Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins
Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes1991-2002
In 1991, teenager Crystal Jones put out an ad for two more singers to join her all-girl group 2nd Nature. Tionne Watkins and Lisa Lopes answered the ad and soon got an audition in front of producer Antonio "LA" Reid for LaFace Records. Reid saw potential in Watkins and Lopes but replaced Jones with a backup dancer named Rozonda Thomas, who was nicknamed "Chilli" so they could use the name TLC, which Reid came up with.
Throughout her life, TLC singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins has battled sickle-cell anemia. The blood disorder is genetic and affects 1 in 12 people of African descent. Since the age of seven, Watkins has been in and out of the hospital because of her condition.
In 2009, TLC singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins appeared on Donald Trump's reality show The Celebrity Apprentice. Watkins was fired in task 6 for volunteering to come back to the boardroom. Trump referenced a previous contestant who was fired for the same action and said "Never volunteer for an execution."
TLC singer Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes began dating Atlanta Falcons football player Andre Rison in 1992. Unfortunately, their relationship was filled with violence and Lopes filed assault charges against Rison in 1993. In the early morning hours of June 9, 1994, Lopes doused numerous pairs of Rison's shoes with lighter fluid and set them on fire in the bathtub. The plexiglass tub quickly melted and set the frame of the house on fire. Lopes was charged with arson and was sentenced to 5 years probation and a $10,000 fine. Oddly, the couple continued dating on and off for the next three years.
In 1996, TLC became one of the first artists to be awarded diamond certification for by the RIAA fro their album CrazySexyCool. The honor is only awarded to albums with sales of 10 million copies or more in the United States. Within its first year of release, CrazySexyCool had already sold over 11 million copies in the US alone. The title of the album are the descriptions of each member: Lopes="Crazy" Thomas="Sexy" Watkins="Cool."
Although she was permanent member of the group, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes told media in 1999 that she felt she was losing creative control in TLC. Lopes believed producer Dallas Austin was starting to push her out of the group, limiting her contributions to eight-bar raps and replacing her background vocals with those of studio singers like Debra Killings. Lopes challenged her band mates to make solo albums and let fans decide who the best singer was, but the feud was settled before any solo records could be made.
In 2002, TLC singer Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was driving in Honduras when she was forced to swerve off the road to avoid a head on collision with a vehicle driving in the wrong lane. Her Mitsubishi Montero Sport hit two trees and rolled several times, throwing Lopes and her three passengers out of the windows. Lopes died of neck injuries and severe head trauma, the only fatality in the accident. A passenger was taping the drive and the crash exists on video from inside the vehicle.
Just days before TLC singer Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in a car accident, she was in a vehicle involved in another fatality. While traveling in a van driven by her assistant in Honduras, Lopes and her party accidentally hit a ten year old boy who jolted across the road chasing his brothers and sisters. The van hit the boy and although he was rushed to hospital, he died almost instantly. Lopes paid for the funeral costs and compensated the family for their loss. Her assistant was never charged.
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes got her nickname from a man who told her that he was very attracted to her because of her left eye.
TLC recorded the theme song for Nickelodeon's '90s sketch show All That.
The members of TLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 3, 1995, just months after the release of their Diamond-certified 1994 album CrazySexyCool. The primary reason was their less than favorable deal with singer/manager Pebbles Reid's management and production company. Thomas told The Sun that bankruptcy at the height of their success was hard.
"You are just out there working hard, not making anything, but they are making all of the money. It was because of our contracts and when people aren't advising you the proper way. After our first album there was no renegotiation when your contract is jacked up."
TLC's first live dates were supporting MC Hammer. T-Boz told Q magazine it was Hammer who took time out backstage to tutor TLC in how the music industry worked. "He put us on to how we weren't getting the right amounts," she explained. "We sat in that hallway for three hours one night, and we just learned so much. It was a world we didn't know existed. It was as if - BING! - the lights came on."