Who was Lisa Lopes?
Lisa Nicole Lopes, also known by her stage name Left Eye, was a well-known American rapper, hip-hop singer, songwriter, and producer. She was a member of the girl group TLC, along with Tionne Watkins and Rozonda Thomas. She was a rapper and background vocalist for the group and was also credited as a writer for most of the group’s works. Interested in music from an early age, she started composing songs before the age of ten. She formed a musical trio with her siblings, and they sang gospel songs at local events and churches. Later, she formed the group TLC along with Tionne Watkins and Rozonda Thomas. The group found immense popularity with time and scored nine top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. As a member of the band, she won four Grammy Awards in her career. Their notable works include the album ‘CrazySexyCool’ which won them their first Grammy Award. Their successful singles include ‘Creep’, ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Unpretty’. The talented singer had a bright future ahead but fate had other plans. Unfortunately, she got killed in a fatal car accident when she was just 30 years old.
Childhood & Early Life
Lisa Nicole Lopes was born on May 27, 1971, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US. Her father was Ronald Lopes Sr., a staff sergeant in the US Army, and her mother was Wanda Denise, a seamstress. She was of Cape Verdean, Mexican, American, African and Portuguese descent. She was the eldest of three siblings, the younger ones being Ronald Jr. and Raina Anitra.
Her parents divorced when she was in school. Following this, she was raised by her paternal grandmother. At the age of five, she began playing the piano and eventually started composing songs over the next few years. She studied at the Philadelphia School for Girls.
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Lisa Lopes met Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and formed the group TLC with them. Their first album ‘Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip’ was released in February 1992. The album performed quite well commercially, and stood at the 14th position on the US Billboard 200. It sold around six million copies worldwide. Its hit singles included ‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’, ‘Baby-Baby-Baby’ and ‘What About Your Friends’.
Lopes and her band found massive success with their next album ‘CrazySexyCool’ which was released in November 1994. The album was critically acclaimed, peaking at number three on the US Billboard 200. It was nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning two for ‘Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals’. It also earned several other awards and nominations. It was certified eleven-times platinum by the RIAA.
The singles from the album that reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 include ‘Creep’, ‘Waterfall’, ‘Red Light Special’ and ‘Diggin’ on You’. Due to their brilliant work, Billboard named them the ‘Artist of the Year’ at the Billboard Music Awards. The album also appeared on Rolling Stone Magazine’s ’500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.
Despite struggles and personal conflicts between the members of TLC, they released their third album ‘FanMail’ in 1999. It was a commercial success, and stood at the first position on the US Billboard 200. It sold more than 300,000 copies in the first week itself. The album won eight Grammy Award nominations, including one for ‘Album of the Year’, out of which it won three. It was certified six-times platinum eventually.
In 2000, she began her solo-project ‘Supernova’ which was set to be released in August 2001. However, the date was postponed repeatedly. It was eventually broadcast over the internet in 2002. The album was yet to be released formally and a fourth TLC project was in the making, when Lopes met with a tragic car accident in 2002 which unfortunately put an end to her life.
Years after her death, a posthumous album named ‘Eye Legacy’ was released in 2009. It featured some of her unreleased songs. It was met with mixed reviews from the critics. The documentary ‘The Last Days of Left Eye,’ which was released in 2007, centered on the singer’s life, last days, and accidental death.
One of the important works in Lisa Lopes’ career was the album ‘CrazySexyCool’, which she released in 1994 with her group TLC. The album was a huge success commercially, peaking at the third position on the US Billboard 200. It also entered the charts in several countries, reaching the top ten in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and New Zealand. It won two Grammy Awards after being nominated in six different categories. The album also received positive response from critics.
Another important work in her career was the album ‘FanMail’ which she released in 1999 with her group TLC. The album stood at the first position on the US Billboard 200. It also entered the charts in various other countries, reaching the top ten in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK. It was also received favorably by the critics. It was nominated for the Grammy Award in eight different categories, winning three.
Lisa Lopes had a troubled relationship with NFL player Andre Rison. She claimed that he abused her physically. Once in frustration she burned his tennis shoes which led to a fire in the mansion they shared and destroyed it.
She had two adopted children.
She died in a car accident on 25 April 2002. Her funeral was held at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia.