It’s been nearly 18 years since Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was killed in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras. It’s also evident that things haven’t been the same for her other TLC band mates, T-Boz and Chili, since her untimely passing, personally and professionally.
During a recent interview with Hollywood Unlocked, T-Boz, whose real name is Tionne Watkins, spoke about how the entertainment industry treated the surviving members following Left Eye’s death.
“Honestly, when Lisa died, the whole industry turned on us. Ev-er-y-body. They was like, ‘It’s over for them. They’re never going to do it again.’ And I kept saying, ‘Nah, bruh, that still doesn’t hinder my talent and my passion to sing and dance.’ It’s in my soul,” T-Boz revealed. She added, “So I was just like, you just have to find that one person to say yes and find your new normal. We all know it’s never going to be the same again, but you find your new normal, and you keep going. And that is what Lisa would want us to do, and I have kids to feed. It’s TLC forever, whether she’s physically here or not.”
The 50-year-old didn’t hesitate to drop the names of those she claimed turned their backs on them either.
“Everybody L.A. Reid. I’ll call ’em all out, I don’t care. L.A. All the big execs who we put on the map, made them all kind of millions,” she said. The singer then recalled an incident when rapper Nelly was scheduled to open up for the group during a VH1 Superbowl Blitz performance and pulled out last minute, saying, “I got to get my hair cut.” T-Boz chuckled at the thought.
“Dougie Fresh came through and Misty Copeland. I was like maybe God wanted it this way so we can still prove to people that we don’t need anybody else to rock a show. Drake, he pulled out. We had just did his OVO Fest. He was like, ‘I don’t know … I’m working on my performance.’ T.I. … everybody,” she continued. However, the star said she couldn’t blame on those hesitant to work with them following the tragedy.
“Sometimes you wonder if it was like you’re worried that you’re going to look sucker-free Sunday standing next to us because it may be over or you don’t want to be a part of that,” the singer explained, before adding, “But it’s all good because it turned out exactly the way it was supposed to be.”
T-Boz, however, did acknowledge those who showed up for them at that time, including the hip-hop legend Dougie Fresh, who was at a hospital with his ill mother and still came through for the group.
“He spent the night in the hospital and came straight to open up the show with us on ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.’ Then I did a beautiful solo light on Misty Copeland, and she did a beautiful dance to ‘Waterfalls’ through her ballet act.”
However, it wasn’t only her industry peers who seemed to have turned on them. T-Boz claimed that even fans were rude to them.
“Because my birthday is on April 26. She died on the 25th. CNN put it out around 4 a.m. in the morning. So every birthday I get, ‘Happy Birthday and girl, I’m so sorry.’ I can’t even open the door, the Instacart lady was like, ‘I know what today is.’ I’m like, Damn, ho’, I was having a good day until now. You just gon’ remind me,’” she revealed.
She added, “I hate when people ask me, ‘What are you going to do today?’ Do you celebrate when somebody dies? The worst day of my life? No. You don’t have a cake or a party. So don’t act like I’m not human. I bleed the same way you do. I don’t like that. That’s disrespectful.”
Check out T-Boz full interview with Hollywood Unlocked below.