[SLEPT ON SOUL] Still Looking Good, Bernadette Cooper by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike @BernadetteCoopr
October 31, 2014
Still Looking Good, Bernadette Cooper by Michael A. Gonzales
Although former Klymaxx singer, songwriter and producer Bernadette Cooper has never been anything like the women the Beach Boys harmonized about on their sunshine soundtracks, she is still a California girl. Raised in Compton, the “hood” that blessed us with both Barry White and N.W.A., Cooper got into music at a young age. Whether singing Aretha Franklin songs in first grade, listening to Sly Stone on the radio or admiring the drums on Isaac Hayes records, she knew early that music would be her life.
“My family never supported my music emotionally or spiritually,” Cooper says from her home in California. Currently working on her second solo album Last Diva on Earth, the project is her first solo venture in twenty-four years. “I was and still am, completely self motivated.” Becoming more serious about the funk when she was in high school, in the late-70s, Cooper formed the all-woman funk band Klymaxx, who would go on to become one of the biggest acts of the 80s.
Inspired by the past generation of mack divas (Lynn Collins, LaBelle, Brides of Funkenstein, and Chaka Khan) as well as Prince’s computer blue funk, Klymaxx was on a mission to kick ass. Besides Cooper, the group also featured singer Lorena Porter, guitarist Cheryl Cooley, keyboardist Lynn Malsby, vocalist Robin Grider and, later, bassist/producer Joyce “Fenderella” Irby.
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