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Cheryl Lynn: Where Is She Now?

Written by on June 25, 2020

Story by Chuck Tackett

Cheryl Lynn: Where Is She Now?

On August 1, 1981, the channel MTV premiered. Soon most everybody heard their catchphrase of

“I Want My MTV!”

The very first music video shown was”Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. This song ended up being a prophecy.

While MTV was fun and entertaining, it was disheartening that the channel put more emphasis on the physical features of the singers besides their systematic racism. It became so apparent that singer Rick James bought it to the public’s attention. Singer David Bowie put MTV’s management on blast for this practice. Singers like Cheryl Lynn was overlooked and devalued because she was overweight and not considered pretty enough. I am pretty confident the music industry at the time practiced this same kind of crap.

Ms. Lynn began her career as a background vocalist with a national touring company of “The Wiz.” Quickly she graduated from behind the shadows to the role of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.

During that time at her manager’s behest, Ms. Lynn reluctantly auditioned for “The Gong Show.” She sang Joe Cocker’s ” You Are so Beautiful.” She received a perfect score. Because of that exposure, several record companies were interested in her. Eventually, Columbia won out and signed Ms. Lynn up in late 1977.

In 1978, Ms. Lynn’s career skyrocketed with her well-known hits of “Got To Be Real” and “Star Love.” In that same year, the rock group Toto featured Cheryl Lynn in their hit “Gorgy Porgy” which crossed over to Billboard’s Top 20 R&B singles. Unfortunately in the song’s official video, it featured Cheryl Lynn’s voice but not her physical presence.

Ms. Lynn’s career successfully navigated in the 1980s post-disco era waters. Songs like “Shake It Up Tonight” and “Encore” kept everybody dancing on the floor. Teaming up with crooner Luther Vandross, she utilized her vocal chops successfully with their smash hit “If The World Were Mine”, a remake of the old Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell song.

During the 1990s and 2005, Ms. Lynn did background vocal work for rock singer Richard Marx. She made one more album titled “Good Time” which was only released in parts of Europe and Japan.

In the 2000s, She pretty much retreated from the music industry, and occasionally performs at charity benefits in her hometown of Los Angeles. In 2005, her signature tune “Got To Be Real.” was honored by the Dance Music Hall of Fame.”

In 2005, Ms. Lynn reunited with the music producer team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. She was recruited to sing the song “Sweet Kind of Love’ for the “Shark Tale” movie soundtrack. Since then Cheryl Lynn has kept a very low profile writing music.

Ms. Lynn is considered to be a huge influence on today’s female R&B vocalists. She joins the ranks of Martha Wash, Patti Labelle, and Chaka Khan just to name a few. Their voices are easily recognized. Cheryl Lynn’s signature tune “Got To Be Real” is still popular in today’s pop culture in movies and TV along with Black and LGBTQ communities. It is a popular tune for drag queens to perform.

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