were up for Best New Artist and lost to Toni Braxton. In the two decades since, the music business has undergone dramatic changes and Taj says SWV had to change to keep up.  
    
"We came from an era where labels were dominant and they did everything. All you had to do was sing and they covered everything," she said. "Nowadays, you have to be active and involved in your career or else it will fail. You’ll disappear because no one is willing to do it for you anymore, you have to do it yourself. Do-it-yourself is so prominent in this industry. It was a big wake-up call for us! We were spoiled. In this new industry, you have to be well rounded. You just can’t be a pretty face and voice anymore. That no longer floats."
    
Taj has been spending the week taking care of last minute Grammy chores in between shuttling her son to karate and working with her non-profit organization VIP, Visions with Infinite Possibilities. She says the mission of the group is to support women and children who have suffered domestic abuse.

But this week, finding just the right outfit to wear to the Grammy Awards in Hollywood was high on her "to do" list.

"You want to make sure your outfit is perfect. You’re looking for the best outfit that is going to bring the most attention to you as possible," she said. "You want your hair to be perfect. Your makeup has to be perfect.  You have to learn how to walk down that red carpet and grab the media’s attention so that they want to catch you (and talk with you). Hence all of the 'naked outfits' that you see at the Grammy’s every year."

It’s a safe guess that photos of the outfits Taj, LeLee and Coko settled on will be up on their website, soon after they take their red-carpet walks Sunday. While you’re there, check out their international touring schedule and more tracks from their disc "I Missed Us."

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures