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OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresPop, R&B, dance-pop
Years active1979–1994, 2003–present
Associated acts
MembersBernadette Cooper
Robbin Grider
Joyce Irby
Lynn Malsby
Lorena Shelby
Cheryl Cooley
Past membersPenny Ford
M. Ann Williams
Judy Takeuchi

Klymaxx is an American all-female pop/R&B band from Los Angeles, California. The band was composed of sole founder Bernadette Cooper who created the name Klymaxx and members Lorena Porter Shelby, Cheryl Cooley, Robbin Grider, Lynn Malsby, and Joyce "Fenderella" Irby.


Klymaxx was created and formed in 1979 by Bernadette Cooper (producer/drummer/vocals); the other original members included Lorena Porter Shelby (lead vocals), Cheryl Cooley (guitar), Robbin Grider (keyboards), and Lynn Malsby (keyboards). Joyce "Fenderella" Irby (bass/vocals/producer) joined the band later, before the recording of their debut album.[1] The women developed their core sound in rehearsal, and continued with Bernadette Cooper becoming the band's figurehead. Their debut album Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman was released in 1981, and their second album was Girls Will Be Girls.

However, their first album to achieve national recognition was 1984 released Meeting in the Ladies Room, featuring the top 5 US Billboard R&B chart successes "The Men All Pause," written by Bernadette Cooper and Irby, and the title track. The band's self-produced "I Miss You," penned by Lynn Malsby, became the band's pop breakthrough,[1] peaking at #5 on the Hot 100.[2] Lorena Lung's vocals gave Klymaxx a clear distinctive sound, Bernadette Cooper added the spoken word vibe and a musical direction that became their distinctive sound. Critics mentioned that Irby's voice was similar to Michael Jackson's, according to music historian Scot Brown.[3]

Bernadette Cooper wrote and produced much of the band's material, and subsequently began writing and producing for other artists from the mid-80s onward, including Cheryl Lynn, Shalamar, Madame X Bette Midler and Paula Abdul. She subsequently signed to MCA Records as a solo artist, and released the 1990 album Drama According to Bernadette Cooper, featuring cameo appearances from Teena Marie and Chuckii Booker.

The group disbanded in 1989,[4] with some members releasing further albums.[5] Following the breakup there was a legal confrontation involving Cooley’s unauthorized use of the band's name and trademark,[4][6] leading to the trademark decision Cheryl Cooley v. Bernadette Cooper and Joyce Irby.[7] The ladies agreed to and also, per the truth In music advertising act, members are allowed to tour, as Klymaxx but must differentiate which version by adding their names. Cooley appeared but not allowed to perform when the group appeared together in a 2004 episode of VH1's Bands Reunited.[8]

Klymaxx officially reformed shortly after the series Bands Reunited and the SNL episode featuring Halle Berry portraying Cooper. Now individual members tour under Klymaxx featuring their namesake.

Klymaxx was among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[9]

On June 25, 2021, Klymaxx was inducted into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame. Bernadette Cooper and Lynn Malsby accused the organization of honoring the touring lineup featuring Cheryl Cooley, whose contributions were minimal. Cooper, Malsby and Joyce Irby noted that Cooley had edited the songwriting shares on ASCAP and Sony Music Publishing, by adding her name to the writing credits or taking sole credit in ASCAP's database.[10] On the same day, Billboard magazine released a follow-up article bringing light to the fraudulent attempt uncovered by ASCAP and Sony ATV publishing.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications Record label

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 Constellation
1986 Klymaxx 98 25
1990 The Maxx Is Back 168 32 MCA
1994 One Day Valley Vue
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
  • A Album was never released

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Greatest Hits (1996, MCA)
  • 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Klymaxx (2003, MCA)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications 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
"Wild Girls" 78
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
"Sexy" 18
1987 "I'd Still Say Yes" 18 7 8 50
"Divas Need Love Too" 14
1990 "Good Love" 4 89 The Maxx Is Back
"Private Party" 62
"When You Kiss Me"
1994 "All I Think About Is You" 124 One Day
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "US Charts > Klymaxx". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  3. ^ Portia K. Maultsby and Mellonee V. Burnim (2016). Issues in African American Music: Power, Gender, Race, Representation. Taylor & Francis. p. 174-75. ISBN 9781315472089.
  4. ^ a b "When Artists Fight Over a Group Name". BET. May 2013. p. 7.
  5. ^ Serene Dominic (2003). Burt Bacharach: Song By Song. Schirmer Trade Books. ISBN 9780857122599.
  6. ^ "TV-One's "Unsung" Features All Female Band Klymaxx". 106.7 WTLC FM. November 15, 2009.
  7. ^ "Cheryl Cooley v Bernadette Cooper and Joyce Irby". Law360.
  8. ^ Randy Lewis (December 29, 2003). "Discord, with a little harmony". Los Angeles Times. Klymaxx officially reformed shortly afterward, now billed as Klymaxx featuring Bernadette Cooper.
  9. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  10. ^ DiGiacomo, Frank (June 25, 2021). "Klymaxx Members Say Women Songwriters Hall of Fame Is Inducting the Wrong Band". Billboard.
  11. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Mary Jane Girls". RPM. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "NZ Charts > Klymaxx". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "American certifications – Klymaxx". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "BEL Charts > Klymaxx". VRT Top 30. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "NLD Charts > Klymaxx". MegaCharts. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  16. ^ "UK Charts > Klymaxx". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Canadian certifications – Klymaxx". Music Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2020.

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