The highly anticipated sequel to 1988’s Coming to America made a big splash last Friday (March 5) as a new generation of fans were introduced to the royal family of Zamunda. Coming 2 America, now streaming now on Amazon Prime, welcomed veterans like Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall back as well as cameos from many of our favorite comedians and a performance by the legendary singing group En Vogue.
From their debut album Born to Sing in 1990, En Vogue has given us nothing but sophistication, sex appeal, and regality. Their presence in Coming 2 America continues that legacy as they sing a special rendition of their platinum selling hit “Whatta Man” with Salt-N-Pepa.
BET.com talked to En Vogue members Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Rhona Bennett about their time on set, their favorite scenes from the original and what they have in store this year for fans waiting patiently for new music.
BET.com: Before we get into your role in the new movie let’s go back to the first Coming to America, which debuted in 1988, two years before En Vogue’s first album. Do you remember what you thought about it at the time and some of your favorite scenes?
Cindy Herron: Wow! That was before we even knew we were gonna be a singing group. That was when Terry was in college and I was still living in San Francisco, chasing my dream of acting and performing locally. When this film came out, it was everything. One of my favorite scenes is when Samuel L Jackson comes in to rob the place and Eddie Murphy has to kick his butt with a mop handle and Shari Headley's boyfriend (Eriq La Salle) with the Jheri curl.
Terry Ellis: I'm gonna say the Sexual Chocolate moments hands down and the barber shop. The barbershop scene when you saw Eddie Murphy playing all those characters just went to a whole other level. You knew this guy is not just a comedian, he is an incredible, incredible talent.
Rhona Bennett: I definitely echo a lot of what Terry and Cindy said. I love the barbershop scenes. That was pre-Nutty Professor, before we knew he was talented in that way. I love the Soul Glo thing when they left the Jheri curl juice on the couch and of course Sexual Chocolate Randy Watson is my favorite.
BET.com: How did this even come about and what was it like performing with Salt-N-Pepa again for your mega hit song?
Cindy Herron: Our manager got a call about us possibly doing a cameo appearance. We were told it would be a song that we would do with Salt-N-Pepa that would be a rendition of “Whatta Man,” but it would be called “Whatta King.”
Terry Ellis: Before the pandemic, there have been moments that we did shows with them. A couple of years ago, they had a Las Vegas residency and they invited us to come in and perform for that, so we've been chit-chatting along the way. We love them! I can't remember the last time we actually performed together, but when we did Coming 2 America, it was so much fun. It was like reshooting the video all over again, except we were dressed in more regal clothing and surrounded by all these incredibly talented actors. We were dressed in Ruth Carter's clothes and it was just fabulous.
BET.com: On the set, we see everybody cutting up. There are all these incredibly funny people around you. How did you three keep it together? How did you pull off this amazing performance?
Cindy Herron: We were just focused on trying to be our very best because we knew we had to be. We worked with the choreographer on set, and we learned everything that we needed to do right there.
Terry Ellis: Before everything was placed in the film and edited, it was a whole song, like a full-length song. We just all tried to be our very best and the energy was really great. It felt, you know, like one of those girl power moments again because Salt-N- Pepa, they always bring it. The energy was really amazing.
BET.com: I know it's a pandemic right now, but when can we get new music from your ladies?
Cindy Herron: We're going to re-release an album very soon called Soul Flower. It was an album that was released in 2004, but it dropped before a lot of social media and we released it on our own label. We are also looking at doing some new music that we hope to release later this year.
Terry Ellis: And there may be two or three new songs on the re-release of Soul Flower as well.
Watch En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa in Coming 2 America streaming now on Amazon Prime.
Photo by Amy Sussman/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp