VH1 is taking a detour from their usual reality show and “wives” style programming. They are kicking off a series of scripted made-for-tv music movies. And first up is TLC.
The first film in the series will be about the evolution of girl group TLC. It will be written by screenwriter Kate Lanier (“Set It Off,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Beauty Shop”).
Surviving members of the group, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, have both signed on as consultants and executive producers of the film. Ironically, T-Boz filed for bankruptcy last month.
“The reality of this brings me to tears because I am seeing one of my dreams come to life. I always felt our story had to be told. What makes it even more amazing is having Kate Lanier on board. I remember watching ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ with Lisa, and I knew then whoever wrote that story had to write ours. I will forever be thankful to Jeff Olde for believing in our story and going the extra mile to make it happen,” said Chilli.
And T-Boz stated: “I’m just overjoyed. I appreciate Jeff Olde and everyone on staff at VH1 that took interest in us, thank you. Kate Lanier is amazing. I’m honored to work with her I love her art. Well here we go on another TLC ride and I can’t wait. Like Biggie said ‘Now if ya don’t know, now ya knowwwww.”
Here’s some background on the upcoming film:
The trio TLC, which was comprised of Chilli, T-Boz and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, achieved instant commercial success with their first album, ‘Ooooooohhh… On The TLC Tip’ in 1991 which sold over 6 million copies worldwide and spawned numerous Top 10 singles. But it was the release of their second album; ‘CrazySexyCool’ in 1994 that elevated them to superstar status, that album sold over 22 million albums worldwide and propelled TLC to become the most successful female group in history. They went on to record ‘Fanmail’ selling over 10 million albums and 8 Grammy nominations before Lopes’ untimely death in 2002.
Unfortunately, their fame and success was often overshadowed by pain and heartache. T-Boz suffered from sickle-cell disease, and Left Eye burned down her then-boyfriend and football star Andre Rison’s home in a moment of heated passion. The trio also suffered a very humiliating and public bankruptcy suit at the very height of their career success. This prompted them to hold a press conference about the in’s and out’s of accounting in the record industry to let the public know how this could happen to multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artists when everyone assumed they must be extremely wealthy.
In the midst of what the ladies were experiencing as individuals, a public dispute between Lisa and her group-mates Tionne and Rozonda arose when she felt she had been cut out of their third album, ‘FanMail’. Fortunately, the ladies had patched things up and were working on their fourth album, ‘3D’, when tragedy struck and Lisa was killed in a car accident while on a spiritual retreat in Honduras. In a tribute to Lisa, TLC gave one final concert in June 2003 in New York’s Giants Stadium where T-Boz and Chilli performed to 60,000 fans in front of a video screen playing videos of Lisa performing the same songs right along with them.
The question is, who will play the women?