June 13: Cheryl ‘Coko’ Gamble of R&B Group SWV Was Born on This Date in 1970

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By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: RCA/Sony

Cheryl Elizabeth Gamble (a.k.a. Coko) is a member of the popular R&B group SWV from the 1990s.

Gamble was born in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, on June 13, 1970. Mother Lady “Clyde” Tibba Gamble, a gospel singer, is her mother. Gamble grew up in the Bronx borough’s South Bronx neighborhood. Before returning to The Bronx, Gamble lived in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. She began singing at the age of three. Her recording career began when she joined Hezekiah Walker’s Love Fellowship Crusade Choir as a choir member.

Before eventually pursuing a solo career (then reuniting with the group), Gamble was a member of the platinum-selling vocal ensemble Sisters With Voices (SWV). Her first stint with the group lasted from 1990 to 1998. The female trio recorded five albums in total, with their debut, It’s About Time (1992), selling more than three million copies and garnering SWV various prizes and honors, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist at the 1994 Grammy Awards. SWV split after their 1997 Christmas CD.

Six compilation albums were put out in the early 1990s to honor their enormous popularity and significant influence on the present R&B genre. Gamble took the final choice to end the band’s existence. Her debut solo album (Hot Coko) was released by RCA and Sony Music on August 10, 1999. The album featured a guest appearance from hip-hop artist Eve and featured production by Missy Elliot.

In Los Angeles, Gamble reunited with SWV for their first live performance in eight years. This was for the urban radio station KKBT 100.3 “The Beat.” On August 20, 2005, SWV performed at “The Beat’s” Summer Jam concert. They also performed on the New Jack Reunion Tour in 2006. SWV addressed single releases off their first album It’s About Time in an interview with XXL.

The group’s final performance took place in late June 2007 in Toronto, Canada. Coko returned with SWV on April 4, 2008, to play some of their classics for local DJ Kid Kutts’ birthday.

Virginia Beach, Virginia is reportedly Gamble’s current city of residence.


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