This week for our premiere of Flashback Friday, we take you back with the crazy, sexy, cool girls of TLC.
TLC was one of the biggest-selling female R&B groups of all time, riding a blend of pop, hip-hop, and urban soul to superstardom during the ’90s. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas managed to appeal equally to pop and R&B audiences, blending catchy hooks and bouncy funk with a sassy, sexy attitude.
TLC was formed in Atlanta, GA, in 1991, when Watkins and Lopes decided to split off from another all-female group. In short order, they met Thomas, locally based producer Dallas Austin, and ’80s R&B singer Pebbles, who became their manager. They quickly scored a record deal with L.A. Reid and Babyface‘s new label, LaFace, and in 1992 issued their new jack-styled debut album, Ooooooohhh…On the TLC Tip. The video for the sexy, aggressive lead single, “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” established their quirky, colorful fashion sense, and true to her nickname, Lopes stirred some attention by wearing a condom over her left eye to promote safe sex. The song became a Top Ten hit as did its follow-ups, the ballad “Baby-Baby-Baby” (a number two hit) and “What About Your Friends.” TLC were definitely a success, but they weren’t quite stars yet, and it remained to be seen whether they could maintain their momentum over the long haul.
CrazySexyCool (their biggest selling release) toned down the boisterousness of their first record in favor of a smoother, more mature presentation; they were still strong and sexual, but now fully adult as well, and were more involved (especially Lopes) in crafting their own material. CrazySexyCool eventually sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. alone, and won a Grammy for Best R&B Album.
The highly anticipated third-album Fanmail debuted at number one, and its first single, “No Scrubs” — a dismissal of men who didn’t measure up — topped the charts as well for four weeks. The critically acclaimed follow-up, “Unpretty,” tackled unrealistic beauty standards and spent three weeks at number one. Fanmail wound up going six times platinum, and won another Best R&B Album Grammy.
Sadly while vacationing in her favorite getaway spot, Honduras, Lisa Lopes was driving when she lost control of the vehicle, which flipped over; and she died from severe head trauma on April 25, 2002.
TLC released one more album that they were working on at the time of her death “3D.”
TLC was one of the best girl groups ever!
Make sure to watch ‘What Chilli Wants‘ when it premieres April 11th at 10pm on VH1. A new reality show starring Chilli of TLC, as she looks for love. T-Boz will also make appearances on the show!
Now Check Out Some Classic Videos from TLC!