[REPOST] TLC Marks 20 Years of ‘CrazySexyCool’ by Michael Gonzales

By Michael Gonzales

A lot of people thought we were going to be one-hit wonders,” Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, one-third of TLC, told me in 2012. “Even the executives at LaFace [Records] didn’t know if we could do it again, so I’d always be grateful to our fans.” Along with her fem-funk soul sisters RozondaChilliThomas and the late rapper LisaLeft EyeLopes, they’d formed the wondrous TLC in 1991, releasing their debut Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip the following winter.

Soon, the colorfully dressed girl-group was soon blaring from every radio station across the nation.

Managed by Peri “Pebbles” Reid, whose then-husband L.A. Reid co-owned the Atlanta based LaFace Records with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, the TLC girls swiftly went from roller-rinks and burger spots to concert stages and four-star restaurants while managing to save their label in the process. Former LaFace general manager Lamont Boles said in 2012, “Before TLC, we had put out albums from Jermaine Jackson and Damian Dame, but they were flops. If we didn’t have success with our next act, [the parent label] Arista was going to shut LaFace down.”

Coming at a time when new Teddy Riley’s jack swing sound was morphing into DeVante Swing/Puff Daddy/R.Kelly hip-hop soul, Ooooooohhh… was built from the same blueprint that gave pop music Bell Biv DeVoe’s street soul gem Poison and Mary J. Blige’s ruff-neck goddess debut What’s the 411. While Chilli and T-Boz were the Southern charmed singers, Left-Eye was the wild girl rapper from Philly whose spunky style gave the group another dominion that separated them from peers like Brownstone, SWV and Changing Faces.
Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/tlc-marks-20-years-of-crazysexycool-220#ixzz3JR5w3rMt

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