Skyy (band)

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OriginNew York City, United States
GenresDisco, R&B, funk, boogie
Years active1973–present
LabelsSalSoul, Capitol, Atlantic
Past membersSolomon Roberts, Jr.
Anibal "Butch" Sierra
Gerald Lebon
Tommy McConnell
Larry Greenberg
Denise Dunning Wilkinson
Benita "Bonné" Dunning Williams
Dolores Dunning Milligan
Wayne Wilentz

Skyy (also known as New York Skyy) was an American R&B/funk/disco band based in New York City. They are perhaps best known for their 1981 hit, "Call Me", as well as their 1989 "comeback" hits, "Start of a Romance" and "Real Love".


Skyy was formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1973, when sisters Denise, Dolores, and Benita "Bonné" Dunning first met musician Solomon Roberts, Jr. (whose cousin is singer/actress Inaya Day). The record producer/keyboardist Randy Muller (who was also a member of the group Brass Construction and an arranger for B.T. Express) soon became involved with the project. By 1976, the Skyy lineup of the three Dunning sisters as vocalists, Roberts as the male vocalist/guitarist, Anibal Anthony Sierra on guitars and keyboards, Larry Greenberg on keyboards, Gerald Lebon on bass, and Tommy McConnell on drums had solidified.

In the late 1970s, Skyy signed to Salsoul Records. One of the best known tracks, "Here's to You" was released on their 1980 LP Skyyport.

After several albums that saw moderate success in the R&B market, the group crossed over to the mainstream in a big way with the release of the Skyy Line album in late 1981. Featured on this album was the single "Call Me", which gave the group their first (and only, to date) top 40 hit on the pop charts, peaking at number 26 in 1982. It also became the first of several number one R&B hits for Skyy.[1] Meanwhile, the group continued to record for the Salsoul label up through the release of their 1984 Inner City album (Salsoul would fold in 1985), scoring several additional hits on the R&B chart during that time.

In the mid-1980s, the group signed with Capitol Records and released their next album, From the Left Side in 1986. Apart from the top ten R&B single, "Givin' It (to You)", the album saw limited success, and the group left Capitol soon thereafter.[1]

Things were looking rather bleak for the band by the late 1980s. However, after signing to Atlantic Records, Skyy launched a major comeback in 1989 with the release of their successful Start of a Romance album.[1] This release spun off two number one R&B singles, with both the title track ("Start of a Romance") and the quiet storm classic, "Real Love" claiming the top spot. "Real Love" also became the group's second and final crossover pop hit peaking at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1990. The second single released from the album (between the title track and "Real Love"), "Love All the Way" also cracked the R&B top 50. By the release of the Nearer to You album in 1992, the hits had again dried up, and the band has not released a new studio album since then.[2] Although Skyy is one of very few bands to release 12 studio albums in 12 years (two compilation albums), which turned out multiple hits, they often go unnoticed and unsung. In 2014, the French Nu-Disco act Solidisco released an updated version of Skyy's 1980 single "Here's To You", in which the group received credits due to the original version being used.

Although the group officially disbanded in 1993, the popularity of their music on radio stations worldwide continued. In 1996, the Dunning sisters reemerged as The Ladies of SKYY to carry on the legacy of Skyy's music.[3] The sisters have performed consistently since then. In 2007 they attempted to beat a Guinness World Record for the largest kazoo band at the Summerstage Concert Series in Harlem USA, singing their song Skyyzoo.[4][5] Other notable performances have included the Salsoul Reunion Concert, where they performed with former label mates Carol Williams, Double Exposure, Instant Funk and Joe Bataan in New York City,[6] La Grande Nuit De La Funk in Lyon, France, the City Parks Foundation Summerstage concerts in New York City, and the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The Ladies of SKYY have the distinction of being one of the dwindling number of female singing groups with all original members still intact. With a musical career that now spans four decades, the Ladies of SKYY have earned their rightful place as one of the founding females of funk, R&B, dance, disco and hip-hop music.[7]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Record label

1979 Skyy 117 40 Salsoul
1980 Skyway 61 17
Skyyport 85 16 40
1981 Skyy Line 18 1
1982 Skyyjammer 81 22
1983 Skyylight 183 44
1984 Inner City
1986 From the Left Side 33 85 Capitol
1989 Start of a Romance 155 16 Atlantic
1992 Nearer to You 52
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]


Year Title Peak chart positions Album


1979 "First Time Around" 20 50 49 Skyy
"Let's Turn It Out" 65
"This Groove Is Bad"
1980 "High" 102 13 26 Skyway
"Skyyzoo" 32 41
"Here's to You" 23 24 Skyyport
1981 "Superlove" 31
"For the First Time"
"Call Me" 26 1 3 34 Skyy Line
1982 "Let's Celebrate" 16 67
"When You Touch Me" 43
"Movin' Violation" 26 Skyyjammer
1983 "Let Love Shine" 39 41
"Bad Boy" 33 Skyylight
"Show Me the Way" 35 10 97
"Married Man"
1984 "Dancin' to Be Dancin'" 49 Inner City
1986 "Givin' It (To You)" 8 42 83 From the Left Side
"Love Illogical"
1989 "Start of a Romance" 1 41 Start of a Romance
"Love All the Way" 47
"Real Love" 47 1
1992 "Up and Over (Stronger and Better)" 16 Nearer to You
"Nearer to You" 73
2014 "Top of the World" (Solidisco featuring Skyy)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c Wynn, Ron. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  2. ^ Maria Granditsky. "Miss Funkyflyy's Skyy Page". Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  3. ^ Kwateng, Danielle (July 19, 2017). "Where Are They Now? Black Female Performers From The '80s". Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "SKYY Challenges Guiness Record". July 24, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "Band tries to set new kazoo record". Sun Journal. August 3, 2007.
  6. ^ "Photo Review: Salsoul Reunion At Summerstage". August 12, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "Home". Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Skyy". Billboard. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "NZ Charts > Skyy". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  10. ^ "UK Charts > Skyy". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  11. ^ "Skyy". Recording Industry Association of America.
  12. ^ Dewhirst, Ian (2006). Liner notes from The Anthology. Salsa CD 030.
  13. ^ "CAN Charts > Skyy". RPM. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  14. ^ "NLD Charts > Skyy". MegaCharts. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  15. ^ "UK Charts > Skyy". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2012.

External links[edit]