The world has been tuned in to the latest girl group reality show airing on Bravo, ‘SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B‘, documenting the journey of the two legendary girl groups as they find a way to put on a concert together.
SWV and Xscape were born in the early 90’s and both achieved a ton of success throughout the decade before they both disbanded around the same time in 1998. They experienced a huge revival when they agreed to participate in a Verzuz event in 2021, celebrating their most loved hits back and forth with each other.
The Verzuz episode led to television producer Mona Scott Young offering the ladies an opportunity to continue their working relationship with their own reality television show, leading to them both co-headlining a concert together for their fans.
The groups were both excited about the opportunity and already had formed a close friendship with each other over the years. Frictions occurred when Xscape member Kandi Burruss raised concerns over which group would be the headlining act the show, and felt that her group has a bigger following than SWV, so should headline the show.
This did not go down well with the ladies of SWV, who refused to be an opening act for Xscape and reminded the viewers that they have sold millions of more records than Xscape, so they felt insulted at the suggestion as they were informed it was to be a co-headlining show, a collaborative effort.
Time will tell if the groups were able to fix their differences on the show, which airs every Sunday night on Bravo and streaming on the Peacock app.
Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, the lead singer of the group SWV, took some time out this week to chat with reality television producer Carlos King about her thoughts of the show. Although Coko was not interested in being an opening act for Xscape, she was completely open to doing a tour with, and opening for, En Vogue and TLC!
“Oh, we would love that, but TLC is on tour with En Vogue now. They took En Vogue and they did not ask SWV, like girls, come on!”, Coko exclaims. “I would love that though — I would be an opener for that! We ain’t trying to co-headline, we’ll be an opener. Give us a good 30 minutes! That’s TLC!”, Coko laughs.
SWV has toured with both TLC and En Vogue separately in the past. During an episode on their current television show, Taj George recalls having a blast doing shows with both groups and being treated fairly. “We have toured with tons of girl groups, and none of them have treated us the way those gals have treated us”, Coko said during the episode, referring to Xscape’s demands to headline the show.
“It was a pleasure working with En Vogue. It was a pleasure working with TLC. And both of them have outsold both of us [SWV and Xscape]”, Taj admits. “Xscape can learn a lesson from En Vogue — with their 7 million records!”, Coko adds. For the record, SWV has sold over 30 million records to date.
“That’s the thing about us, we are honest. We know what it is, I do not mind”, Coko says about opening for TLC and En Vogue. “TLC is huge! Are you crazy? I don’t want to come on after no TLC! No, no, no, we ain’t stupid!”, Coko continues humbly.
“We don’t want to come behind TLC, and we respect En Vogue to the upmost. Like I said, if there were no En Vogue, there would be no SWV. So, if you want us to go on before you, we’re going to do that, because that’s how much love and respect we have for both of them”.
It is beautiful hearing Coko be so open and honest about how she feels about working with other girl groups, especially TLC and En Vogue. A joint tour with all three groups would be a dream come true for many fans of 90s R&B girl groups — so let’s hope it can happen one day!
Alicia Keys would be the first person in line at such a show. These three aforementioned girl groups were amongst her favorites, and she invited all three groups to join her on stage at the BET Awards 2008 to perform their greatest hits with her during her performance.
Check out the full Coko interview with Carlos King and tune in to watch ‘SWV & XSCAPE: THE QUEEN’S OF R&B’ on Bravo.