In 1990, Atlanta, Georgia–based record producer Ian Burke and one of his clients, a teenager named Crystal Jones, came up with a concept for a girl group with a tomboyish, hip-hop image, similar to the blend of contemporary R&B and hip hop music of new jack swing act Bell Biv DeVoe. Jones put out a call for two more girls to join her in this trio. Her request was eventually answered by Tionne Watkins, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who had moved to Atlanta with her family at a young age, and Lisa Lopes, a rapper who had just moved to the city from her native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a small keyboard and $750 ($1,375 today). Calling the group 2nd Nature, Jones, Watkins, and Lopes began working with producers Jermaine Dupri and Rico Wade on demo tape material.
In April 1991, at about which time the group’s name was shortened to TLC. To maintain TLC’s name as an acronym for the girls’ names, Watkins became “T-Boz”, Lopes became “Left-Eye”, and Thomas became “Chilli”. The girls were then signed to LaFace in May through the production deal with Pebbitone; their records would be distributed by Arista Records/BMG.
TLC was immediately set up to go into the studio with Reid and Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Marley Marl producing their first album. The new trio debuted as backing vocalists on “Rebel (With a Cause)”, a track on Jermaine Jackson’s sole album for LaFace, You Said (1991).
Their debut album, Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, was released on February 25, 1992, by LaFace/Arista Records. The songs on the album are a blend of funk (Watkins), hip-hop (Lopes), and R&B (Thomas), similar to the “new jack swing” sound popularized by producer Teddy Riley in the late 1980s (and TLC’s sound was sometimes cited as an example of the “new jack swing” genre).
The album was a critical and commercial success, being certified quadruple-platinum for shipments of four million copies in the United States. It scored three top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg”, “Baby-Baby-Baby” (peaked at number two), and “What About Your Friends”, as well as the top 30 single “Hat 2 Da Back”.
TLC’s second studio album, CrazySexyCool saw the group reunited with producers Dallas Austin, Babyface and Jermaine Dupri, as well as new collaborators Organized Noize, Chucky Thompson and Sean “Puffy” Combs.
An R&B and hip hop soul album, CrazySexyCool featured hip-hop beats, funk, deep grooves, propulsive rhythms and smooth production. Released on November 15, 1994, CrazySexyCool was critically acclaimed, with Rolling Stone ranking it among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. CrazySexyCool debuted at number 15. Eventually it peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and spent over two years on the chart. The album sold over 11 million copies in the United States alone and still remains the only album by a female singing group in history to receive diamond certification from the RIAA.
With worldwide sales exceeding 23 million copies, CrazySexyCool became one of the best selling album by a girl group and was later only outsold by the Spice Girls’ Spice (1996).
All four singles from CrazySexyCool reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100—”Creep” and “Waterfalls” peaked at number one,
“Red Light Special” reached number two and “Diggin’ on You” reached number five.
“Waterfalls”, an Organized Noise-produced song that features an old-school soul-based musical arrangement, socially conscious lyrics criticizing drug dealing and unsafe sex, and an introspective rap from Lopes, became the biggest hit of TLC’s career. Its million-dollar music video was an MTV staple for many months and made TLC the first black artist to win MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. At the 38th Grammy Awards, TLC took home Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for “Creep”. Billboard also crowned TLC as the Artist of the Year at the 1996 Billboard Music Awards.
TLC eventually began working with other producers for their third album, until finally negotiating with Austin, who produced the bulk of the album. Lopes always had an idea of a futuristic-feel for the project, which Austin incorporated into the album. Titled FanMail, the album was released in February 1999 to another critical and commercial success. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified six-time platinum by the RIAA for six million copies shipped in the United States, and worldwide sales exceed 14 million copies.
“No Scrubs” was released as the lead single and became a worldwide hit, topping the singles chart in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States.
The album’s second single, “Unpretty”, became TLC’s fourth number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
The other three singles also received decent radio play: “Silly Ho”, “I’m Good at Being Bad”, and Edmonds-written ballad, “Dear Lie”.
At the 42nd Grammy Awards, FanMail received eight nominations, and won three awards: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, the last two for “No Scrubs”. At the Lady of Soul Awards the group was honored with the Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award. The group went on a worldwide tour, the FanMail Tour, which grossed more than $72.8 million and became the highest grossing tour by a female group. The group had a PayPerView special of their tour which at the time became PayPerView’s highest grossing televised special.
