Legendary hip-hop girl group TLC have announced plans to release an album later this year, their first new music in 14 years, after successfully crowdfunding the project through Kickstarter. The fundraiser, which was scheduled to last for two months, far surpassed the initial goal of $150,000 and ultimately raised more than $400,000 with the help of more than 4,000 backers.
TLC’s latest studio album is currently 2002’s 3D, the group’s fourth album overall, released posthumously months after the death of member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who was killed in a car accident in Honduras while the album was still in the recording process. The two remaining members, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, completed the album as a duo, using pre-recorded raps and a cappella studio sessions remaining from Lopes’ surviving work and solo projects to incorporate her voice into the finished project. The group swore not to replace Lopes and declared 3D an appropriate close to TLC’s career, but decided to reenter the studio last year to work on new songs.
“This final album will be the first studio album by [just] the two of us,” say Watkins and Thomas of the forthcoming album on its Kickstarter page. “Of course, Lisa’s spirit will always be present in our music. That will never change.”
According to TLC manager Bill Diggins, 15 songs have already been completed for the album. T-Boz also confirmed that both the album and a tour are in the works in a speech at the Crescent Moon Gala, an annual benefit for sickle-cell anemia, a disease which the singer has publicly struggled with for her entire career.
TLC rose to fame in the ‘90s and early 2000s, producing irresistibly catchy tunes that blended pop, funk and R&B, and coming out with hit after hit despite frequent legal battles and friction within the band itself. Perhaps best known for iconic songs like “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs,” “Unpretty” and “Creep,” the overwhelming success of the Kickstarter has proven the group’s enduring influence, longevity and popularity even over a decade after their last album.
“This album, our FINAL ALBUM, is dedicated to all of you that have stuck with us, always challenging us to do our best,” reads TLC’s message on Kickstarter. “And of course, it’s for the new fans too! ;) We just want to put out great music that touches everyone. That’s it.”
In anticipation of the forthcoming album, refresh your memory and watch the video for TLC’s hit, “Waterfalls,” below.