Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, left, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, center, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of TLC.
Marking their 20th anniversary as a group, and 10 years following the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the remaining members of R&B girl group TLC announced Wednesday they would be reuniting this year, and reportedly will bring back their deceased counterpart through digital projections.
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins told Essence Magazine, “Yes, we’re going on tour; we are in negotiations now with LA. Reid, so we’ll see what happens. A lot of cool things are coming up.”
Additionally, TMZ reports that a representative of the group told the outlet that tour dates in five major cities have already been booked, and that Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, her singing partner, will be incorporating Lopes into the shows by “projecting her image on a big screen and working her vocals into the live performances.”
It sounds similar to the Tupac hologram phenomenon, though the details provided suggest a simpler technical replication.
Watkins and Thomas also discussed the biopic VH1 is producing about the trio, currently being casted.
Thomas told Essence, “I’m really excited about it; this was a dream of mine. I knew that we would have a movie about us one day. I want to go for someone unknown to play us. I really would prefer to reach out and find someone that resembles us and who really has the acting chops and who can dance.”
TLC was a prominent voice in the ‘90s American R&B diaspora, and is the second best-selling American female group of all time. Their debut album “Oooooooh…On the TLC Tip” sold four million copies worldwide, and was later topped by their sophomore release, “CrazySexyCool,” which was certified diamond after selling 22 million copies internationally with hits such as “Waterfalls,” and “Creep.”
After releasing two more studio projects, the girls went on indefinite hiatus after Lopes died in a vehicle collision in Honduras in 2002.
Watkins described her passing. “I was sitting in a rocking chair in my daughter’s room after putting her down when I got a call from Chilli. She was screaming. I had just gotten out the hospital from fighting sickle cell so I had to be careful about getting upset. Everybody was trying to keep me calm …
"I remember staying up all night and Patti Labelle and Missy Elliot calling me," Watkins said. "Whitney Houston was at Lisa’s funeral. She sat behind me and rubbed my shoulders for two hours, while telling me, 'It’s going to be OK, it’s going to be all right.' Right before that, I remember Lisa played a trick where she went missing and nobody knew where she was. This was the one time I wish she was joking and doing one of her stunts, but she wasn’t.”
This year would mark the first time TLC has reunited since Lopes’ death.