Da Brat

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Posted by bender 04/21/2009 @ 18:12

Tags : da brat, rap and hip-hop, artists, music, entertainment

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North of the Creaux's Nest - TheRecordLive.com
Maude her was very impressed so she followed the old man to the car where he is putting up his groceries and loading da brat. Maude says, “You know sir, you were amazing in there. I don't know me how you did it. Dat whole time you kept your composure...
Out: The Steamy Bohemians at ImprovBoston - The Phoenix
Halfway through the show, stand-up comic Carolyn Castiglia busted out her signature move: a freestyle rap — in a cockney accent, as “da brat” — ranking on someone in the front row. In this case, it was a lanky guy whose Hot Topic fedora reminded her of...
Sister soldier tells story of struggle through song - FinalCall.com
MC Lyte, Da Brat at one point really inspired me. I will have to say these are my top three. FC: What do you see as the connection between hip hop in the US and Arabic hip hop? SM: Hip Hop started in the heart, in the streets of the Bronx and it came...
Why we love prequels - Boston Globe
That's why the entertainment industry often coughs up "young [fill-in-the-blank]" stories: 1979's "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days," 1985's "Young Sherlock Holmes," 1988's "Young Guns," the latter a Brat Pack "Billy the Kid....
GOP welcomes Specter - msnbc.com
mentality--- their entire platform is that of a whiny frickin' brat who wants all the toys. Yeah, good strategy to try to tie Bush to Spector. I wonder how effective that will be coming from Bush's rubber stamps. Now that we are rid if the Torture Trio...
Counter Intelligence: Catholics Slam Tom Hanks Flick - NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
Talk radio host Michael Savage was among those named after he called the Koran a "book of hate" and said in most cases a child with autism is "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out." India's first internet porn star is a buxom brunette...
The Shuffle: Checking your source - St. Joseph News-Press
I won't completely give away what “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” did to the plot and some of the characters (especially Deadpool), but let's just say it was the equivalent of portraying Harry Potter as an unlikable, over-confident brat or having Jason...
RICK ROSS - ROSS SLAMMED OVER 'FAKE' SHADES - Contactmusic.com
Bosses at Louis Vuitton are notoriously protective of their brand and won a legal battle last year (08) to stop stars featuring their products in promotional material such as music videos. Rappers TI and Da Brat have both come under fire from the...
The Independent Film Forum: 14. Cheri - Independent
Yet, however hollow-cheeked, breathless and consumptive he may appear, Friend's performance is a sickly as his character coming across as an intensely dislikeable spoilt brat. Teenage girls will swoon – everyone else will probably switch off....

Da Brat

Shawntae Harris (born April 14, 1974 in Chicago, Illinois), better known by her stage name Da Brat is an American rapper who is the first female solo artist in hip hop to go platinum.

She is the half sister of Lisa Raye, an actress and designer.

Harris grew up in Chicago. Her mother and father who never married were long separated, so was raised in two different households. She lived part of the time with her mother and grandmother, and had attended a strict Pentecostal church four times a week, where she played drums and sang in the choir. She also lived with her father and his mother, where she had less restrictions.

Harris attended Kenwood Academy High School from 88-89, where she ran track and played basketball, and she graduated from Marshall High School in 1992.

Regarding her soon-to-be rap name, Harris told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she got the name because she is "a spoiled only child". Harris is the half-sister of actress LisaRaye McCoy.

In 1992, Harris got a big break when she won the grand prize in a local rap contest sponsored by Yo! MTV Raps. For the prize, she got to meet Kris Kross, and they in turn introduced her to their producer, Jermaine Dupri. Dupri was impressed with how Harris rapped with confidence and he signed her to his So So Def label. Dupri cultivated Da Brat's image as a "female Snoop Doggy Dogg", and she became one of the first female "reality-based" rappers.

Da Brat's debut album Funkdafied was released in 1994 and entered the rap albums chart at Number #1. The album went platinum, which made her the first female solo rapper sell one million units. The single also entitled "Funkdafied" reached #1 on the rap singles chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. She had a follow-up hit from the same album, "Give It 2 You", which reached #26 on the Hot 100. During the rest of the decade, she remained more low-key and came to be known more for her "featured" appearances on other rappers' and R&B singers' albums than for her own solo work.

