Having sold over 71 million records worldwide, TLC is the best-selling American female R&B group 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 playful, confident attitude. TLC was formed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1991, when Watkins and Lopes decided to split off from another group; and subsequently, they met Thomas, locally based producer Dallas Austin, and singer, songwriter, and producer Pebbles, who became their manager. They quickly scored a record deal with L.A. Reid 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. They became well known for their chaotic personal lives, which swung a pendulum through winds of arson, rehab, bankruptcy, serious illness, high-profile romances, and countless intra-group altercations.
After their star-making second album, “CrazySexyCool”, TLC fell into disarray, taking over four years to record the follow-up, “Fanmail”. Even so, they returned more popular than ever, and the hits kept coming. Tragedy struck in early 2002, when Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras. As all three members of TLC are considered irreplaceable by the other members, and each of them having contributed equally to the group; following Lopes’ death, instead of replacing her, the remaining members chose to carry on as a duo. In 2017, they are set to release their final album as TLC.
VH1 ranked TLC as the greatest female group, placing them at number 12 on the list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Billboard magazine ranked TLC as one of the greatest musical trios, as well as the seventh most successful act of the 1990s. The group’s accolades include five (5) career Grammy Awards, five (5) MTV Video Music Awards and five (5) Soul Train Music Awards.