The 90’s group TLC weathered its fair share of drama – everything from Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes torching her NFL boyfriend’s mansion to the group’s bankruptcy and subsequent fallout with manager Pebbles even while selling millions of records. And then, of course, Lopes’ untimely death in 2002 at the age of 30 truly signaled the end of a triumphant era for the trio. Though Rozonda “Chili” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins are celebrating 20 years in the business, interest in the group remains high as evidenced by the through the roof ratings of their VH1 biopic “Crazysexycool: The TLC Story” which aired last week. The movie drew 4.5 million viewers, the highest ever in VH1 history for an original movie.
The revelation of the movie was not just the story itself but in the stellar performances of the actresses who stepped into TLC’s sneakers – actress/singer Drew Sidora as T-Boz, Keke Palmer as Chili and rapper Niatia “Li’l Mama” Kirkland as Left Eye. Even Lopes’ sister Reigndrop Lopes said that she was impressed by Kirkland’s eerily accurate performance.
Kirkland says that she had to play Lopes. The Harlem native who came to fame from the song “Lip Gloss,” and then moved on to judge “America’s Best Dance Crew.” She says she auditioned several times for the role.
“No one else could play Lisa,” she told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I had to play Lisa. I didn’t have a big thing for acting at the time, but I always knew there was something in acting for me. My mother was an extra in many different movies and when I heard about the role, I wanted it to be done correctly. I wanted her to be portrayed correctly and I wanted people to be proud of whatever work was done. I didn’t want it to be cheesy. I felt like it was a big responsibility to be part of it and I went for it.”
T-Boz and Chili may be going out on tour in support of the movie and it’s soundtrack “20” which has jumped to #5 on iTunes after the movie premiere. Li’l Mama says she loved working with them and would be happy to be part of any tour that happens, although nothing has been set up yet.
Though the success of the “Crazysexycool,” movie may help Kirkland reboot what has been a somewhat stalled music career, one of her biggest challenges is doing it all without her mother, who died of breast cancer some years ago while she was still a teenager. Her mother struggled to beat the cancer for about four years, Kirkland says, but eventually succumbed to it. Kirkland says her family was treated abominably by a doctor who told them that their mother would not live, an experience she describes as the worst of her life.
Despite that, she does encourage families to seek medical help for themselves and especially for their loved ones.
“If you really want to know your status and what’s going on with yourself and you’re serious about great health and being there for your parents, children, your husband or your wife, it’s time to be checked out and take your family to the doctor and just be committed to great health and knowledge of self.”
“Crazysexycool: The TLC Story” re-airs this weekend on VH1 on Sunday, October 27 at 8 p.m.
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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Continue reading Li’l Mama: ‘I Had To Play Left Eye’