In the summer of 1996 she contributed a rhyme to the hip hop remix of Mariah Carey's hit, "Always Be My Baby". She also made her feature film debut that year in Kazaam with Shaquille O'Neal. During the summer of 1997, Da Brat appeared along with Dupri on a remix of Carey's "Honey (So So Def mix)" and recorded the hit song Ladies Night with Lil' Kim, Left-Eye, Angie Martinez and Missy Elliott. She also did a track called "Ghetto Love" featuring T-Boz of TLC. The song and video was well received and was in heavy rotation for a short period of time. Da Brat was also featured with Kris Kross on their track "Da Bomb" on the album "Da Bomb", as well as on their third album Young, Rich and Dangerous.

1997 she was featured on "Sock It 2 Me", a track on Missy Elliott's debut album, which became a popular single in early 1998. In 1999, Da Brat appeared, alongside Krayzie Bone, on the remix to Mariah Carey's cover of Brenda K. Starr's "I Still Believe". She also appeared as a guest artist with Missy Elliott on Carey's remix of "Heartbreaker", and on the remix of Brandy's "U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To)" with Shaunta.

In 1999 she was also featured on the Destiny's Child album The Writing's on the Wall's single Jumpin', Jumpin', which was an international hit.

In early 2000, Da Brat released her third full-length album Unrestricted, which produced the moderately successful singles "That's What I'm Looking For" (U.S. #56) and "What Chu Like" (U.S. #26), featuring soul singer, Tyrese. The album was not well received compared to Brat's earlier work. However, the new album and new millennium did inspire an image makeover for Da Brat. Abandoning her "gangsta" persona, she decided to follow the trend in popular music and attempted to sex her image up; the video for "What Chu Like" featured Da Brat and Tyrese rolling around naked on a beach. In keeping with her new image, Da Brat exposed her nipples live on MTV's Total Request Live while she was hosting the show.

In 2001, Brat continued her trend of being featured on other artist's remixes, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart along with rapper Ludacris on the main remix of Mariah Carey's "Loverboy" and being featured artist on Destiny's Child's "Survivor" remix. Da Brat also appeared as Louise in Carey's 2001 movie Glitter.

In 2003, Brat released her fourth album, titled Limelite, Luv & Niteclubz, and appeared on the 4th season of VH1's The Surreal Life.

In 2005, she made a comeback of sorts when she was featured on the remix to the song "I Think They Like Me," by Dem Franchize Boyz, which also featured Bow Wow and Jermaine Dupri. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2006, she was an onstage guest on Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi Tour in Atlanta, New York City, Long Island, Washington DC, Chicago,and Los Angeles performing her rap verses on the "Heartbreaker" and "Honey" remixes.

She featured in 2007 on Kelly Rowland's "Gotsta Go"- a bonus track from her 2007 album "Ms. Kelly" and is also featured on a bonus track from Mariah Carey's "E=MC²" on a track entitled "4real4real" which is an iTunes pre-order exclusive (USA) and is also going to feature on the Japanese edition of the album. She also co-wrote a song with Mariah Carey called "O.O.C." which appears on "E=MC²" and contributes backing vocals on the track.

In 2001, Harris pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct after she had beat a woman with a gun during a dispute over VIP seating in a Buckhead, Georgia, nightclub in 2000. The victim in that incident received six stitches for a head wound. Harris ended up serving a year's probation, and performed 80 hours of community service and paid a $1,000 fine.

On October 31, 2007, she was involved in the altercation that ended in assault at a Halloween party at Studio 72 nightclub in Atlanta, Georgia. Harris and a hostess exchanged verbal spars, and later, when the hostess proceeded to talk to Harris' manager, Harris attacked the hostess from behind, striking her in the face with a rum bottle. Harris entered a guilty plea to aggravated assault charges. She was sentenced to three years in prison, seven years of probation, and 200 hours of community service. According to reports, the rapper pleaded to her weeping family as she was led out of the courtroom, saying: "I love y'all".

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Lil' Kim

LilKimCrop.jpg

Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1975), better known by her stage name Lil' Kim, is a Grammy Award winning, American multi-platinum rapper and singer. She is the first female rapper to have a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit. In addition, she is also one of three female rappers to have a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit which was 2001's Lady Marmalade, recorded with Christina Aguilera, Pink, & Mýa.

Lil' Kim was born Kimberly Jones in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. At the age of 9, her parents separated, and her father raised her until he expelled her from home. Afterwards, she lived with friends or on the streets. While struggling through her personal life, Kim met rapper Notorious B.I.G., who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly when Wallace had gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records.

