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R&B stars to serenade Nairobi fans with sounds of 90s

By Elly Gitau | Updated Sat, February 18th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
American R&B super stars SWV are in Kenya for a post Valentine’s gig. [Photo: Edward Kiplimo/Courtesy]

Back in the 90s when you were interested in a girl and wanted to put your best foot forward, one of the classical lyrics to drop was “I’m So Into You” or better still “You’re the One.”

Or if a girl wants to dump you and you’re still into her, “Before I Let You Go” was spot on.

The lyrical geniuses behind these all-time favourite R&B songs are American trio — Sisters With Voices popularly known as SWV and boy band Blackstreet Boys.

To crown this month of love, the stars are in Kenya for a much-hyped post Valentine’s gig. The group came last night, and will headline the event dubbed Valentines Throwback Concert at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi tonight.

‘No Diggitty’ hit

The two world-renowned groups landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at around 9.30pm on Thursday. Clearly exhausted from the long flight, the team posed for a few photos with fans before they were whisked away and driven to their hotel.

The event has been organised by KICC as a Valentine’s treat for Kenyan fans. Entry fee at the gate is Sh5,000 while VIP tickets go for Sh15,000.

Even though millenials may not connect with these stars, back in the 90s, the likes of SWV and Blackstreet Boys were one of the all time favourite R&B stars.

Blackstreet Boys known for the “No Diggitty” hit was founded in 1991 by Teddy Riley (formerly of Guy – a American hip hop group) and Chauncey Hannibal also known as C. Black. After the disbandment of Guy in 1991, Riley came up with the idea to start a new group featuring himself.

Originally, the group was to be named Stonestreet, but it was combined with Chauncey’s nickname, Black.

When the group settled on the name Blackstreet, it featured Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Levi Little and Joseph Stonestreet. Like all bands, it underwent other changes along the way.

SWV on the other hand, a two-time Grammy Award–nominated vocal trio, was formed in 1990 by Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons as a gospel group.

With time, SWV grew to become one of the world’s most successful R&B groups of the 1990s.

Some of their favourite hits include ‘Weak’, ‘Right Here/Human Nature,’ ‘I’m So into You’ and ‘You’re the One.’ The group disbanded in 1998 to pursue solo projects but reunited in 2005. As of 2015, the trio had sold more than 25 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time.

SWV’s first single, ‘Right Here,’ was released in mid-1992, hitting number 13 on the R&B charts. The trio released their debut studio album titled ‘It’s About Time’ on October 27, 1992. It was certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Additional reporting by Wikipedia