*VH1 just released its first footage from “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” a biopic of the best-selling female group in music history.
The film, set to premiere Oct. 21, is part of a number of events VH1 has in store for the group’s return to the spotlight, including an album and a reunion performance.
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes sold 65 million albums worldwide and became cultural icons in the process. As part of their next stage, TLC has reunited with their mentor L.A. Reid, who originally signed the group to his LaFace Records in 1991. Reid has re-signed them to the LaFace name under Epic Records, which will release an album on October 15.
The yet-to-be-titled collection will feature the group’s biggest singles, plus four new songs, including “Meant To Be,” which was written by Ne-Yo and will be used during the closing credits of the biopic. Another song, “Posh Life,” was produced and co-written by Chilli’s ex Dallas Austin (who co-produced TLC’s CrazySexyCool and FanMail) and Lady Gaga.
The film, which chronicles TLC’s humble beginnings in Atlanta and unprecedented rise to fame in the ’90s, stars KeKe Palmer (Akeela & The Bee) as Chilli, Drew Sidora (Step Up) as T-Boz, and Lil Mama (America’s Best Dance Crew) as Left Eye, who died in a car crash in 2002.
“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,” says Chilli. “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.” Adds T-Boz: “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.”
Lil Mama, who will be featured on the new material on the album, will also join Thomas and Watkins to perform during the group’s July 27th reunion performance at this year’s Mixtape Festival, presented by VH1, which takes place at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey Park, PA.
“Lisa Lopes was a one-of-kind performer who cannot be replaced,” says Lil Mama. “I am grateful to Chilli and T-Boz for the confidence they had in me to portray her in the film and to invite me to perform and record with them and pay tribute to her incredible talent.”
“CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” was written by screenwriter Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got To Do With It, Set it Off) and directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline, Paid in Full), with Thomas and Watkins serving as executive producers. Watch footage from the film below.