(Billboard) – Nearly 11 years after their last studio album, ‘3D’, TLC is prepping a massive comeback that will include new music, a VH1 biopic and live performances that will include “special guest” Lil Mama temporarily filling the shoes of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Current members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas made the announcements alongside manager Bill Diggins and VH1’s Rick Krim at a press conference on Thursday morning (July 25) in New York.
Part of the resurgence includes the news that TLC has resigned with mentor LA Reid and Epic Records/LaFace, and will release an as-yet-untitled compilation on Oct 15 featuring the group’s hits as well as a collection of new songs. Two tracks have already been penned — “Meant To Be,” written by Ne-Yo, and “Posh Life,” written by Lady Gaga and longtime TLC collaborator Dallas Austin. Other new songs and collaborations are in the works, the group added, including some studio time (and a likely live show) with Drake, and some hoped-for further pairings with J Cole, who recruited T-Boz and Chilli for current single “Crooked Smile”.
Diggins, TLC’s manager since 1998, told Billboard the band has been seeking new music since November 2012 and the response from the industry has been overwhelming. Added T-Boz, “Not one artist has said no, and that’s amazing and a blessing… You know, we’ve been gone for a minute. But to see everyone coming to us like, ‘Yo! We heard y’all working, I gotta be down!’ That’s amazing.”
Monday, Oct 21, will also see the VH1 premiere of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, a biopic chronicling the rise of the group, written by Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got To Do With It), directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline) and executive produced by T-Boz and Chilli. Keke Palmer (“True Jackson: VP”), Drew Sidora (“Step Up”) and rapper Lil Mama (“Lip Gloss”) will portray Chilli, T-Boz and Left Eye, respectively, and a trailer unveiled Thursday shows how uncanny the actresses’ resemblances and shot-for-shot recreations of iconic videos for “Creep,” “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs” really are.