Underrated Black Singers: I never saw the episode of the Gong Show where Cheryl won for singing “You Are so Beautiful To Me” but she admitted she did it on a dare from an old boyfriend who challenged her and it was obviously a great risk. Unfortunately Cheryl had a hard time beating her first effort Got to Be Real… a song some stated was basically a remake of the Emotions hit a year before “Best of My Love” Whichever way it goes, “Got To Be Real” was not just a smash it’s an iconic anthem. Everybody knows that song from the very young to the very old and it will wake up any party as soon as it starts even though the song is almost 35 years old. I have seen Cheryl in various places around LA like Starbucks and she seems very content living off of her royalties as a co-writer for Got To Be Real which I’m sure are still pouring in but her amazing voice deserved so much more coverage. In the early 80s, New Wave, Punk and Funk were the rage and Cheryl’s came on the scene at the end of the disco era. Perhaps her large size prevented the labels from marketing her as they used tactics like taking pictures from the neck up for anyone who was big in an effort to hide their weight and Cheryl is not that big. Gwen Guthrie on the other hand (lol). At any rate her video for “Got To Be Real” is below.