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TLC aware they can headline own tour but having fun with ‘I Love The 90s’

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One-hit wonders are typically synonymous with the “I Love the ‘90s” tour.

Montell Jordan (“This is How We Do It”) and Naughty By Nature (“O.P.P.) are examples of those with limited success on the retro jaunt, which stops Friday at the BB&T Pavilion.

Vanilla Ice, Coolio and Tone Loc are one-hit wonders who are “I Love the ‘90s” alums.

TLC seems to be way overqualified to headline the current “I Love the ‘90s” tour. But the Atlanta-based act, which is the most successful girl group of all time, will close out the “I Love the ‘90s” concert in Camden.

The surviving members of TLC — Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins — could headline their own tour.

“We’re aware of that,” Thomas said while calling from her Atlanta home. “But we’re more than happy to be part of this tour. It’s going to be a good time performing but also interacting with who is part of the bill. We’re thrilled to still be making music and going on the road together.”

It hasn’t been easy for Thomas, 46, and Watkins, 47, since the third member of the group, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, died in a car accident 15 years ago in Honduras. Thomas and Watkins were understandably devastated.

“We couldn’t believe it when we heard the news,” Thomas said. “We were just absolutely crushed by it. Lisa was like our sister. We didn’t know if we could ever perform or record again as TLC.”

But Thomas and Watkins did muster the strength to complete “3D,” their final album with Lopes. The disc, which sold nearly 2 million copies, was released seven months after her death.

Since Lopes’ passing, Thomas and Watkins have hosted the reality show “R U the Girl,” released a biographical film, a greatest hits album and embarked on a comeback tour.

“We love working with each other,” Thomas said. “There was no reason to stop that.”

Thomas and Watkins aren’t expecting sales to approximate what the act accomplished during the ‘90s.

“People don’t buy albums like they once did,” Thomas said. “We remember what it was like when people bought albums.”

TLC sold more than 65 million albums during the ‘90s. According to Billboard magazine, the group was the seventh most successful act during the decade.

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TLC, which scored nine Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including four No. 1 singles — “Creep,” Waterfalls,” No Scrubs” and “Unpretty” — was huge. The act’s second album, “CrazySexyCool,” is the second best-selling album by a girl group. However, some forget how massive TLC was during that era.

“We’re incredibly proud that we were so successful,” Thomas said. “We’re proud of our albums.”

The tandem were asked over the years whether they would ever replace Lopes and/or release another TLC album. “We could never hire someone to fill Lisa’s shoes,” Thomas said.

But they did decide to create a self-titled album, released in June. The project, which was the fastest, most funded pop project in Kickstarter history, received contributions from some famous peers. Katy Perry, New Kids on the Block and Bette Midler each sent checks to support the album. More than $400,000 was raised.

“We were blown away by the response,” Thomas said.

The latest TLC album comprises smooth and celebratory R&B. Thomas believes that this will be TLC’s final album.

“I think this will be it,” she said. “We’ve released a number of albums and so I think we’re good. We definitely have enough songs to play when we’re doing our shows.”

Ed Condran

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