Announcement, News, Television, Tribute

TLC To Be Honored On New TV Music Show ‘Iconic: TLC’

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Just like the rest of us all over the world, the ladies of TLC have had the majority of their original 2020 plans put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and being forced to stay safely quarantined at home.

However, that hasn’t stopped Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas from finding creative ways to continue to work whilst remaining safe. It was revealed this week that The CW Network have co-produced a brand new television music special with iHeart Media and Critical Content which will not only feature TLC, but it will also honor the legendary girl group.

Iconic: TLC‘ premieres on Monday, June 1 at 8/7c on The CW Network and will be hosted by American Idol star Jordin Sparks. Based on the hit Korean formatImmortal Songs: Singing the Legends’, ‘Iconic: TLC’ will feature four uniquely talented genre-bending artists – country music duo LoCash, R&B/hip-hop sister duo Ceraadi, platinum-selling pop singer MAX and former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke — performing special covers of TLC’s biggest hits in their own unique style.

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The show will be remote as TLC and each of the artists will be connected by video chat to watch the at-home performances, and then T-Boz and Chilli will also choose one of these artists to collaborate with for the final performance of the show!

Music fans can hear the exclusive songs on iHeartRadio stations across the country the following day, Tuesday, June 2, and re-watch the performances and show on The CW app and CWTV.com for free.

TLC are no strangers to choosing talent on television. After a huge nationwide search for a female artist with the ‘triple threat’ — the ability to sing, dance and rap — for their 2005 UPN show ‘R U The Girl with T-Boz & Chilli’, they decided on rapper O’so Krispie to be the winner and then performed a new song, “I Bet“, at the end of the show together with her.

Meet the ‘Iconic: TLC’ performers:

LoCash

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LoCash is an American country music duo consisting of vocalists Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. Their highest-charting single is “I Know Somebody”, which topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2016.

MAX

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MAX is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He is signed to Arista and Sony RED. MAX released a Kickstarter-funded EP in 2005, and most recently his single, “Love Me Less” (feat. Quinn XCII) reached Top 20 at Top 40 Radio.

Ally Brooke

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Ally Brooke is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame on the X Factor after winning the show with her girl group Fifth Harmony. After the success of the group, Ally is now a solo artist preparing her debut album on Atlantic Records. She is currently nominated for a Daytime EMMY for her work on the theme song to Nickelodeon’s ‘The Casagrandes’.

Ceraadi

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Ceraadi are an American R&B-hip hop duo comprised of sisters Emaza Gibson and Saiyr Gibson based in Los Angeles. Their debut EP, ‘Ceraadi’s Playlist, was released in 2019 on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Their music and fashion style is described as having elements of early 1990s R&B and hip-hop, with influences including TLC, Janet Jackson, and Salt-N-Pepa.

Will you be watching to find out which artist wins the show?

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History, Interview, News

Jermaine Dupri: “Xscape Sang Low On First Single To Sound Like TLC”

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In the second episode of T.I.‘s ExpidiTIously with Jermaine Dupri (April 9), he reminisces about the early days of his career and how he first became to work with Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, whom he met through his close friend Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who was sleeping in his closet at the time.

The girls were in a girl group — but it wasn’t the TLC we currently know and love. T-Boz and Left Eye were in another group, calling themselves Second Nature. “I started cutting songs with ‘TL’ in my house, way before L.A. and Babyface came onto the scene”, Jermaine recalls.

“I was writing R&B songs for them, and they were like, ‘okay, let’s do it’. So, I wrote these songs for ‘TL’ and one was called “I Got It Goin’ On“, he continues. “The way I was singing on the demo, I said I want you to sing it like this. Tionne was like ‘that’s low, don’t nobody wanna hear me sing like that, they wanna hear me sang’.”

“I was like ‘nah, you’ve gotta be cool. You’ve gotta sing down here where I’m at. You hear where I’m at?'”, Jermaine said. “So, Tionne started mimicking my demo, and that’s how she got that T-Boz sound that people know of today “.

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TLC as 2nd Nature in 1990

Before TLC signed a record deal with LaFace Records, Left Eye called Jermaine to tell him about a meeting she had scheduled with Pebbles. “She said ‘JD, we’re having this meeting with Pebbles, should I take the meeting?’ I could have told her don’t go.”, he recalls. “But I didn’t have a label or an outlet to tell her to say no at the time. I couldn’t replace the opportunity. So I told her to go to the meeting, because if you get signed I’m going to do the songs. So, I was thinking as a producer as opposed to the CEO of a record company. I was thinking if they get a deal bigger than I had, then I can produce on these bigger records. So, I encouraged her to have this meeting with Pebbles, and basically said I’m caught up with Kris Kross, I don’t have the means to do both.”

Jermaine points out that if he had signed TLC at the time when he had the opportunity, it would have been a slightly different TLC with a former member instead of Chilli. “The C at that time was a girl named Crystal, who was the girlfriend of Headliner, a DJ from the group Arrested Development, another one of Ian Burke‘s groups, which is how Crystal got in the group. I don’t know what happened in that meeting with Pebbles, but she got rid of Crystal and added a girl she knew, which was Chilli, and introduced them to L.A. and Babyface.”

He is grateful for how TLC have always had his back throughout their career, never forgetting where they came from and keep him involved in their projects. He said, “I did the “Hat 2 Da Back” remix, which is the version that came out, and a couple of songs on ‘CrazySexyCool‘ including the intro with Phife Dogg, rest in peace. But they always kept me in the mix, they really remembered and never acted like that shit came from somewhere else, they remember how it started. So I was cool; I’ve got TLC. I’ve got Kris Kross. I’ve got Xscape”.

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T-Boz with Jermaine Dupri on the video set to TLC “Baby-Baby-Baby” in 1992

Jermaine mostly wrote his R&B songs with a low register in mind based on the T-Boz sound. “I was making these records with Tionne and she was singing low, so that’s all I knew when it came to R&B, as far as me writing it”, Jermaine explains. This sound went on to influence Xscape, the first group he signed to his So So Def label.

Although Xscape already had cemented their sound with LaTocha Scott as the lead singer, Jermaine wanted to inject some songs with a low register lead vocal like TLC. He presented the track, “Just Kickin’ It” to the girls, which was also the debut single for the group. However, it featured Kandi Burruss on the lead vocal, as Jermaine felt she had the lower register that LaTocha couldn’t achieve. “I had LaTocha sing on it but it didn’t sound right for what I wanted”, he admits.

Jermaine notes he feels that his influence on changing the original vocal dynamics of Xscape led to their problems with each other later on in group, which ended with the original line-up of the group going on a lengthy hiatus for 18 years before reuniting to go on tour in 2017.

“I was against them being just another En Vogue, there needs to be an edge to it than just four girls singing, all of them need to sing” Jermaine explains. “If “Just Kickin’ It” wasn’t successful, Kandi probably wouldn’t have been lead on the second album. If people liked her singing on lead, then okay”.

Do you think Kandi and T-Boz sound alike vocally? Would a TLC and Xscape collab be good? 

Catch up on the first part of the JD interview here

Interview, Music, News

Jermaine Dupri: “Left Eye & Kris Kross Were The Original So So Def” and Regrets Not Signing TLC!

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The legendary hip-hop producer and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri took part in T.I.‘s latest podcast episode of ExpidiTIously (April 2) to discuss his career from the very beginning of his early years in Atlanta.

Dupri touches on the moment Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes came into his life as a solo artist from Philadelphia, who had nowhere to stay, so she used to sleep in his closet which had been transformed into a vocal booth. JD had gotten himself a reputation as ‘the dude with all the studio equipment’, which attracted a lot of up and coming artists that were often introduced to him by music mogul Ian Burke.

Lisa and Jermaine began writing songs for Kris Kross, Dupri’s latest teenage rap duo he discovered in a shopping mall, comprised of Chris Smith and Chris Kelly. “Lisa was helping me write these songs [for Kris Kross], and we wrote this song called ‘The Girl Is Mine‘, where I sampled Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney“, JD recalls. “Chris and Chris were arguing over Left Eye, and she rapped to them. This was my mindset of the single. I was like, “This is it, this is the single. Two little boys arguing over this girl. She’s grown, ya’ll little. That concept didn’t work”. The duo weren’t feeling it so the song was scrapped.

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Chilli and Left Eye with DJ Dolemix on the TLC video set “Baby-Baby-Baby” in 1992

Lisa would sometimes even beg for money at the local airport. “She went to Hartsfield Airport every day and posed as one of them kids who needed money for a church to make money”, JD recalls. “She would come back to me and say, “Look at all this money that I got! I made the sign, they give me the money“. She would come back with $200, $400. She figured it out”.

Lisa expressed her creative ideas very early on as she inspired Jermaine to think outside of the box, which helped the fashion of Kris Kross. “She just wanted to make music. She could rap, I like her — mentally she could write. She was talking to me about concepts”, JD says. “I was very intrigued with the fact that she would come up with things that we should do — like, cut your eyebrows off! We had the parts in the eyebrow, and then I had three parts for like a month. I was like, what next? She would say shave the whole eyebrow off and just have one!”

“We’re in this room just trying to think of shit. That’s how the backwards jeans came about. Like, “JD, go get a nose ring, that shit is cold!“. Left Eye was the heartbeat of me trying to do things, her and my conversations and her and Chris and Chris’ conversations with her. In the end, that was the crew — Ian, Left Eye, Chris and Chris and Jermaine. We were the unstoppable team that didn’t have nothing — that was the first So So Def!”

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Left Eye with Xscape members Kandi and Tiny on the set of Xscape “Am I Dreaming” in 1998

A few days before the podcast was released, Jermaine shared an article on his Instagram (March 31) in which he declared his regrets at not taking TLC under his wings at the same time as Kris Kross. “I was only 19 years old at the time and didn’t believe in myself as a person, as someone having the bandwidth to have both artists”, he admits. “I was putting so much energy into Kris Kross, and I was only giving TLC maybe 30 to 40 percent, not even 50 percent”.

“I felt that I was spreading myself thin by trying to provide both of these groups with what they needed to become the successes that they eventually both grew to become”, he continues. “So I eliminated myself from TLC being a group that I actually introduced to the world”. In the meantime, an encounter with Pebbles at a hair salon Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins worked at led to TLC being signed to LaFace Records instead.

Although he wasn’t quite ready to sign TLC in the early 90’s, he continued to play a big role in their sound, producing on their first three studio albums, including favourites like “Switch”, “Kick Your Game”, “My Life” and “Bad By Myself“. Jermaine was also responsible for conditioning T-Boz to sing in her iconic lower register. “Tionne would sing high, and Tionne would sing low”, Lisa explained on MTV in 1995. “But when Tionne sang low, Jermaine called it scruffy and said that is dope, let that be you, your voice, what you’re known for”.

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T-Boz with Jermaine Dupri on the video set to TLC “Baby-Baby-Baby” in 1992

Despite Jermaine having some success with his first girl group Silk Tymes Leather (whose member Dyonna “Diamond X” Lewis went on to become DJ Dolemix for TLC in their early days), and his missing out on signing TLC led him to having luck in the third attempt at working with a girl group, when Ian Burke introduced him to Xscape, who sang at his birthday party and he vowed to sign them. They were the first act on his own label, So So Def, a joint venture with Sony and Columbia which also homed Da Brat, Jagged Edge, 3LW and Bow Wow.

Do you think TLC should have signed to Jermaine’s So So Def label?

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TLC with Teddy Riley, Kris Kross and Jermaine Dupri
Announcement, Concert, News

Glastonbury 2020 Featuring TLC Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

TLC Glastonbury 2020

Many saw it coming, but today (March 18) the inevitable was confirmed. Glastonbury 2020 will be cancelled due to the threat from the international pandemic of the COVID-19 outbreak.

TLC were announced last week on March 12 as part of the festival’s exciting 2020 line-up to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary since it first began. Other acts set to perform included Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney, Kelis, Pet Shop Boys, The Isley Brothers, Tones And I, Lana Del Rey and more.

Organisers Emily and Michael Eavis posted a statement this morning, explaining that despite announcing the line-up for what would have been the 50 anniversary event last week, the festival will now not go ahead.

Chilli had hinted that TLC could be making their Glastonbury debut when she spoke to the BBC last November. When the topic of Glastonbury 2020 was brought up, Chilli said, “Is that what you heard? I heard that too. That’s what I’m hearing”.

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#repost @emily_eavis: So, after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions, here is the first list of musical acts for Glastonbury 2020. ⁣ ⁣ As things stand we are still working hard to deliver our 50th anniversary Festival in June and we are very proud of the bill that we have put together over the last year or so. No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!⁣ ⁣ As always this is just a taste of what is to come, we plan to announce many more artists and attractions, area by area, over the coming weeks leading up to the full line-up in May.⁣ ⁣ In the meantime we post this with much love to all. ⁣ ⁣ (There’s also a non-circular version of the line-up – and full text list – on our website now) #glastonbury #glastonbury2020

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Their statement in full reads as follows:

“We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the Festival.

Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option.

We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields.

We would like to send our sincere apologies to the 135,000 people who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket. The balance payments on those tickets were due at the beginning of April and we wanted to make a firm decision before then.

We understand that it is not always easy to secure a Glastonbury ticket, which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021. Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that.

This option will remain available until September this year. For those who are happy to roll their deposit over, that will happen automatically. Further information – including details on rolling over coach packages, official accommodation bookings and local Sunday tickets – will be added to our website in the coming days.

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The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen. There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.

We were so looking forward to welcoming you all for our 50th anniversary with a line-up full of fantastic artists and performers that we were incredibly proud to have booked. Again, we’re so sorry that this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you.”

A number of high profile sporting events and music festivals have also been postponed recently. Coachella and Stagecoach will now take place in October, following the coronavirus crisis. Refunds are being made available to those unable to attend the rescheduled dates.

It is currently unclear which other TLC shows will still be going ahead as planned this summer, or which, if any, will also be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to Glastonbury on June 28, TLC have two other UK shows booked: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (June 29) and Love Supreme Jazz Festival (July 4). Followed by spot dates across Europe, including Iceland and Denmark.

T-Boz said future postponements will be announced quickly, if necessary, following the government recommended quarantines to contain the virus outbreak from spreading further. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as things progress.

Stay safe and look after yourselves!