by Terry Watson | July 19th, 2021


The R&B all-female funk band KLYMAXX is KLYMAXXTIC! Still going strong, their music continues to be a staple on the radio and in dance clubs worldwide. Belting out hits like, “The Men All Pause” and “Meeting in the Ladies Room” the group’s name is synonymous with classic women’s anthems. Their beautiful ballad, “I Miss You”, was Billboard Magazine’s #3 song of 1986 and still to this day is played when love is in the air. Continuing into the 90’s with the #4 R&B hit, “Good Love” followed their sultry Neo-Soul groove entitled, “Private Party” proved that they could flow with the changing music trends.

KLYMAXX is made of Lynn Malsby (keys, vocals), Joyce Irby (bass,vocals), Cheryl Cooley (guitar, vocals), Lorena “Lungs” Stewart-Porter (vocals), Bernadette Cooper (drums, vocals) and Robin Grider (keys, vocals).

Much of the group’s success can be credited to Cheryl Cooley, Co-founder, and original member. She has personally nurtured the group’s unique sound by overseeing the infusion of 80’s funk with a modern swag.

Her enthusiasm and vision have transformed KLYMAXX into a leaner, meaner entity producing live music that delivers dynamic vocals and uncompromised grooves. These ladies are serious about entertaining their fans and continuing with the KLYMAXX legacy.

Chery Cooley started guitar lessons at the age of 11. While her then-brother-in-law, Hubert Laws was on tour with Latin Artist Mongo Santamaria, Cheryl accidentally tuned her toy guitar to play a television theme song. When her sister heard it, she suggested to their mother that Cheryl should take guitar lessons. She went onto learning music composition, orchestration, and arranging at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, then earned a degree in commercial music at Los Angeles City College. From there, Cheryl continued to broaden her studies in music classes throughout her school years.

After graduating college, Cheryl was playing in various local bands. When she was rehearsing at a studio in Hollywood, she was approached by some girls who were gathering an all-female band called KLYMAXX (AFB) and wanted her to come and start rehearsing with them. Cheryl was apprehensive about the musicianship level as to which they might have been but agreed to go and rehearse and check it out, anyway. The girls’ energy and the fun they were having pulled Cheryl into continuing to develop the band, and with that, they appointed her to be the musical director.

While working in a bank, Cheryl was telling her supervisor about this all-female band called KLYMAXX she was in. Her supervisor, Linda Pate, told Cheryl that her uncle, Johnny Pate, was a producer for Artists such as Pebo Bryson and Minnie Riperton; and that if Cheryl brought her the band’s demo tape, she would give it to her uncle to see if he could help the band. When Johnny Pate listened to the music, he was not impressed but happened to have lunch with an A&R executive named Margret Nash who worked at Solar Records. He gave it to her, and she loved the idea of an all-female band and the musical direction she could hear in KLYMAXX’s demo tape.

Margret took the tape and idea to Dick Griffey, who was the president of Solar Records. He heard and saw the band rehearse and signed the band immediately to a contract with Solar Records that would spawn five albums. Cheryl wrote the music to the demo song that got KLYMAXX the record deal and was the first single called, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A WOMAN”. From that point, the group has never looked back.

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