Sunday April 28th, 2002
New CD's this week:
Angela Johnson - They don't know : solo
album from Cooly's Hot Box vocalist
RL - RL:elements : solo album from the lead singer of Next
Earth, Wind & Fire - That's the way of the world - Alive in '75 : previously unreleased
live material from the 1975 tour.
Short news stories this week:
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes Killed In Car Accident
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the most
flamboyant and outspoken member of the multiplatinum
trio TLC, has died, according to a spokesperson for the group's label, Arista Records.
Lopes was 30.
The rapper/singer perished in a car accident late Thursday night while she was
vacationing in Honduras.
"We had all grown up together and were as close as a family. Today we have truly lost
our sister," Lopes' TLC partners Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas
said in a statement.
Friday afternoon (April 26) on MTV's "TRL," the audibly distraught ladies phoned in,
saying, "Lisa had one of the biggest hearts of anybody we've ever known. She did charity
work with kids for the lupus disease. She adopted a little girl named Snow. ... Lisa could
do anything she put her mind to."
"No words can possibly express the sorrow and sadness I feel for this most devastating
loss," Arista CEO L.A. Reid said in a statement. "Lisa was not only a gifted and talented
musical inspiration, but more importantly, she was like a daughter to me. My thoughts
and prayers are with Lisa's family and friends. Her legacy will be remembered forever."
On Friday morning Lopes' personal publicist released details about the tragedy. Left Eye
went down to Honduras - where she would often visit - on March 20 and was
scheduled to return to the States on Sunday. While there, she was volunteering at a
children's development center and at the Usha Herbal Resource Institute, an herbal
Left Eye was driving a rented Mitsubishi Montero SUV and traveling from La Ceiba to
San Pedro Sula. According to her spokesperson, a three-person group called Egypt, her
brother, sister and two producers were in the vehicle with her. The spokesperson said the
SUV tipped over and Left Eye died after sustaining a blow to the head.
According to authorities in Jutiapa, Lopes was not licensed to drive internationally and
was apparently speeding and lost control. The car crashed in Roma, which is one of
Everyone was taken to the Vicente D'Antoni hospital in La Ceiba and, according to that
medical facility, there were eight other passengers in the vehicle. Four were released, and
the remaining four remain hospitalized in stable condition.
The U.S. Embassy in Honduras said it is working with the San Jose Funeral Home in La
Ceiba and the Lopes family to make arrangements for the body to be flown back to
Atlanta. No funeral plans have been made yet.
As for the musical projects Left Eye was involved with, TLC were working on an album,
and at least four tracks have been completed. Left Eye had been in the studio working on
a track with David Bowie and had hoped to do a song with Eve and Pink based on the
theme of Philly pride, Lopes' spokesperson said.
Born in Philadelphia, Left Eye later moved to Atlanta, where she formed TLC with
Watkins and Thomas. The trio's 1992 debut LP, Ooooooohhh ... On the TLC Tip,
spawned the top 10 hits "Baby-Baby-Baby," "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" and "What About
The group's hip-pop beats - provided by Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin - and their
identifiable b-girl style captivated fans, helping the trio become instant stars. With
condoms on their clothes, their hats shifted to the back and their sagging, baggy pants,
TLC exuded girl-powered audacity. As the resident rapper among two singers, Left Eye
immediately stood out.
Two years later, TLC proved their staying power with the blockbuster LP Crazysexycool.
The group expanded its message while expanding its fanbase, offering such songs as
"Creep" (exploring relationship infidelity) and "Waterfalls" (which addressed a number
of society's ills).
Away from the studio, the trio brought the drama that would keep the world fixated on
them. In the five years between Crazysexycool and their third LP, Fan Mail, TLC
publicly quarreled amongst themselves, fought with their former manager, Pebbles, as
well as their record label. They also declared bankruptcy and disclosed life-threatening
illnesses, among other things. Lopes upped the controversy even further when she set fire
to the home of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, football star Andre Rison, in 1994.
Throughout it all, Left Eye held her head high and spoke her mind on everything. No
matter how outrageous the situation, Left Eye would seem to trump it with an even more
outrageous opinion. More than any other member of the group, Left Eye became a
character, and what she did offstage became just as interesting as (if not more interesting
than) what she did onstage.
