With Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records on a winning streak in 2006 (new talents Yung Joc, Cassie, and Danity Kane scored Top Ten hit singles and Top Five albums, not to mention Diddy's own number one album), R&B vocalist Cheri Dennis was next in line, carrying Bad Boy's revival into 2007. The Cleveland native became the label's lone female solo artist since Faith Evans bailed for Capitol Records after her 2001 album, Faithfully. Dennis had to climb up the industry ladder before obtaining any real progress. She first discovered her love for singing in her grandmother's church choir at eight years of age. After finishing school and starting to sing professionally, she felt that she exhausted all means of pursuing a music career in her home city, and thus, went on to New York. Through different connections other than Combs, she landed guest vocals on Mase's 1999 album Double Up. However, two years later, Dennis ran into Combs at a party on Valentine's Day and staged an off-the-cuff performance for him, catering to whatever song that happened to be playing at the time. Combs practically signed her on the spot. For the next five years, Dennis remained behind the scenes, mainly singing background vocals or hooks, while Bad Boy cycled through a couple distribution deals. The single "I Love You" finally appeared in spring 2006. ~ Cyril Cordor
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