In 1994, B.I.G. was instrumental in introducing and promoting the Brooklyn based group, Junior M.A.F.I.A., which included Lil' Kim (aka "Big Momma" or "The Lieutenant"). The group's first and only album was titled "Conspiracy (Junior M.A.F.I.A. album) "Conspiracy". Three hit singles came from "Conspiracy: "Player's Anthem" (peaked at #7 on the "Billboard" chart and #2 on the chart, "I Need You Tonight" (#43 R&B, #12 Rap), and "Get Money" (#17 on the Billboard Hot 100, #4 R&B, #2 Rap). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Conspiracy Gold on December 6, 1995, marking sales of 500,000 units. "Player's Anthem" was Gold, and "Get Money" went Platinum (sales of a million units).

After a year with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Jones began a solo career by making guest performances on R&B albums and recording her debut album, Hard Core, which was released in 1996. The album peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Hard Core was RIAA-certified double platinum on March 14, 2001 after having been certified Gold on January 6, 1997 and Platinum on June 3, 1997. The album's lead single "No Time", a duet with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs (who would later change his stage name to "P. Diddy" and then "Diddy"), reached the top spot of the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The following single, "Crush on You", reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the rap chart. A remix of the album's track "Not Tonight" saw Lil' Kim team up with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left Eye of TLC. The song was part of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie Nothing To Lose, nominated for a Grammy Award, and certified Platinum. In one stockholders' meeting of Warner Records, activist C. Delores Tucker criticized the label "for producing this filth," referring to perceived graphic sexual content in Kim's lyrics.

From 1998 to 2000, Kim continued her road to stardom under the management of B.I.G.'s best friend, Damion "D-Roc" Butler's "Roc Management", touring and modeling for various fashion and pop culture companies including Candies, Versace, Iceberg, and Baby Phat. In 1998, she performed in P. Diddy's "No Way Out" tour. In the same year, she launched her own label Queen Bee Entertainment and even though she hadn't had an album of her own released, she was seen on dozens of remixes and guest appearances on other artist's records. On June 27, 2000, Kim released her second album The Notorious K.I.M. The album marked a new image and revamped look for the rapper. Despite the limited success of its singles, the album reached #4 on the Billboard 200, and #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart selling 160,000 copies in its opening week. It was certified platinum by the RIAA.

In 2001, Lil' Kim teamed up with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mýa to remake "Lady Marmalade", which was originally written about a bordello in New Orleans and performed by the group Labelle (which included diva Patti LaBelle) 25 years earlier. The song was recorded for the Moulin Rouge! film soundtrack, released in April 2001, and stayed #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song also went to #1 in 50 countries around the world. This was a big accomplishment for female rap, as well as for Kim, who scored her first #1 Hot 100 hit and became the first female rapper in history to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. "Lady Marmalade" also garnered Kim her first Grammy Award.

In 2003, Little Joe recorded a new entrance theme for then World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Women's Champion Trish Stratus entitled, "Time to Rock 'n Roll", which was used during broadcasts, until Stratus' retirement. The single was released on WWE Anthology, a compilation of entrance theme music to various professional wrestling superstars.

On March 4, 2003, Kim released her third critically acclaimed album, La Bella Mafia. Highly rated (4.5 mics) by music magazine The Source, La Bella Mafia spawned the hit "The Jump Off" featuring Mr. Cheeks, which climbed to number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single "Magic Stick", feat. 50 Cent, hit #2 on the Hot 100 without a video ever being shot.

La Bella Mafia debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200. Kim was nominated for five Source Awards and won two ("Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year", and "Female Single of the Year"). This album also got two Grammy Award nominations: Best Female Rap Solo Performance ("Came Back For You") and Best Rap Collaboration ("Magic Stick"). She was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with singer Christina Aguilera for the song "Can't Hold Us Down", from Aguilera's album Stripped.

Greg Thomas, an English professor at Syracuse University, began teaching "Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B@#$H 101 -- The Life and Times of Lil' Kim". Kim herself was a guest speaker at the school. Professor Thomas considered Kim's lyrics "the art with the most profound sexual politics I've ever seen anywhere." David Horowitz criticized the course as "academic degeneracy and decline".

Lil' Kim also made an appearance on the multi-platform videogame Def Jam: Fight for NY. Kim provided voice-overs for her part in the storyline, where the player may fight an opponent to have Lil' Kim as his girlfriend..