Last year, Lopes was engaged in another beef with her label when it decided not to
release her long-talked about solo debut, Supernova, domestically. Although TLC were
said to be working on the their fourth LP for, Lopes dropped another shocker at the
beginning of this year when she announced that she had aligned herself with Suge
Knight's Tha Row label. Lopes said that she would record a new solo album in Los
Angeles under the name N.I.N.A. While "Nina" is slang for a 9 mm handgun, Left Eye
said her Row moniker stood for "New Identity Non-Applicable".
There is no word yet on how much material Left Eye recorded for her new solo album or
for the next TLC project, or what plans (if any) there are for the release of those albums.
D'Angelo Caught Driving Recklessly With Expired License
Neo-soul singer-songwriter D'Angelo, whose
real name is Michael D'Angelo Archer, was
pulled over for reckless driving in New York City on Tuesday (April 23), according to
the New York Post.
Archer, who was reportedly driving his BMW sports utility vehicle south on FDR Drive
near 71st Street was stopped by police at around 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the artist was
charged with driving with a suspended Virginia driver's license.
A spokesperson for Manhattan criminal courts told us that he could not release
information pertaining to any potential violations, but noted that driving with a suspended
license is grounds for arrest. Spokespersons for Manhattan traffic courts and central
booking also could not confirm any potential charges. Archer's Virgin Records
spokesperson did not reply to our calls by press time.
D'Angelo is currently featured on Raphael Saadiq's "Be Here," which is the first single
from Saadiq's solo debut, Instant Vintage, scheduled to be released June 11.
Raphael Saadiq Says Lucy Pearl Is Basically Over
Raphael Saadiq is gearing up for the
release of his solo debut, Instant Vintage, on June
11. He recently shared that another of his projects, the supergroup Lucy Pearl, is now
basically on indefinite hold."Lucy Pearl is basically over, but the new configuration
would probably be myself and Joi and a possible. . .a person, I won't say this person, but
a possible Mos Def for one record or something like that," he said.
"There's no more Shaheed and no more Dawn Robinson." The first single from Saadiq's
Instant Vintage is "Be Here" featuring D'Angelo, which debuted at Number 99 on the
Billboard Hot 100 singles chart last week. Instant Vintage also features collaborations
with Angie Stone, T-Boz of T.L.C., Shy, and Leslie Wilson. The set, primarily
produced by Saadiq, also features production work by Hi-Tek, Jake & the Phatman, and
Timothy Christian Riley.
Monica Previews New Album At N.Y.C. Party
R&B songstress Monica hosted an
exclusive listening session on Monday (April 22) for
her forthcoming third album, which is due July 23. The singer previewed six songs from
the forthcoming set at New York's W Hotel. The first of the tracks, "All Eyez On Me,"
features a sample of Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"--the "King of Pop"
also provides some new adlibs on the cut, which was produced by Jackson's Invincible
cohort Rodney Jerkins Monica also previewed "I Wrote This Song" and "Breaks My
Heart," both produced by Soulshock & Karlin, as well as "Ain't Gonna Cry No More"-
another Rodney Jerkins produced song--and "You Should've Known" and "If You Were
The Girl," which were produced by Jermaine Dupri, who recently scored a monster hit
with Usher's "U Got It Bad." Monica's two previous outings, 1995's Miss Thang, and
1998's The Boy Is Mine, were each certified triple-platinum for sales of 3 million copies.
Tweet Says 'Call Me' Anytime On New Single
Tweet's Elektra Entertainment debut
Southern Hummingbird sold nearly 200,000 copies
during its first week on sale, making it one of the biggest debuts for a new artist in the
Warner Elektra Atlantic music group. The talented singer-songwriter strives to keep the
momentum going with a new single.
"Call Me," produced by Timbaland, is the follow-up to the album's Number One R&B hit
"Oops (Oh My)." On the song, the sexy singer gives one of her men an open invitation to
call her anytime. Tweet taped the video for the song Friday (April 19) and Saturday
(April 20) in Los Angeles. While "Oops (Oh My)" and "Call Me" boast Timbaland's
addictive, stuttering, electronic rhythms, Tweet's ballads "Smoking Cigarettes" and
"Motel" showcase her acoustic guitar skills. Tweet, who has been playing guitar for two
years, recently told LAUNCH what prompted her to take up the instrument. "I got tired of
waiting for tracks, people making music, and I just picked it up one day and said, 'Hey.
