TLC Singer Killed in Car Crash
Apr 26, 10:40 AM
(AP) - Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the effervescent, sometimes
volatile rapping member of the Grammy-winning trio TLC, was killed
in a car crash in Honduras, her record company said early Friday.
Lopes, who would
have turned 31 next month, was in the Central American nation for a
vacation, Arista Records' senior vice president of publicity Laura
Swanson told The Associated Press. Lopes was reportedly among seven
people in the car Thursday night and the only fatality.
"No words can
possibly express the sorrow and sadness I feel for this most
devastating loss," said Arista president L.A. Reid, who helped
shape the career of the Atlanta-based R&B group, one of the
best-selling female groups in history.
"Lisa was not
only a gifted and talented musical inspiration, but more
importantly, she was like a daughter to me. My thoughts and prayers
are with Lisa's family and friends. Her legacy will be remembered
The location of the
car crash was not immediately determined. It was unclear whether she
was wearing a seatbelt.
TLC, which also
includes Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli"
Thomas, were the group behind such hits as "Waterfall,"
"No Scrubs" and "Unpretty." Their latest album
"We had all
grown up together and were as close as a family," the surviving
bandmates said in a statement Friday. "Today we have truly lost
The group made its
debut in 1992 with the disc "Ooooooh ... On the TLC Tip!"
Their unique sound, which paired Watkins and Thomas' vocals with
Philadelphia-born Lopes' fast-paced, squeaky-voiced rhymes, made
them an immediate sensation, along with their baggy, condom-attached
Lopes' nickname came
from her habit of replacing one lens of her glasses with a condom
In 1994, the band
returned with "CrazySexyCool" - Lopes was dubbed the
"crazy" member of the group, Thomas the "sexy"
one and Watkins the "cool" one. The quadruple platinum
album saw the women abandon their sometimes gimmicky image to evolve
into a critically acclaimed group. The disc included the No. 1 hit
"Creep" and won them the first two of their four Grammy
band also soon
became know for its flashy, hyper videos and picked up a clutch of
MTV Video awards. Lopes even served as a host for MTV's daily show,
But with success
came enough turmoil to fill a VH1 "Behind the Music"
special. The trio declared bankruptcy a few years ago, citing poorly
structured recording contracts.
In 1994, Lopes
pleaded guilty to arson in a fire that destroyed the mansion of
former Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Rison, her boyfriend. Lopes
was sentenced to a halfway house and five years probation, plus a
Lopes admitted she
started the fire after an argument with Rison. The mansion was
valued at more than $1 million. The two later broke up, only to
reunite and break up again. However, last year they announced plans
hospitalized several times, suffering from sickle cell anemia and
infighting among group members also was reported. In 2000, after the
release of the triple-platinum disc "Fanmail," Lopes
publicly challenged Watkins and Thomas to put out solo albums, and
let fans determine who was the most popular group member.
But in an interview
with the AP later that year, Watkins dismissed talk of a serious
women, you agree to disagree. I'm not always going to agree with
Lisa and she's not always going to agree with me, that's fine,"
TLC had been on
hiatus, but had recently been in the studio working on a new record
due to have been released this year. Lopes had tried to release her
own album last year called "Supernova"; It was released
internationally by Arista, but poor radio support for the record
caused the project to be shelved in the United States.
Within in past few
months, Lopes reportedly signed a solo deal with Suge Knight's Death
Row label to put out a solo project under the pseudonym, "N.I.N.A."
(New Identity Not Applicable). She also helped start the group
"Blaque," an R&B trio who had the hit "Bring It
Home To Me."
Swanson said that
Lopes went frequently to Honduras to vacation.
"She just found
it really peaceful and tranquil, and it was a very special place for
her," she said.
Her manager has
flown to Honduras to bring her body back to the United States,