Kim released a fourth album, The Naked Truth, on September 27, 2005, whilst serving a federal prison sentence (see below). It earned her a 5 mic rating from The Source, making her the only female rapper to ever accomplish this feat (two 5 mic ratings). The album debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 charts, giving Kim her Third Top 10 debut on the charts. The Naked Truth didn't sell as well as her previous works, selling less than 400,000 copies. Kim has said that her jail sentence left her with no time to promote the project. There have been many rumors about a re-release of Truth but to no avail.

The music video for The Naked Truth's first single, "Lighters Up" was number one on BET's 106 & Park for two weeks. "Lighters Up", was a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The single also reached #76 on the German Single Chart, #12 on the UK Top 75 and #4 on the Finland Single Chart. The second single, "Whoa" was released on February 17, 2006. It reached No. 22 on Airplay. On March 9, BET premiered the show Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, which was filmed before Kim headed to jail. The show became the highest rated premiere in BET history, with 1.7 million viewers.

In May 2006, Debbie Harry released a Lil' Kim tribute song called "Dirty and Deep" in protest of her conviction. The song is available free from the Deborah Harry Home Page.

On June 6, 2006, Lil' Kim The Dance Remixes was released.

She is currently planning to create her own autobiographical film and working her 5th studio album, which is expected to be released in the coming months.

Lil' Kim is appearing on the eighth season of the reality show Dancing with the Stars, which began airing on March 9, 2009. She is paired with professional dancer Derek Hough.

On March 10, 2009, the song "Girls" by the Korean singer, Se7en featuring Lil' Kim was released through digital stores for his U.S. debut single. This song was produced by Darkchild. Lil' Kim also appeared in the music video that was released on the same day.

On March 17, 2005, Kim was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury for lying to a Federal grand jury about her friends' involvement in a 2001 shooting outside the Hot 97 studios in Manhattan.

During the trial of her co-manager, Damion "D-Roc" Butler, and her bodyguard, Suif "Gutta" Jackson, a former member of the hip-hop group Junior M.A.F.I.A, she testified not to have known they were at the scene. However, video footage from a security camera placed all three at the scene, exiting the building. This directly contravened testimony before the grand jury.

Butler and Jackson have since pled guilty to gun charges. Jackson was sentenced, in U.S. District Court, to twelve years in federal prison as part of plea bargain in which he admitted to firing at least twenty rounds during the incident. The length of the sentence was said to have been influenced by his previous gun-related convictions.

In July 2005, Kim was sentenced to a one-year-and-a-day, thirty days home detention upon release from custody and three years of probation. She requested to serve her time at prison camp in Connecticut in order to be close to her mother, however, she was ordered to report to the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia instead where she served the entirety of her sentence.

Regarding her sentence, an attorney for Kim stated, "A year and a day is actually less than a year sentence, because according to federal sentencing guidelines, if there's an extra day, time is credited to you". A parole bill was filed that reduced her sentence. She was released on September 19, 2006, after serving approximately 10 months.

Kim and Derek Hough are partnered on season 8 of Dancing with the Stars. Their first performance took place on March 9, 2009. During Week 1, she performed a Cha-Cha-Cha to the song "Nasty", which earned praise from the judges. Week 2, she and Hough performed a Quickstep to the Marilyn Monroe staple "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." In week 3, they performed a Samba to "Remedio P'al Corazon", once again receiving praise, and prompting judge Len Goodman to call her "bionic booty." During week 4, they performed the Argentine Tango, garnering them the first 10 score of the season from Bruno Tonioli, despite mild criticism from Len Goodman regarding a lack of sensuality.

In week 5, Kim and Hough performed a Viennese Waltz, which earned good feedback from the judges, and which earned Kim and Derek the encore performance spot on the results show. In week 6, they danced the jive which earned them the highest scores for the night.

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TLC (band)

TLC at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards

TLC was a four-time Grammy Award-winning American Hip Hop and R&B group, consisting of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. Billboard magazine ranks the group as one of the greatest musical trios of all time. They have had #1 hit singles such as, "Creep", "Waterfalls", "No Scrubs", and "Unpretty". According to the RIAA and Billboard, TLC are the most successful R&B Girl Group and has been certified for more than 22 million records in the United States. In 2008, the group was inducted into the All Time Hot 100 Artist Hall of Fame by Billboard magazine at 56th place.

Their second album, CrazySexyCool (1994), was the first album by a female group to be awarded diamond certification by the RIAA for selling over 11 million copies in the USA. The group was sometimes controversial, from their use of condoms as fashion accessories in the early 1990s, to Lopes' troubles with both the law and her groupmates.

