Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
Few female rappers made the emotional impact on pop culture as Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. As a founding member of the highly successful and Grammy Award-winning trio TLC, she helped usher in a new breed of hip-hop, which blended rap, R&B, soul, and pop sensibilities. Along with bandmates Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas, Lopes shot to fame with the group's 1992 breakout single "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg." Promoting positive messages and safe sex, she wore brightly colored outfits and a condom worn over her left eye as a patch. Lopes' rapid delivery of lyrics brought an urban edge to TLC's music, complemented by T-Boz's soulful strut and Chilli's sexy vocals. In 1994, Lopes was arrested after setting fire to her then-boyfriend's house following a violent fight. One of the most infamous moments in music history, it did little to hurt TLC's career. The group blazed to the top of the charts that same year with their landmark sophomore release <i>CrazySexyCool</i> (1994), featuring the hit singles "Creep" and "Waterfalls." TLC won more raves for its third album <i>FanMail</i> (1999), but it unfortunately was the last time the trio ever worked together. Lopes died in 2002 while filming a documentary in Honduras. The news sent shockwaves throughout the music industry, which mourned the loss of a hip-hop powerhouse and trailblazer who was gone too soon.