The ‘90s R&B trio, SWV, is back on the small screen with a new reality show, SWV Reunited. The six-episode WeTV series follows Cheryl “Coko” Clemons, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons and Tamara “Taj” George as they embark on a comeback tour across the U.S. after having split in 1998.
The ladies, who have sold more than 15 million albums, tell ABC News Radio that they needed to split up, even after earning a Grammy nomination and putting out a string of hits, including “I’m So into You,” “Right Here,” “Downtown” and “Weak.”
“At the time we needed a break from each other,” Taj explains. “We weren’t getting along. Our business wasn’t in order. There was just a lot of frustration and stress and there was a time where we needed to separate to realize we needed to be together.”
SWV further explains that each member of the group contributed to the break up, but it didn’t help that they had a novice manager, who often pitted them against one another and made many enemies in the music industry. At least they made out better in their recording contracts than many of their colleagues from the 1990s, including TLC. The remaining members of that trio — Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas — detailed in a recent VH1 film that although they sold millions of albums with the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, they got paid a $25-per-week stipend and received gifts of cars, such as Toyota Rav-4’s, because of what they claim was a bad contract with Arista Records.
“Our deal was crap, but we weren’t broke,” Coko clarifies.
“We don’t have the same exact story as everyone else. Our label did give us cars, but they were nice cars,” she continues with a laugh, adding later that she received a BMW.
And although many critics are already comparing their reality show to others that feature R&B singers, namely TV One’s R&B Divas franchise, SWV says their show stands alone.
“We’re a group and we’ve been a group for 22 years. We weren’t assembled for this show. We weren’t chosen out of millions of applicants and thrown together. This is really us,” Taj says. “And this is really some of the things that we dealt with. So it’s literally reality.”
WeTV’s SWV Reunited premieres Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio