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|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Pop, R&B, dance-pop|
|Years active||1979–1994, 2003–present|
|Associated acts||Prince, Sheila E., The Time, Cherrelle, Lloyd, Dallas Austin, Bette Midler|
Bernadette Cooper |
M. Ann Williams
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Klymaxx is an American all-female band created, formed, and then given their name by drummer, singer Bernadette Cooper. Klymaxx's uniqueness is due to the all-girl band's ability to play instruments, and their sound, influential mainly because of Cooper’s comedic presence and their women-power themed music.
Klymaxx's original members are (vocalist, drummer, founder) Bernadette Cooper, (vocalist) Lorena Porter (Shelby/Stewart), (guitarist) Cheryl Cooley, (keyboardist) Lynn Malsby, (keyboardist) Robbin Grider, (guitarist) Ann Williams, (percussionist) Judy Takeuchi and later after the band signed to Solar Records, (bassist/vocalist) Joyce Irby was added. In 1981, Klymaxx was signed to Solar Records by Dick Griffey. Griffey enlisted Lakeside member Otis Stokes, who brought in fellow member Stephen Shockley to produce the group's debut album which was entitled "Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman." The debut LP unfortunately produced no hits so they were back in the studio to record their second album, "Girls Will Be Girls." This album also contained songs produced and written by Stokes and Shockley, but also included songs written and produced by the newly formed production team of Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis of the Time. Klymaxx was one of the first acts to work with Jam & Lewis. The team wrote one song, "Wild Girls" and produced other songs for their second album. Klymaxx remains the only female self-contained R&B/pop band to achieve platinum status.
After their third Solar album in 1983, the group switched to the MCA-distributed Constellation label for "Meeting in the Ladies Room". It featuring their first hit "The Men All Pause" (penned by Bernadette Cooper and Joyce Irby) and marked the beginning of their success. Followed by the top 5 pop hit " Meeting in the Ladies Room" and Later Griffey chose as their third single the 1985 hit "I Miss You" (penned by Lynn Malsby) which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. "I Miss You" remained on the Hot 100 chart for 29 weeks, a long chart run at the time, and good enough to rank it as the third-biggest-selling song of 1986, ahead of several songs that went higher in the top 10. The album also featured the hits "The Men All Pause" and " Meeting in the Ladies Room".
1986 saw the release of "Man Size Love" (which was written by Rod Temperton "Thriller") from the Running Scared motion picture soundtrack. Lorena Shelby briefly left the group and was replaced by Penny Ford as the lead singer. The following year, this song was included on their self-titled Klymaxx album, which went on to provide more hits.
The hit songs produced and written by Bernadette Cooper were "Divas Need Love Too" and "Sexy" along with the ballad "I'd Still Say Yes", written by Babyface (credited as K. Edmonds), G. Scelsa, and Joyce Irby. It peaked at #18 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the adult-contemporary chart in 1987.
Joyce Irby, Bernadette Cooper, and Lynn Malsby began successful solo careers that catapulted their careers as writers, producers and label owners, and signed and created various other solo acts, bands and groups.
After members began solo careers and Constellation was folded into MCA, the remaining members Lorena Porter, Cheryl Cooley, and Robbin Grider continued to perform around the US.
In 1990, they returned with The Maxx Is Back, which featured the singles "Good Love" and "Don't Run Away." "Good Love" peaked at #4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks charts. However, without the appeal of the most popular members, Malsby, Irby and Cooper, MCA released the remaining women from their contract.
Joyce Irby reunited with Robbin Grider, Lorena Shelby and Cheryl Cooley for the album titled One Day; the album was released on Irby's 1869 EP Wreckudz label, and featuring the single "All I Think About Is You," written by Babyface. Replacing Bernadette Cooper on drums was Terri Lyne Carrington but to no avail, as the album was not commercially successful.
Members of the classic Klymaxx lineup met up on an episode of the VH1 series Bands Reunited in 2003 to perform some of their vintage hit singles. The show was met with favorable ratings as the drama disclosed member Cheryl Cooley's unauthorized use of the name and touring as the band "Klymaxx", without the consent of the other members. Robbin Grider was missing in action at the time of the episode, and was not mentioned having been a member during the group's prime. In 2003 the group began touring together again with the exception of Robbin Grider and Cheryl Cooley.
On November 15, 2009, Unsung premiered on the TV One cable network. The documentary "Klymaxx" chronicled the story of the group's genesis and rise to fame. This time, all six members of the classic lineup, including Grider, appeared. There are now three separate Klymaxx bands: one lead by Cheryl Cooley, one lead by Bernadette Cooper, and one lead by Joyce Irby, with mixed reviews from fans after being promised a reunion album that never materialized and left fans disinterested in the three separate Klymaxx fragments.
Bernadette Cooper solo
Cooper signed with Solar Records for all of the Klymaxx albums and later MCA Records and released a solo album entitled Drama According to Bernadette Cooper and two singles, "I Look Good" and "Stupid", in 1990. Another single, "The Underground," followed in 1991. She also made a cameo appearance on Teena Marie's 1990 single "Here's Looking at You". "I Look Good" was included on the Klymaxx Greatest Hits compilation. Cooper continued writing and producing for other artists such as Cheryl Lynn (1987), the trio Altitude and in 1987 Bernadette Cooper created, co- engineered, wrote and produced the album for her critically acclaimed girl group "Madame X", securing the hit "Just That Type of Girl" under the watchful eye of Sylvia Rhone, Atlantic Records. Other artists whose songs were written and produced by Cooper include Salt n Pepa's hit "I Am the Body Beautiful" from the soundtrack of the motion picture To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; Paula Abdul's "Missing You", from Head over Heels; and a song for Bette Midler's Diva Las Vegas, "I Look Good" and many other artists and soundtracks.
Cooper is currently producing her new solo album under the banner 'Klymaxx presents Bernadette Cooper, 'Diva & A Turntable'. She was portrayed by Halle Berry on an episode of Saturday Night Live which spoofed the band. Bernadette Cooper is now touring as Klymaxx Featuring Bernadette Cooper (The Band) and additionally with her new critically acclaimed one-woman show, which is currently billed as "Klymaxx Presents Bernadette Cooper 'Diva and a Turntable.'" Veteran entertainment writer Steve Ivory describes the show as, "KLYMAXX is the theater and Cooper is the act... Fabulous!" The show is an intimate viewing of Bernadette performing hit songs she has written and produced for many artists, including Klymaxx. The show is Bernadette Cooper, two singers, a live drummer who accompanies the DJ. Her new project Last Diva on Earth, Episode 1: Planet Sexy was released on June 20, 2015. In 2017, producer Cooper, added novelist to her resume. Showcasing three E and audiobooks including soundtracks. Once again with the emphasis on women uniting.
Joyce Irby solo
Joyce "Fenderella" Irby signed with Motown Records and released the dance-oriented Maximum Thrust in 1989. The solo set spawned two singles and music videos for "Hey Mr. DJ" with Doug E. Fresh, and "She's Not My Lover." Irby signed Dallas Austin as a 16-year-old songwriter/producer and together they produced tracks for the male R&B group Troop, and wrote "I Will Always Love You" for their debut album. More recently, Irby has been involved with launching the career of young R&B vocalist and The Inc/Def Jam recording artist Lloyd. Lloyd Polite was once a member of the teen pop group N-Toon, whom Irby put together and signed to DreamWorks Records in the mid-1990s.
Cheryl Cooley Television
2018 Cheryl Cooley made a guest appearance on Behind the Curtains Show.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1981||Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman||—||—||—||—||—||SOLAR|
|1982||Girls Will Be Girls||—||—||—||—||—|
|1983||Girls in the Band [A]||—||—||—||—||—|
|1984||Meeting in the Ladies Room||18||9||46||18||
|1990||The Maxx Is Back||168||32||—||—||—||MCA|
|1994||One Day||198||32||—||—||—||Valley Vue|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified|
- A Album was never released
- Greatest Hits (1996, MCA)
- 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Klymaxx (2003, MCA)
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1981||"Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman"||—||74||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman|
|"I Want to Love You Tonight"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982||"Heartbreaker (I'm Such a Mess)"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Girls Will Be Girls|
|1983||"Multi-Purpose Girl"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Girls in the Band|
|1984||"The Men All Pause"||105||5||9||—||—||—||—||—||—||Meeting in the Ladies Room|
|1985||"Meeting in the Ladies Room"||59||4||22||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Lock and Key"||—||47||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I Miss You"||5||11||—||3||28||1||32||2||89|
|1986||"The Men All Pause" (re-release)||80||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Man Size Love"||15||43||18||—||—||55||—||—||86||Klymaxx|
|1987||"I'd Still Say Yes"||18||7||—||8||—||50||—||—||—|
|"Divas Need Love Too"||—||14||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"Good Love"||—||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||89||The Maxx Is Back|
|"When You Kiss Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994||"All I Think About Is You"||—||124||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||One Day|
|"—" denotes the single failed to chart|
- 1984: "The Men All Pause"
- 1985: "Meeting in the Ladies Room"
- 1985: "I Miss You"
- 1986: "Sexy"
- 1986: "Man Size Love"
- 1990: "Good Love"
- 1990: "Private Party"
- 1994: "All I Think About Is You"
- 1994: "4 the Ole Dawg N U"
- 1989: Joyce "Fenderella" Irby — Maximum Thrust (Motown)
- 1990: Bernadette Cooper — The Drama According To Bernadette Cooper (MCA)
- Penny Ford - Biography. Billboard. Retrieved on January 8, 2017
- "US Charts > Klymaxx". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "CAN Charts > Mary Jane Girls". RPM. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "NZ Charts > Klymaxx". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "US Certifications > Klymaxx". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "BEL Charts > Klymaxx". VRT Top 30. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "NLD Charts > Klymaxx". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Klymaxx Official Website
- Klymaxx at AllMusic
- Joyce "Fenderella" Irby at AllMusic
- Klymaxx @ T-Mad's Music
- Interview with Bernadette Cooper by Meefers
- Interview with Bernadette Cooper by T-Mad's Music