Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was the hip-hop flavored center of the popular girl group TLC. The woman with the condom covering her left eye rocketed to superstardom as part of a trio that served up several pop hits. But the music stopped 10 years ago today, when Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras.
“Lisa is our sister. You never get over losing a family member,” Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas told AllHipHop.com. “We love her and we miss her and that isn’t ever going to change.”
Lopes’ death effectively ended TLC, but today "Left Eye" fans will get a chance to hear a previously unreleased track featuring the rapper, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Fantasies” is a charity download, with proceeds benefiting the rapper’s youth organization. The song is just part of Lopes’ legacy. We look back at the aftermath of Left Eye’s death and what became of the rest of TLC.
Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes
The news was unexpected. Lisa Lopes: Dead at 30. The singer was one of eight people riding in a SUV involved in a head-on collision in Honduras, but she was the only casualty. Gone was the woman who taught us what a "scrub" was, provided the feistiness to TLC -- and burned down her boyfriend’s house.
The singer lives on through her eponymous foundation, which defines its mission as “providing youth from low income communities and diverse cultural backgrounds with innovative programs, and resources to increase motivation and strengthen their desire to succeed in school.”
It is hosting its first music festival in July.
But what many fans remember is VH1’s 2007 documentary “Last Days of Left Eye.” The film shows Left Eye on a Honduran spiritual retreat, details her difficulties with her group mates and even captures her fatal car accident.
Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas
At 41-years-old, Thomas still sports the same flawless face she did in the early 1990s when TLC became a phenomenon. Since the group disbanded, the singer has become known more for her personal life than her professional accomplishments.
She dated Usher for several years and admitted that the R&B swooner cheated on her. Not one to give up on love, she searched for it where so many do: On reality television. She spent two seasons trying to find her perfect guy on “What Chilli Wants.” In the end, no one had quite what Chili wanted.
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins
Since Left Eye’s death, Watkins divorced her husband and battled a brain tumor. In 2009 the singer told People magazine about her fight to live, which was complicated by sickle cell anemia.
Watkins underwent a surgery which peeled back her tumor from her brain stem. Now, she is working on a biopic on the rise of TLC for VH1. Yet, even a decade after Left Eye’s death, Watkins still feels pain.
“The word anniversary means a celebration,” Watkins told AllHipHop.com. "For us her death will never be a celebration, it’s still something that hurts.”