Cheri Dennis would have walked miles in her stilettos to get on her label's release schedule. A cardio killer, like say, a three-mile walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn's finest cheesecake establishment, Junior's, would have been a no-brainer.

Luckily, the most walking the Ohio native had to do for Diddy was stepping her petite ass onstage at a club one night four years ago. Now, with her single, "I Love You,” making a dent on Soundscan, Cheri is ready to pop. But the last thing this dime wants is industry eye candy on her arm. In fact, she finds most male celebs "corny.” So who makes the cut? "I need somebody who can watch The Andy Milonakis Show with me and get it,” she stresses. "If you don't get it, we won't gel.”

Oh, asking to toss her salad in cyberspace will also keep you two apart. Long story . . .

Tell me about the years you've spent on the bench. I've always wondered how an artist like yourself makes money while waiting so long to drop an album.
The good thing about it was, even though ["I Love You”] was the first single from me, I've had songs on other albums. I've been able to go on the road and perform. When I first got signed, I did backgrounds for other Bad Boy artists. But Puff definitely takes cares of me. I can't speak for anybody else, but Diddy holds me down.

When we talked earlier, you said you may not have been ready to come out when you were first signed. What changed?
Just cultivating my craft as a singer. I know if I go onstage, I'm rocking it; there's no insecurity. I am ready for everything that comes along with success and having money.

Continue reading this feature in the July/August 2006 issue of KING (#32).