CBS2 Spotlight: Brooklyn Sisters Behind ‘Ladies Of Skyy’ Still Spreading Love And Happiness For Fans
Each week, CBS2's Elise Finch will be shining the spotlight on an artist or group. First up, three sisters known as the "Ladies of Skyy."
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — CBS2’s morning team often plays music for each other during the commercial breaks, typically songs from the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s.
Now, CBS2’s Elise Finch is catching up with the singers behind some of their favorite hits.
Each week, she will be shining the CBS2 spotlight on an artist or group. First up, three sisters known as the “Ladies of Skyy.”
The smash hit “Call Me” put the funk group Skyy at the top of the charts in 1981.
The band was formed in the early ’70s in New York City and fronted by three singing sisters who were born and raised in Brooklyn.
Denise, Dolores and Benita Duncan started singing to their mother’s bedroom mirror as little girls. By the time they graduated high school, they were singing at beauty pageants, which got them noticed by musicians who helped form Skyy.
“The ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ themes were very prominent in the ’70s, in the mid-to-late ’70s. So you know, all of this kind of influenced how we wound up choosing the name Skyy,” Denise Dunning told Finch. “We were like, OK, so we’ve come from the sky, from a planet far away, right? Our job was to spread love and happiness through music.”
The group enjoyed success primarily on the R&B charts, with songs like “Here’s to You,” “Real Love,” and “Start of a Romance.” But “Call Me” sent their careers skyrocketing.
“Not only were they playing it in the clubs, but the DJs on the radio were playing it, and it came out so fast and hit so big, It was like two weeks after it hit the charts, it was already number one. It was certified gold. Soul Train was calling, Solid Gold was calling,” Bonnie Dunning said. “It put us out on the biggest tour that Skyy ever did.”
The epic ride ended for Skyy, but it eventually resumed for the Dunning sisters. With the blessings of their former bandmates, they started performing as the Ladies of Skyy, even putting out new music.
They credit their fans for their resurgence.
“The support of the fans that we have, which is sort of what shoved us back into this, and knowing that the fans are still with us to this day,” said Dolores Dunning. “It’s like, let me take you back to 1982 when things were fun and things were different, so you don’t have to think about a lot of the madness that’s going on now.”
These ladies still got it, and they prove it every time they sing for their fans.