Anniversary, Interview

TLC Reveal Why They Rejected Britney Spears’ Biggest Hit!

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2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the birth of one of the biggest songs in music history, ‘Baby One More Time‘, which launched the career of Britney Spears!

Max Martin, the writer and co-producer of ‘Baby’ was convinced he’d written an R&B song (“Pop music with a flavour – what we call R&B in Sweden, what you guys [in America] say is pop,” sent the song, then called Hit Me Baby (One More Time), to TLC who rejected it.

While TLC interpreted the lyrics as alluding to domestic violence, they actually represented Martin’s attempts at American slang, believing “hit me” could seamlessly replace “call me”.

This is a large part of the reason the song wasn’t accepted by the girls in TLC. “I was like: ‘I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC?’ said T-Boz.

“I’m not saying ‘hit me baby.’ No disrespect to Britney,” T-Boz continues on her initial thought of the song. “It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”

“Understand we’re not just passing up hits,” Chilli added. It just wasn’t a song that fit in the direction TLC was aiming for.

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“That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney,” T-Boz explained.

“Every song isn’t good for each artist, and when you’re a real artist you know what you believe in and what you really want to sing. So, I’m clear that it was a hit, but I’m also clear that it wasn’t for TLC.”

Nonetheless, TLC later went on to record their own timeless smash that year to add to their catalog in the form of 1999’s record breaking ‘No Scrubs‘.

Interview excerpts from MTV News in 2013.
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Anniversary

19th Anniversary of TLC’s ‘Unpretty’

We Miss Music

On this day in 1999, TLC released the worldwide hit, ‘Unpretty’.

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The song was adapted from a poem written by T-Boz, with music by Dallas Austin. The song’s empowering theme regarding self-esteem has become an enduring fan favourite.

‘Unpretty’ became the group’s fourth #1 hit in the US.

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Chart Positions:

  • Australia: #3
  • Canada: #3
  • Ireland: #4
  • New Zealand: #3
  • UK: #6
  • US: #1

Music Video:

Live Performance:

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Announcement, Music

TLC In The Studio Working On New Music!

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Following the epic premiere of TLC‘s intimate concert documentary Once In A Lifetime Sessions this week on Netflix, the girls have gone one step further to surprise their fans!

Tonight (Aug 2) it was revealed by Candace Wakefield, the talented singer-songwriter and vocal producer who assisted the girls on last years #1 self-titled album, that they are indeed working on some new music!

Got to work with BOTH my babies today“, Candace said excitedly on her Instagram. “I’ve always worked with them separate. It’s always a pleasure working with legends.”

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She went on congratulate the ladies, stating that they did an ‘amazing job today‘ in the Los Angeles studio, signing off by saying new music is coming soon!

Producer Jovan Dawkins also let us know the girls were there in his studio earlier. Last month T-Boz was in the studio with Jovan recording a solo track for a movie soundtrack.

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TLC have always been open to recording new music if the right project or soundtrack comes along, so surprises like this may occur more often, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can catch Chilli while she’s in LA at the Nike Basketball Celebrity 3ON3 Tournament at LA Live on August 3 at 7:30PM.

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Tickets available at nike3on3.com

Announcement, Concert, Television

TLC ‘Once In A Lifetime Sessions’ now on Netflix!

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ABOUT THE SHOW

Once In A Lifetime Sessions is an original and unique music documentary series giving viewers the chance to get up close and personal with a specially chosen selection of today’s most celebrated music icons – including MobyTLCNile Rodgers and Noel Gallagher.

Filmed on location at some of the greatest studios around the world, the Sessions highlight the craftsmanship, artistic depth, incredible skill and talent of the artists whilst also showcasing their catalogue.

Each episode is dedicated to a single artist or group and features both an intimate live performance and a vinyl recording session. These are woven together with exclusive interview footage and a masterclass exploring the stories behind some of the most memorable songs of all time.

Announcement, Television

TLC Appearance on Beat Shazam set to air in August!

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TLC fans have been eagerly awaiting to see the episode of Beat Shazam featuring the iconic ladies!

We previously gave you the exclusive news that TLC were in attendance at the taping of the show in late December 2017.

According to TV Guide, the episode with TLC is scheduled to air on Tuesday August 7th at 8PM on FOX.

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Cousins, co-workers and best friends compete; and R&B group TLC makes a guest appearance“, the guide wrote about the upcoming episode.

So be sure to tune in to see our girls on TV, and to take part in the show to test your music trivia knowledge to Beat Shazam!

Announcement, Concert

TLC Concert Set To Premiere on Netflix August 1st!

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TLC are set to make their debut on Netflix in August!

Remember the exclusive intimate concert we previously reported on back in Jaunary in LA? Well, the air date has finally been announced!

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The Once In A Lifetime Sessions series is being released on Netflix US on August 1st, and will feature a full-length TLC concert which was filmed on January 22nd in Hollywood!

Only a limited number of fans were invited to attend the exclusive event. The series will go behind the scenes of the show and is one not to be missed!

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Once in a Lifetime Sessions is a series of intimate performances featuring a variety of major artists.

In addition to TLC, other artists in the series include Moby, Nile Rodgers and Noel Gallagher.

The series follows the artists as they record, discuss, and perform their music at studios around the world.

The documentary features these four artists in its first season, with four additional episodes arriving later this year.

So, stay tuned to Netflix on August 1st!

