TLC singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras yesterday; she was thirty. No other details were available at press time.
A Philadelphia native, Lopes joined Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas as TLC in the early-Nineties, adding a hip-hop component to the R&B trio. TLC released their first album, Ooooooohhh . . . On the TLC Tip, in 1992. Despite garnering a trio of Top Ten singles, Lopes earned the most attention after the album’s release when she was arrested and charged with burning down the house of her boyfriend, then-Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Rison.
By 1994 the focus returned to the music, as the group released Crazysexycool, which — largely propelled by the Lopes-penned hit “Waterfalls” — went on to be certified eleven-times platinum. Despite the album’s huge sales, financial mismanagement left the TLC members broke, and it would five years before they would release their third album, Fanmail. Behind singles like “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty,” Fanmail sold more than six million copies.
Lopes recorded a solo album, Supernova, that was initially scheduled for release on Arista, TLC’s label, last October. Lopes also made the album available for streaming in August. But the album has still yet to be formally released. Earlier this year, Lopes jumped to Suge Knight’s Tha Row label and planned to release the album under the name “N.I.N.A.” later this year.
Lopes is the second major R&B casualty in the past year; singer/actress Aaliyah died last August in a plane crash in the Bahamas.