Cameo is a soul-influenced funk group that was formed in the early 1970s. Cameo was initially a 13-member group known as the New York City Players.
In 1974, Cameo started out with 23 members created by former Juilliard student and New York-area clubgoer Larry Blackmon (late of Black Ivory), called the New York City Players. Signed by Casablanca Records to their Chocolate City imprint in 1976, the group soon changed its name to Cameo after concerns that "New York City Players" might cause confusion between them and the funk band Ohio Players.
Cameo started with a deep, funky sound, but it was obvious from the start their sights were set on the dance floor. Their first albums “Cardiac Arrest,” “Ugly Ego,” “We All Know Who We Are,” and “Secret Omen” contained dance floor songs such as "Rigor Mortis", "I Just Want To Be" and "Find My Way," the latter which was a major disco smash and was included on the soundtrack to “Thank God It's Friday.”
By the time “Cameosis” came out in 1980, Cameo had gained considerable momentum through singles such as "Shake Your Pants." Albums such as 1981's “Knights of the Sound Table” and 1982's “Alligator Woman” saw the band playing up their eclectic style. Cameo's 1983 release “Style” was one of the first to come from this new label Atlanta Artists and was the first disc to capitalize on Cameo's new electronic funk sound. “She's Strange” came out in 1984 and its "12-inch mix" was a major smash in the R&B clubs. The title track and its follow-up, "Talkin' Out the Side of Your Neck", were minor successes on the pop charts. 1985's “Single Life” was also an R&B hit that saw some crossover success.
The song "Word Up!" hit the radio airwaves in mid-1986. Critically acclaimed with large amounts of club and radio airtime, the resulting album “Word Up!” turned Cameo into superstars. The follow-up tracks, "Candy" and "Back and Forth" were also huge hits for the funk trio.
In 2000, Cameo released their last-recorded album “Sexy Sweet Thing,” the album's title track, also had a single and video release.