Cheryl “Coko” Clemons was only 22 years old when SWV skyrocketed to fame in 1992. She currently lives with her husband Mike Clemons and sons, Jazz and Jaylen in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Raised in the Bronx, New York, Coko has known Lelee since she was 9 years old. Cheryl already had a name for herself as a singer in her church. The only child of gospel singer Mother Lady "Clyde" Tibba Gamble, Coko was familiar with the spotlight at a young age. Lelee asked her to form a singing group and the two set out to find the third member. They asked Taj to join the group and SWV was born.
The group’s first record, It’s About Time, went triple platinum with four hit singles. But Coko had a secret. After going for a routine medical check-up, her doctor suspected uterine cancer and Coko was told that she’d never be able to have children. Her cancer scare turned out to be benign and when she found herself pregnant with her first child, she considered him to be her miracle baby. Jazz was born in 1995.
As the lead singer, Coko was encouraged to become a solo artist. Given the infighting, lack of communication and trust among the girls, Coko decided to give it a shot on her own. The decision to disband created a rift and it would be years before Coko spoke with Taj or Lelee. After the group split, Coko recorded her first solo album, Hot Coko, released in 1999. Although she enjoyed modest success, Coko’s solo career never reached the popular heights she had with SWV. She married R&B/gospel producer and drummer Mike "Big Mike" Clemons, the father of her second son, Jaylen.
Coko's full gospel solo debut, Grateful, was released in 2006. The album debuted at #5 on Billboard's Top Independent albums chart and was nominated for a Grammy. Coko has since reunited with SWV and given her new respect for Christian beliefs, she no longer performs their explicit songs such as “Downtown”. Coko lived through a cancer scare once, but her world is turned upside-down when she discovers a lump in her breast that could be the return of the cancer and the end of SWV’s comeback. Family pressures and old issues threaten the successful return of SWV, but Coko is determined to make it all work this time around.