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Interview

TLC: “We’d still be touring if Left Eye was here, being our silly selves”

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Still CrazySexyCool:
By Wesley Case

When Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas learned last week that Riplay, the rising R&B trio from Baltimore signed to Def Jam Records, cited her group, TLC, as a major inspiration for the members’ individuality, Thomas beamed like a proud parent.

“When we hear those kinds of things, especially young girl groups that are really wanting to come out and make a difference, I’m like, ‘Yes! We’re doing what we’re supposed to do again,’ ” Thomas said on the phone from her Atlanta home. “We’re staying on the right path. More power to them.”

She’s heard similar stories since the early ’90s, when TLC — featuring Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — burst onto the R&B scene, complete with their own colorful, hip-hop-influenced style with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” From Grammys and platinum plaques to tragedy and drama that led to a memorable VH1 “Behind the Music” special, TLC’s story and influence continues to resonate with fans today — something Thomas does not take for granted.

“It’s definitely a blessing from God that we’ve been able to have longevity in such a hard business,” said Thomas, who will be in town to perform with Watkins as TLC at Artscape on Friday. “We never allowed all the craziness to tear us apart.”

One of the best-selling female singing groups ever with more than 70 million records sold worldwide, TLC appeared like fresh-faced stars out of the gate, with a look and sound that nodded to a recent past (early rap, new jack swing) but felt fresh and distinctive, too.

After their 1992 debut, maturation and pop domination followed: 1994’s “CrazySexyCool,” and songs like “Creep” and the crossover hit “Waterfalls,” announced the trio as an undeniable pop force, and 1999’s “FanMail” birthed the now era-defining anthem, “No Scrubs.”

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With messages of self-respect and empowerment, the songs resonated with Top 40 audiences, and women of all ages in particular. Thomas said it was clear during recording that the songs were special to the members, but they had no idea at the time if they’d ever catch on with the masses.

“You hope that once it’s out there, people can relate. … We don’t go into the studio and say, ‘OK, what do we think people want us to say?’ ” Thomas said. “It really boils down to the simple fact that we’re all the same. We all go through similar things.”

That includes unexpected tragedy, which struck TLC in 2002.

While in Honduras, as TLC was on a collective break and Lopes pursued a solo career, she died in a car accident at 30. Thousands attended her funeral in Georgia, while many more mourned around the world.

In late May, Thomas posted a candid photograph of Lopes on Instagram with a caption that said she thinks of her “all the time.” On the phone, Thomas said, “the memories are always good.”

“I always think about if she were still alive, what we’d be doing. I know we’d still be on the road, being our silly selves,” Thomas said. “We know that what we’re doing is what she would have wanted us to do — to keep going so that we keep this TLC thing alive as long as we possibly can.”

Lopes didn’t sing on TLC records, Thomas said. But as the group’s rapper, she was the most charismatic, often stealing songs with thoughtful verses that added a welcomed hard-edge to TLC’s smooth R&B. She was the most outspoken and controversial of the group, too. (She infamously burned an ex-boyfriend’s house down in the mid-’90s by setting fire to his sneakers).

But Thomas said Lopes was irreplaceable, which is why TLC has remained a duo in her absence. Despite reported inner-group turmoil over the years, Lopes kept her role, a fact Thomas wasn’t going to change in her passing.

“We would always say, if we were ever going to replace her, it would have happened while she was still around,” Thomas said with a laugh. “It could never be done anyway.”

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Still, a final chapter of sorts came last summer, when TLC released their self-titled and last studio album, Thomas said. Led by singles “Way Back” and “Haters,” the album debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, a sign that even a group as successful as TLC isn’t immune to lukewarm responses after a considerable layoff. (It was their first original album in 15 years.)

Despite no plans to ever record a full album again, Thomas and Watkins plan to record for soundtracks and other one-off opportunities, she said. They couldn’t stop singing if they tried, according to Thomas.

The creativity is all the way through the DNA. We can’t shelve it even if we wanted to, and we don’t want to,” Thomas said. “It has to make sense to us, not only musically but visually, too. Those kinds of things are important to us, and when it feels right, we do it.”

For Thomas, there’s satisfaction in simply knowing TLC’s influence on music’s current generation. Besides inspiring groups like Riplay, she’s proud to see artists like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars — noted TLC fans — ruling the charts by being themselves, just as her group did.

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“Bruno Mars is very colorful, like how we were when we first got started,” Thomas said. “You love watching him perform because he’s just so entertaining, and he reminds me a lot of us in so many ways.”

Studio albums may be in the past, but TLC will continue to perform live regularly, Thomas said. There are plans for the duo to sign on for a Las Vegas residency in the near future, she said.

Thomas couldn’t remember how long it’s been since her last trip to Baltimore, but guessed it was on a tour date many years ago. Artscape attendees can expect the group’s big hits, and an overall vibe of positive energy, she said.

“We love what we do still. We give 200 percent on stage,” Thomas said. “We hear so many people say … our albums were the soundtrack of their high school years or college or whatever. All that love that we get from them and pour back out to them, it’s just a whole TLC lovefest going on.”

Thomas doesn’t take for granted the fact she still gets to provide that love, and it’s received with open arms.

“We’re just so thankful and grateful that we’re able to do this, and even more thankful that people still want to see us,” she said. “It’s a big deal.”

TLC performs at Artscape on 7:30 p.m. Friday at the MICA Main Stage, 1400 Cathedral St., Mid-Town Belvedere. Free. For more information, go to artscape.org.

Baltimore Sun

Cred: Luis A.