You know, let me ry to do this.'
Even though I don't even play upright like a regular guitar player, I play (with the guitar)
laying on my lap, and my thumb is usually, maybe like a slide thumb guitar. So I've
created a way I could do it, and just make music," she explained.
Playing guitar has made the songwriting process even more exciting for Tweet, who is
determined to advance her talent. "I want to be the next, what's the guy from Aerosmith
that be killing it?" Tweet added. "But I want to be like that. I want to get into rock."
Luther Vandross To Guest On 'Touched By An Angel'
Luther Vandross will star in the May 4
episode of Touched By An Angel on CBS. In the
episode, Vandross will portray a character who, as a promising singer, missed his
opportunity to audition for a recording contract. The show picks up 20 years later as
Vandross's character begins to wonder if life has passed him by.
In related news, Vandross has announced a four-night stint at the Westbury Music Fair in
Westbury, New York, that begins May 23. The singer, who wrapped a U.S. tour in
February, has a limited summer-performance schedule. After the four dates at Westbury,
Vandross's only other summer stop is a July 4 appearance as part of the Essence Music
Festival in New Orleans. Other acts sharing the bill with Vandross in New Orleans
include the Ohio Players, Alicia Keys, and Gerald Levert.
BBD To Release 'The Best Of Bell Biv Devoe'
Bell Biv Devoe, comprising New Edition
members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and
Ronnie Devoe, will release the Best Of Bell Biv Devoe May 21 on 20th Century
Masters/The Millennium Collection (MCA/UME).
The 10-song album includes such hits as the group's 1990 platinum first single "Poison"
which reached Number One on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart,
and Number Three on the Hot 100 chart. Each of the songs have been digitally
The album includes songs from the group's quadruple platinum debut Poison, as well as
the group's 1993 follow-up Hootie Mack which included the Babyface-penned hit
"Something In Your Eyes."
We recently spoke with Bell about the impact New Edition's choreography has had on
today's boy bands. "When we came out nobody else was [dancing like that]," Bell said.
"It had been maybe like 15 years or so after the Jackson era, so it was like when we came
out nobody else was doing that style. And what we were giving you was original and
good as well. Anything that comes after that is only going to remind people of what was
there first. We're thankful for that. That God blessed us, we came out when we did, and
we had that following that we have."
The following is the album track listing: "Poison," "Do Me!", "B.B.D. (I Thought It Was
Me)," "When Will I See You Smile Again?," "She's Dope," "Gangsta," "Above The
Rim," "Something In Your Eyes," "Show Me The Way," "Do Me (remix)," and "Poison
Musiq Heading To L.A. To Shoot 'Dontchange' Video
Musiq is gearing up for the May 7 release of his sophomore album, Juslisten, and he
heads to Los Angeles May 16 and 17 to shoot the video for his new single,
"Dontchange," with director Chris Robinson. In the meantime, Musiq will make a promo
tour with stops in Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York, Baltimore, Richmond, and
Norfolk before hitting the road with Cee-Lo for a full length North American tour.
The tracklisting for Juslisten includes: "Intro," "Newness," "Caughtup," "Stopplayin,"
"Religious," "Babygirl," "Halfcrazy," "Time," "Future," "Reallove," "Onenight,"
"Previouscats," "Solong," "Bestfriend," "Dontchange," "Motherfather," and "Something."
Eric Clapton Guests On Album From R&B Singer Kelly Price
Eric Clapton collaborates with R&B
singer Kelly Price on the song "Again" from Price's
third album, Priceless, which is due June 25 on Def Soul records. Clapton agreed to
appear on Price's record after her representatives put in her request to work with him, the
singer told us.
Price was surprised to find out that Clapton was familiar with her work: "Once the
connection was made, we found out that Eric Clapton was not only aware of who I was,
but was a very big fan of my work, and agreed to do it with no strings attached, except
for one thing--that I agreed to come back and do a recording with him on his next
Price says the song "has kinda a Latin flavor to it, but it's not beating you over the head
with Latin flavor. You get it because it's very, very heavy with guitars and acoustic feel,
so that's really where it comes from. Other than my voice, the guitar is the dominant thing
in the song."