Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, one of the members of the R&B chart-topping group TLC, was tragically killed in a car crash in Honduras on Thursday. She was 30.
Laura Swanson, a spokeswoman for Lopes’ record label Arista Records, told The Associated Press that Lopes was in Honduras on a vacation. She was one of seven people involved in the accident and suffered the only fatality.
“No words can possibly express the sorrow and sadness I feel for this most devastating loss,” Arista president L.A. Reid told AP. Reid was instrumental in bringing the Atlanta-based R&B group to the forefront and helping it become one of the best-selling female groups in history.
“Lisa was not only a gifted and talented musical inspiration, but more importantly, she was like a daughter to me. My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa’s family and friends. Her legacy will be remembered forever.”
TLC, which includes other members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, broke out on the scene in 1992 with their album Ooooooh…On the TLC Tip!. Philadelphia-born Lopes was the rapper of the group and was nicknamed “Left Eye” because she wore a trademark condom as one of the lenses of her glasses during performances.
In 1994, the group scored big with its album CrazySexyCool, which won the women two of their four Grammy Awards. Then, a few years ago, the band declared bankruptcy, claiming its recording contracts were poorly structured.
In 2000, the singer made it known she was unhappy being in the hit group. Watkins, however, told AP later that year that the rift wasn’t a serious one.
“With three women, you agree to disagree. I’m not always going to agree with Lisa, and she’s not always going to agree with me, that’s fine,” Watkins said.
Lopes’ life was not without personal controversy, either. In 1994, she pleaded guilty to arson after she set fire to the mansion of her boyfriend, former Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Rison. Lopes was sentenced to a halfway house and five years’ probation as well as a $10,000 fine.
Recently, TLC had been recording a new album, due to be released this year. Lopes had also signed a solo deal with Suge Knight’s Death Row label under the pseudonym “N.I.N.A.” (New Identity Not Applicable), AP reported, after the failed release of solo album “Supernova” last year.
Lopes’ body will be flown back to the United States by her manager, Swanson told AP.