The TLC biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, trailer looks so good. Biopics, especially made-for-tv-movie ones, are usually disasters but I am really excited to see Vh1’s CrazySexyCool. TLC is the highest selling female, R&B group, having sold 65 million records worldwide. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas changed the face of R&B in the 1990s with their songs that preached safe sex, discussed the HIV/AIDS crisis, poverty, body image and of course, scrubs.
TLC were the first female group to have an RIAA certified diamond record, CrazySexyCool sold 23 million records and the follow-up album, FanMail was their first #1 debut and also went diamond, selling 11 million copies. FanMail was the first CD I ever bought and listened to tirelessly with my black Sony Discman. It’s one of the few albums I can revisit and sing along with, word for word. TLC also holds a special place in my heart because my two best friends and I were cast as TLC in a fifth grade performance for Women’s History Month.
I was Left Eye, Debbie was Chilli and Nevely was T-Boz. FanMail has so many of my fondest childhood memories because it was something my friends and I bonded over as we lip sang to the album track, “Shout.”
The trio was discovered around the ages of 20 by singer Pebbles and L.A. Reid, who signed them to LaFace Records in 1990. Their debut album Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip was a hit with singles, ‘Aint 2 Proud 2 Beg,’ ‘What About Your Friends?’ and ‘Baby-Baby-Baby.’
After winning two Grammys and having CrazySexyCool, which featured the hits ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Creep’, get diamond certified the trio filed for bankruptcy. Due to a pretty crappy record contract, each member of TLC was only making $35,000 a year! Their contracts required they pay back producers, writers, managers, expenses and taxes. They were making the label wealthy, while taking home very little for themselves. After a 2 year legal battle, 1996 they were able to get over their unfair contract.
Finally in 2000, FanMail was released, debuting at #1 and selling 6 million copies. ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Pretty’ were chanted through the hallways of every middle school. On April 25, 2002, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes died in a car crash while filming a documentary in Honduras.
The lives of these three successful women will surely be an interesting tale to see reenacted. I think CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story may actually do them some justice.
TLC Throughout The Years