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How Did SWV and XSCAPE End Up on The Queens of R&B Together?
Read more about how the legendary groups came together for a Bravo series.
If you're wondering how SWV and XSCAPE went from '90s R&B icons to reality TV stars on Bravo, we have the scoop for you. It’s been a long road for both groups SWV and XSCAPE to their televised, post-Verzuz reunion on SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B, premiering March 5, at 9:30/8:30c.
SWV From the 1990s to Their Break-Up
Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne”Lelee” Lyons got their start in New York’s 1990s R&B scene as SWV (which stands for “Sisters With Voices”). They were signed to RCA in 1991 and released their first album, It’s About Time to multi-platinum success in 1992.
SWV released three more albums (New Beginning, Release Some Tension, and a Christmas album) before disbanding in 1998 for the members to pursue solo careers.
XSCAPE’s Beginnings and Their Break-Up
XSCAPE, the Atlanta-based quartet of Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle (now Harris), LaTocha Scott (now Scott-Bivens), and Tamika Scott, was signed to So So Def and released their first album, Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha in 1992 — which also went platinum.
XSCAPE released two more albums (Off The Hook and Traces of My Lipstick) before they broke up acrimoniously after their 1998 album. But, most of the band changed their minds and got back together — except for Kandi, who signed over her rights to the name XSCAPE to allow the others to continue recording. Tiny, LaTocha, and Tamika ultimately contributed to two movie soundtracks and quietly released one single in 2005 before disbanding again.
SWV's Reunion and Reality TV
SWV reunited in 2005, doing several tour dates and eventually releasing a fifth album in 2012.
In July 2013, they announced their first reality series: SWV Reunited on WE tv. The show, which promised to address their 1998 break-up, subsequent reunion and work to pull together another album and a tour, premiered in January 2014 and ran for two seasons before ending — a month before the release of their sixth album, Still, in 2015.
They continued touring and, in November 2017, received the Lady of Soul Award at the Soul Train Music Awards.
In 2019, SWV collaborated with Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Spinderella for a tour and BET reality show called Ladies Night, which lasted for one season.
XSCAPE’s Reunion and Bravo Show
All four members of XSCAPE reunited for a performance at the BET Awards and Essence Fest in June 2017 after discovering there was an effort afoot to put together an unauthorized biopic. During Essence Fest, they announced that they’d filmed their reunion and its preparation for a Bravo series XSCAPE: Still Kickin’ It. The limited series was released in November 2017, after which the group went on a 30-city tour together.
In Kandi’s absence, the Tiny, LaTocha, and Tamika opted to move forward under the moniker XSCAP3 and released an EP titled Here for It in 2018.
Versus And Beyond
On Mother’s Day 2021, both groups took the stage together in full at Verzuz, using the opportunity to pay tribute to their fellow female artists from the '90s.
And, just a year later, Bravo announced their new reality series, SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B, promising to chronicle the lead-up to a new reunion concert “that promises to reignite their music careers.”
XSCAPE then hit the Soul Train stage in November 2022 to take home their own Lady of Soul award.
For much more about both groups, watch SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B, premiering Sunday, March 5, at 9:30/8:30c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.