January 1991- Music manager Pebbles seeks three women to form a hip-hop trio. She holds auditions in Atlanta, Georgia. She chooses three strangers, who will take the hip-hop world by storm. Tionne, T-Boz was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She was born with sickle cell disease. The painful blood disease kept her bedridden throughout her childhood. Singing always made her feel better. Her disease gives her only a 50% chance of surviving to age 40. Chilli was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She grew up never knowing her father. As a child, she fantasized about two things: being a singer and meeting her father. Lisa “Left Eye” was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsyl-vania. Lisa was disciplined by her father for the slightest infraction. When Lisa’s fa-ther drunk, he became abusive. She told her father: “Someday I’ll be famous.“ T-Boz, Lisa and Chilli have instant chemistry with each other.
June 1991- Pebbles brings TLC to the offices of La Face Records. After sing-ing one song La Face Records signs TLC to an eight-album deal. Lisa can’t wait to call her father. One evening TLC confirms their contracts, Lisa’s father is shoot and killed in a family dispute. Lisa is now financially responsible for her family.
1991- production begins on TLC’s debut album. They rehearse eight hour a day, every day. Lisa writes, T-Boz sings lead, Chilli choreographs. February 25, 1992 their debut album is released. TLC launches a national tour. TLC has never been on-stage before. Night-1: There are 16,000 people in the audience. Within seven months, TLC has three singles in The Top 10.
March 1992- Omaha, Nebraska. A sold-out stadium awaits TLC. They are one month into their debut tour. Backstage, T-Boz collapses. She is delirious with pain and is rushed to the hospital. Until now T-Boz kept her disease a secret from Chilli and Lisa. As T-Boz's life hangs in the balance so does the future of TLC. T-Boz remains in the hospital for two weeks. Her sickle cell disease has flared up again. Chilli and Lisa stay by her bedside. She can no longer keep her disease a secret from them. T-Boz is released from the hospital with orders to slow down. If she doesn’t cut back her schedule her life may be in danger. The tour is sold-out. TLC has two months and 27 cities to go. Ending the tour could end TLC’s career. Lisa and Chilli decide to cut down back the tour schedule to protect T-Boz’s health. Despite TLC’s limited the al-bum sells four million copies and launches their career.
TLC goes on media blitz: television appearances, interviews and photo shoots. With TLC’s media exposure Chilli hopes her father will see her and contact her.
1994- While TLC begins work on their second album Chili begins to search for her father. 1995- she receives the call she’s been waiting for. Her father has been found, but is no longer alive. Lisa is now living with football star Andre Rison in his $1,5 million mansion. There are rumors of domestic abuse.
June 1994- Lisa is arrested and charged with arson. She faces up to 20 years in prison. Chilli and T-Boz stop production on TLC’s second album and await Lisa’s sentencing. A prison sentence for Lisa would be the end of TLC. While awaiting trial, Lisa serves six months in rehab for alcohol abuse. She is paroled six hours per day to record TLC’s second album.
December 1994- She is sentenced to five years probation and fine of $10,000. Lisa reconciles with Andre.
November 1994- TLC’s second album Crazy Sexy Cool is released. Media coverage of the fire helps propel the album to the top of the charts. Crazy Sexy Cool earns three Top 10 singles and $ million in sales. Crazy Sexy Cool becomes the best selling hip-hop album of all time. The day the album hits #1 TLC is forced to file for bankruptcy. Despite TLC’s album sales of over $1,4 billion. Lisa, T-Boz and Chilli have nothing to show for it. Pebble’s management contract with TLC entitles her to most of their profits. Lisa can’t support her family. T-Boz and Chilli can’t afford a one-bedroom house. The electric company threatens to shut off their power. Andre Rison’s insurance company makes an $800,000 claim against Lisa for fire damages. TLC asks Pebbles to release them from their contract. Pebbles refuses.
June 1995- TLC is forced to file for bankruptcy in an Atlanta court. TLC de-railed by red tape and lawsuits. TLC cannot tour. They cannot release an album. They cannot work as a group until their case is settled. Their legal battles and problems will continue for the next three years. During this time, T-Boz, Lisa and Chilli focus on unresolved personal issues.
1998- for the first time, T-Boz makes it through an entire year without being hospitalized. She becomes the spokesman for the Sickle Cell Association of America. Lisa fulfills the court’s probation requirements and completes rehab. After six years, she decides to end her relationship with Andre.
1996- Chilli receives a shocking phone call. Her father is still alive and he’s been located. Age 25- Chilli meets her father for the first time. She also discovers she has two brothers and a sister. They are reunited on the Sally show.
November 1996- TLC learns their bankruptcy suit has been settled. TLC nego-tiates a new contract with La Face Records without Pebbles.
1998-TLC regroups and head back to the studio. They immediately start pro-duction on their third album. It has been five years since TLC has toured or released a song.
February 25, 1999- TLC releases their third album. Fan Mail debuts at #1.
1999- The Recording Industry Association of America names TLC “the most successful female group in pop history”.
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