Born: May 27, 1971
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA
Death: April 25, 2002
Place of Death: La Ceiba, Honduras
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
Lisa Nicole Lopes, better known by her stage name Left Eye, was a hip hop singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer. Lopes was best known as one-third of the R&B girl group TLC, alongside Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas.
Lopes was the daughter of Wanda Denise (née Andino), a seamstress, and Ronald Lopes Sr., a US Army staff sergeant, and was of Cape Verdean, Portuguese and African American descent. She had a younger brother, Ronald Jr., and a younger sister, Raina Anitra (who professionally goes by Reigndrop). Lopes said her father was "very strict, very domineering" and that he treated the family like they were in "boot camp". He was also a "talented musician" who played the harmonica, clarinet, piano, and saxophone.
Lopes' parents separated when she was still in school, and she was raised by her paternal grandmother during the later years of her childhood. She began playing with a toy keyboard at five years old, and later composed her own songs. By age 10, she formed the musical trio The Lopes Kids with her siblings, with whom she sang gospel songs at local events and churches. She attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls.
At the age of 19, went to an open casting call for a new girl group and moved to Atlanta to audition. Originally starting as a female trio called 2nd Nature, the group was renamed TLC, derived from the first initials of its members at the time: Tionne, Lisa and Crystal. Things did not work out with Crystal Jones, and TLC's manager Perri "Pebbles" Reid brought in Damian Dame backup dancer Rozonda Thomas as a third member of the group. To preserve the band's original name, Rozonda needed a name starting with C, which is how she became "Chilli," a name chosen by Lopes. Bandmate Tionne Watkins became T-Boz, derived from the first letter of her first name and "Boz" (slang for "boss"). Lopes was renamed "Left Eye" after a compliment from a man who once told her he was attracted to her because of her left eye. Lopes emphasized her nickname by wearing a pair of glasses with the right lens covered by a condom, in keeping with the group's promotion of safe sex, wearing a black stripe under her left eye, and eventually getting her left eyebrow pierced.
The group arrived on the music scene in 1992 with the album Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip. With four hit singles, it sold six million copies worldwide, leading to the group becoming a household name. Two years later CrazySexyCool was released, selling over 23 million copies worldwide, and cemented TLC as one of the biggest female groups of all time. TLC's third album, FanMail, was released in 1999 and sold over 14 million copies worldwide. Its title was a tribute to TLC's loyal fans and the sleeve contained the names of hundreds of them as a "thank you".
Besides rapping and singing background vocals on TLC recordings, Lopes was one of the creative forces behind the group. She received more co-writing credits than the other members. She also designed the outfits and staging for the group and contributed to the group's image, album titles, artworks, and music videos. Through her work with TLC, Lopes won four Grammy Awards.
During her short solo career, Lopes scored two US top-ten singles with "Not Tonight" and "U Know What's Up", as well as one UK number-one single with "Never Be the Same Again". She also produced the girl group Blaque, who scored a platinum album and two US top-ten hits. Lopes remains the only member of TLC to have released a solo album.
On April 25, 2002, Lopes was killed in a car crash while conducting charity work in Honduras. She swerved off the road to avoid hitting another vehicle, was thrown from her car, and died instantly. She was working on a documentary at the time of her death, which was released as The Last Days of Left Eye and aired on VH1 in May 2007.
He was born in Germany on a US Army base and bounced around, living in San Antonio, TX and Fayetteville, NC among other places. He has a son named Solomon who was also part of the cast of Shameless.