TLC’s influence transcends genres from pop, hip-hop, R&B to fashion and female empowerment. They continue to define generations.
Formed in Atlanta in 1990, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, two girls with spirit, smarts and spunk, had their sights set on a big future. Navigating some connections, they started to work on demos with then up-and-coming producer Jermaine Dupri. Feeling a trio could work better than a duo, a manager recommended Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas to round out the sound, with their nicknames spelling out the acronym TLC. By 1992, the girls had not only been signed, but released their first album, Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip, to both critical and commercial success, selling 4 million copies in the Unites States and yielding 3 top ten singles. Along with their ability to blend funk, hip hop and soul, the ladies put female empowerment at the forefront of their songwriting. Two years later they released their breakthrough album, CrazySexyCool, collaborating, as they had with their first record, Dallas Austin, Babyface and Jermaine Dupri, as well as Sean Combs. Met with critical and commercial acclaim once more, Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the best 500 Albums of all time saying it was “highly enjoyable, incredibly influential and a certified classic.” The album produced 4 top five singles on the Billboard charts and TLC won Video of the Year for the song “Waterfalls” at the MTV Awards, making them the first black act to do so.
1999 brought the release of TLC’s 3rd album, FanMail, also produced by Dallas Austin and, yet again, a commercial and critical triumph. All Music said of the album, “Nobody else makes urban soul quite as engaging as this.” Upon the album’s 20th anniversary in 2019, music scribes from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone to Vibe to Billboard unanimously agreed it was way ahead of its time." (Promo Copy)