Following the unsuccessful debut solo album, Supernova, Lopes started working on her second solo album. On April 25, 2002, before the album was completed, Lopes died in a car crash while filming a documentary in Honduras, which would later be released as The Last Days of Left Eye in 2007 on VH1.
The song is a tribute to Aaliyah and Left Eye, beloved friends of Missy Elliott and T-Boz & Chilli of TLC. Also featuring vocals from Tweet. From Missy’s 2003 album “Under Construction”.
After taking a hiatus following Lopes’ death, Watkins, Thomas, and Austin decided that they would complete the remainder of their fourth album, to be called 3D, which also featured production from Rodney Jerkins, The Neptunes, Raphael Saadiq, Missy Elliott and Timbaland. A decision was also made that TLC would retire after the release and promotion of 3D, rather than replace Lopes and continue as a group.
However, ultimately they chose to carry on as a duo. Lopes appears vocally on 3D as she had already completed her vocals for two songs for the new album. Another two other songs featured her vocals from previously unreleased songs. Several of the songs eulogized Lopes. “3D” was released on November 12, 2002.
Upon its release, 3D debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was certified two times platinum by the RIAA for two million shipped in the United States. It failed to generate success overseas, with exception of Japan where it reached number two and achieved platinum from the RIAJ for 200,000 copies sold. The album’s lead single, “Girl Talk”, peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their lowest-charting lead single ever. Its music video featured Watkins and Thomas alone in live-action segments and Lopes in animated segments.
It was followed with “Hands Up”, which became their first single not to enter the Hot 100 chart (peaking at number seven on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles), and “Damaged”, which reached number 53 on the Hot 100.
In June 2003, more than a year since the death of Lopes, at Zootopia, an annual concert hosted by New York radio station Z100 held at Giants Stadium, TLC appeared in what was announced to be their last performance.
On August 20, 2007, a new greatest hits album was released in the UK called Crazy Sexy Hits: The Very Best of TLC. The album fared better than previous compilation Now & Forever: The Hits, peaking at number 57 on the UK Albums Chart. On June 24, 2008, Watkins and Thomas made a special appearance on the BET Awards. They, along with the original members of En Vogue and SWV, performed in Alicia Keys’ tribute to girl groups.
On January 19, 2015, TLC announced their plan to release their fifth and final album with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign. They asked fans to help finance the project by donating a pledge of at least $5 to reach their goal of $150,000. In less than 48 hours, they surpassed their goal and become the “fastest most funded pop project in Kickstarter history”. Among other artists who donated were New Kids on the Block (donating $10,000), Katy Perry (donating $5,000), Soulja Boy, Bette Midler and Justin Timberlake. The Kickstarter campaign raised a total of $400,000. In an interview published following the end of the campaign, Watkins and Thomas clarified that they would never split up following the release and promotion of the album, and that they would continue to perform together as TLC.
Their fifth and final studio album, TLC, will be released on June 30, 2017. It is reported to have collaborations from Dallas Austin and Kandi Burruss. The album’s first single “Way Back” featuring Snoop Dogg was released April 14 to all major digital music outlets and streaming services. The single was produced by D’Mile and released via TLC’s newly formed independent label 852 Musiq which is distributed through RED Distribution in the US.
TLC released the catchy R&B song “Haters,” the second single from the duo’s upcoming self-titled album.
TLC is the best-selling American girl group of all time with 65 million records sold worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), TLC is the best-selling female singing group in American music history, with 22 million certified albums. CrazySexyCool remains the only album by a female singing group to receive the RIAA diamond award. According to Billboard, TLC is the second most successful girl group of all time on the Billboard charts, behind only The Supremes.
TLC live at KOKO London #TLCdoesLondon #TLCWayBackGet tickets to see their I Love The 90s Tour dates in the U.S. here! –> http://flyt.it/TLCtourPre-order the new album here! –> https://tlc.lnk.to/TLCAS/
Publié par TLC sur mardi 9 mai 2017
TLC live at KOKO London #TLCdoesLondon #TLCWayBack 9th
Get tickets to see their I Love The 90s Tour dates in the U.S.
here! –> http://flyt.it/TLCtour
Pre-order the new album here! –> https://tlc.lnk.to/TLCAS/