The Cover Girls
The Cover Girls started as an idea, with entrepreneur Sal Abbatiello. His legendary club, “Disco Fever,” in the Bronx , NY had made its mark in the music industry by bringing Hip-Hop music on stage and to the club scene. It received national acclaim in the movie “Krush Groove.” Sal also ran the nightclub “The Devils Nest,” which did the same for Freestyle music. After a talent search of over 300 females, the group was formed. Their first single “Show Me,” was released on Fever Records in 1987. The single went gold, selling over 500,000 records and landed on the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached #2 on the Billboard Dance Chart. The follow up album, of the same name, sold close to 1 million units and spawned four more Billboard Hot 100 singles including “Because Of You,” “Inside Outside,” “Promise Me” and “Spring Love”. This was the first independently released album to chart 5 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart from the same album.
The Cover Girls phenomenon was growing. Along with concert performances, they appeared on every music and video television show on the air at that time. They were featured on Nickelodeon, Soul Train, Showtime at the Apollo, MTV, MTV international, and the Disney Channel numerous times. They had their proudest moment when they appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
Meanwhile in Japan , The Cover Girls were taking over. The single “Show Me” was the #1 record in Japan during 1988, and the album went double platinum. They toured the country 4 times to sold out venues, and were requested to enter the world renowned International Tokyo Music Festival Competition. They won second place, beating out entrants from every country in the world. The Cover Girls’ popularity in Japan that year also landed them an advertising contract for a commercial with Panasonic.
The Cover Girls were signed to Sal Abbatiello’s own independent label, Fever Records, but Sal knew that it would take a major label to give the Cover Girls the national promotions they needed to make them the top female group in the country. After much negotiation, they signed a recording contract with Capital Records. With Capital they released their second album, “We Can’t Go Wrong” in 1989. Their first release was “My Heart Skips Beat,” produced by David Cole and Robert Clivilles of the famed C&C Music Factory, which went Top 40. This brought The Cover Girls to six successive records charted on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, a feat very few entertainers can claim. The Cover Girls then released the ballad, “We Can’t Go Wrong” and that put The Cover Girls over the top. The single reached #2 on the R&R CHR chart trailing only Mariah Carey, and was the most played record on CHR radio, being played on 238 of 251 stations. On the Billboard Hot 100 Single chart, the single hit #5 and sold over 500,000 copies.
The success of the “We Can’t Go Wrong,” album led The Cover Girls to a major endorsement deal with Coca Cola and Sprite. They did numerous promotions including radio and television commercial in English and Spanish. At this time, another pop phenomenon was occurring, New Kids On the Block. The Cover Girls had been on a national tour of their own with Milli Vanilli , performing to sold out venues, and were chosen out of hundreds of groups, to be the opening act for the New Kids On the Block national tour. For over 20 weeks The Cover Girls performed before sold out arenas and stadiums of over 125,000 people per week. During this tour the Cover Girls also received a major merchandising deal from Winterland.
Evelyn Escalera entered the group in 1990, as the new lead singer. She finished touring with the group for the “We Can’t Go Wrong” album tour and in 1991, when the Cover Girls released their next new single, “Funk Boutique,” it was Evelyn’s first recording as the new lead singer. “Funk Boutique” went straight up the charts hitting #5 on Billboard Dance Chart and Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. The success led The Cover Girls to a recording contract with Epic Records for their third album. In 1992, “Here It Is,” the album, was released. Along with “Funk Boutique” two other singles from that album hit the charts. “Wishing On A Star” a remake of the original Rose Royce ballad was the second release. The song hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at #2 on R&R. The success of Wishing On A Star” got them many national television appearances including performing on the Arsenio Hall show, Live w/ Regis and Kathy Lee, The Jerry Lewis Telethon, and Apollo Comedy Hour. They also toured Europe , Canada , Germany , Australia , Brazil , Mexico , Puerto Rico , Haiti , Hawaii and Philippines . In June 1996, The Cover Girls were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame in Los Angeles , CA.
The faces and names have changed during the past 15 years, but the concept of beauty, talent, and great music has always remained. Now, the legendary three some have been re-born with a fresh new look. With Sal still at the helm, and with Evelyn back as the lead and the two new members, Sabrina Nieves and Lorraine Munoz, get ready for more Billboard Hits to come.
Her First professional performance was as the lead singer of The Cover Girls in 1991. “Funk Boutique,” was the first song featuring her vocals. It was a hit, and it led her and The Cover Girls to 4 Billboard Hot 100 Hits and to a gold album “Here It Is.” The success of The Cover Girls took Evelyn around the world and made her an international celebrity. Evelyn also had had the honor of singing “The Star Spangled Banner” in Yankee Stadium for the Puerto Rican pride Day in 1993. After her success Evelyn took a leave of absence from the group to work on personal projects. She’s back to tour with The Cover Girls and to work on their 5th album.
Born of Puerto Rican parents, Lorraine Munoz was born and raised in the Bronx . Much of her days as a youth were spent performing on stage singing, dancing and acting. Lorraine nurtured her vocal talent at the High School of Performing Arts & Music in New York City . Applying her studies at Performing Arts to a vocal career, Lorraine landed a recording contract with Sony Discos, a division of Columbia Records in 1998. Her single, “ Ritmo de la Noche” was featured on Latin Mix USA compilation album, and included various artists such as Will Smith, Ricky Martin and Shakira. Over the past few years, Lorraine has backup danced for Hola Recordings artist Veronica, Universal recording artist IIO, Priority Records recording artist Sarina Paris, and Nervous Records recording artists Byron Stingley and Angelo Venuto. Lorraine joined The Cover Girls in early 2003 and is thrilled to be part of the group and help carry on The Cover Girl name.
At the tender age of 10, Sabrina Nieves knew exactly what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. This Bronx born Latina wanted to perform! Her journey began as a dance major at the famed High School of the Performing Arts. After her studies, she joined the cast of MTV’s “The GRIND”, and traveled throughout the country with the show as a featured dancer. Sabrina continued her work in television as a dancer in music videos for artist such as EPMD, Amber, Luke and Latino artist’s Fulanito, Yanco, and El General. At the age of 19, she signed her first record deal with Tommy Boy Records under the name Sabrina Sang and released her first single titled “Super Sonic Love”. Sabrina has also had the pleasure of choreographing for various dance artist such as, Veronica, Sarina Paris, IIO, and Reina to name a few. Sabrina was more than honored to join The Cover Girls, a successful group that she had admired in her youth. She hopes to bring in her own flavor while still honoring the recipe that has made The Cover Girls a sensation throughout the years.