Remembering: Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes

Lisa Nicole Lopes (also known as “Left Eye”) was born on May 27, 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was highly thought of as a creative and spiritual rapper, singer, songwriter, friend, daughter, and sister. Her career began when she became a member of a female trio originally called Second Nature. The group eventually changed their name to TLC which represented the first initials of the three founding members, Tionne, Lisa, and Crystal. Crystal ended up not working out for the group, and singer Rozonda Thomas was brought in as the new third member. To maintain the theme of the band’s name, Thomas took on the nickname “Chilli”. Tionne ended up becoming T-boz, and Lisa renamed herself “Left Eye”, after she was once told she had beautiful eyes, ” particularly the left eye.”

TLC exploded onto the music scene in 1992 with the album Ooooooohhh…. On the TLC Tip. The album sold a staggering 6 million copies worldwide and produced 3 hit singles. After a few years of touring and taking a small break, the group came back with their sophomore album, CrazySexyCool. The project was met with critical acclaim and solidified TLC as one of the biggest female groups of all time. The album sold over 15 million copies worldwide, and was awarded with the 1996 Grammy for Best R&B album and today is considered by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 500 greatest records of all time. TLC’s third album, Fanmail was released in 1999 and was also a commercial success; the album sold in excess of 10 million copes worldwide and took home two Grammy’s: Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and Best R&B album. After the success of the group and Fanmail, Lisa started to explore her own creative endeavors and began expanding her solo career.

Left Eye” was a featured rapper on several artists’ records during her solo career, including Melanie C of the Spice Girls, Donell Jones, *NSYNC, and Toni Braxton. She spent much of her free time after the headlining tour of Fanmail recording her debut solo album, Supernova. The album was only released to limited territories outside the United States and is now highly sought after by hardcore TLC fans.

While working on songs for the fourth TLC album, 3D, Lisa began a spiritual retreat in Honduras, which was Lisa’s “home away from home” where she went to get away from the chaos of the media and press. Lisa wanted to film a documentary during this retreat so her fans could catch a glimpse into her life. With only a few days left of filming, Lisa was tragically killed in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras on April 25th, 2002. She was only 30 years old at the time of her death, one of a number of tragic young deaths in the entertainment industry that have taken great talents away from the world. Her funeral was held at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia where over 30,000 fans came from around the world to say goodbye to the Hip-Hop and R&B icon. Engraved upon her white casket was her verse from “Waterfalls”:

Rest in Peace ‘Left-Eye’

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