It has been almost 11 years since TLC released a new track but now the group are gearing up for the release of their new album '20' which will include a selection of their hits and four brand new songs. The duo gave fans a taste of what's to come on the 8 October when they unveiled their newest single; 'Meant to Be', which is penned by the self-proclaimed gentleman of R'N'B, Ne-Yo.
TLC's new film
In addition to featuring on their new album, which will be released on 15 October, the track will also be the theme tune to their biopic; CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story , the group's VH1 Original Movie, set to hit screens on 21 October. The film follows their story of humble beginnings to international stardom and stars KeKe Palmer as Chilli, Drew Sidora as T-Boz, and Lil Mama as Left Eye.
With a career spanning back 20 years and a selection of timeless hits including 'Waterfalls', 'Unpretty' and the hilarious 'No Scrubs', TLC have led where other girl groups can only follow. Billboard magazine pronounced them one of the greatest trios of all time and with 65 million record sales under their belt they are the second best-selling female group in the world, beaten only by the Spice Girls.
Since Left Eye passed away T-Boz and Chilli have performed the group's tracks several times together, but rather than replace Left Eye they have always found a way to incorporate her into the show, usually with pre-recorded vocals. However during TLC's performance at the Mixtape Festival they brought out American rapper; Little Mama to perform Left Eye's verse on 'No Scrubs' and after thanking Lil Mama, Chilli exclaimed: "She (Left Eye) can never be replaced."
The duo paid tribute to their deceased bandmate and T-Boz told the audience they will continue to make music "until the wheels fall off".
TLC's new chapter
Their new album features collaborations with Lil Mama and a song written by Dallas Austin and Lady Gaga called 'Posh Life'.
Speaking about their work with Lil Mama the duo explained their decision:
"For ten years we have been mourning the death of our sister Lisa, and although we have discussed the option of bringing in someone to perform with us, it never felt right at the time," Chilli explained. "Watching Lil Mama on the set of our movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story reminded us of Lisa's spirit, and, for the first time since her passing, we felt everything come together in an organic way."
"Lil Mama's authentic style, although very different from Lisa's, got our creative juices flowing. By bringing her in, we will continue to keep TLC's music alive for a new generation of fans. We are thrilled to be writing this new chapter in the TLC story," T-Boz added.
Their new track has the same flavour as their hits and brings together their trademark vocals, and the lyrics 'it ain't gonna be easy' are pretty poignant, given their situation.
I still find it hard to listen to their music without thinking about Left Eye but while I agree that they couldn't just slot another female rapper in the group, because of their signature style, they need a bar or two of rhymes for it to work. So I can see why they would want to collab' with Lil Mama.
It seems like the ladies are finally ready to move on. But are the fans? Will TLC ever be the same without Left Eye? What do you think?