In early 2002, just before the release of TLC's fourth Album, 3D, Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras. Watkins and Thomas promoted 3D as a duo, and in 2005, hosted a reality television show, R U the Girl, with a grand prize of a chance to record a song and perform once in concert with the surviving group members, both of whom have released solo material and continued to occasionally collaborate.

In 1990, Atlanta, Georgia teenager Crystal Jones put out a call for two more girls to join her in a trio to be called 2nd Nature. Her request was eventually answered by Tionne Watkins, a native of Des Moines, Iowa who moved to Atlanta with her family at an early age, and Lisa Lopes, a rapper who had just moved to the city from her native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with only a keyboard and US$750. The group eventually managed to arrange an audition with R&B singer Perri "Pebbles" Reid, who had started her own management and production company, Pebbitone. Impressed by the girls, Reid renamed the group "TLC" and arranged an audition for them with local record label LaFace Records, run by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Reid's then-husband, Antonio "L.A." Reid. The latter Reid saw potential in Watkins and Lopes but felt that Jones should be replaced; within a few days, part-time Damian Dame backup dancer Rozonda Thomas was brought in to replace Jones. The girls were signed to LaFace through a production deal with Pebbitone (with Perri Reid taking the role of the group's manager) (see Artist development deal) and almost immediately went into the studio with producers Reid and Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Marley Marl to produce their first album. TLC also sang the opening theme for the hit Nickelodeon sketch comedy show, All That.

Besides being an acronym for "Tender Loving Care", the name "TLC" consisted of the initials of the first names of the original members of the group. Therefore, when Thomas joined, the girls came up with nicknames to match these letters: Watkins became "T-Boz", Lopes "Left Eye", and Thomas "Chilli".

TLC's lyrics, chiefly written by Lopes and Dallas Austin, were playful, female-empowering anthems characterized by Lopes's quirky, nasal-toned raps, Watkins's low-voiced lead vocals, and Thomas's powerful vocals and harmonization. The musical formula was augmented by the girls' brightly-colored videos and curious costuming: each girl wore wrapped condoms on their clothing (Lopes also wore one in a pair of glasses over her left eye).

During TLC's first national tour, as MC Hammer's opening act, Lopes and Thomas discovered that Watkins had sickle-cell disease, an ailment which she kept a closely-guarded secret until she became ill while TLC was touring the Southwest US. Watkins continued to battle her condition and eventually became a spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America in the late 1990s. At the conclusion of the tour, TLC decided to take more control of their careers and thus informed Perri Reid that they no longer wished her to be their manager. Reid released the group from its management deal, but they remained signed to Pebbitone, and Reid continued to receive a share of their earnings.

Lopes had started dating Atlanta Falcons American football player Andre Rison shortly after the release of Ooooooohhh.... On the TLC Tip, and by 1994 the two were living together in Rison's upscale double-story home. Their relationship was allegedly filled with violent moments, and Lopes filed an assault charge against Rison on September 2, 1993. Rison denied battering her. Lopes was also battling alcoholism, having been a heavy drinker since her early teen years. After another fight between the couple in the early morning hours of June 9, 1994, Lopes tossed numerous pairs of Rison's newly purchased shoes into a bathtub, doused them with lighter fluid, and lit them on fire. The Plexiglas bathtub quickly melted and set the structural frame of the house on fire. Lopes was arrested and indicted on charges of first-degree arson; she was sentenced to five years of probation and a $10,000 fine. Rison eventually reconciled with Lopes, and they continued dating on-and-off for most of the next few years.

During the fall of 1994, TLC re-entered the studio with Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface, Organized Noize, and Sean "Puffy" Combs to record their second album, CrazySexyCool. Lopes was released from rehab to attend the recording sessions, but the finished album featured significantly less of her raps and vocals. The album instead focused more on the contributions from Watkins and Thomas, and had a smoother, more fluid sound, similar to the most successful single from the first album, the US #2 hit "Baby-Baby-Baby". All four singles from CrazySexyCool reached the top 5 of the US Hot 100, while "Creep" and "Waterfalls" peaked at no. 1, while Red Light Special reached no. 2 and "Diggin' on You" reached no. 5. "Waterfalls", an Organized Noise-produced song that featured an old-school soul-based musical arrangement, socially-conscious lyrics criticizing drug dealing and unsafe sex, and an introspective rap from Lopes, became TLC's biggest hit, and its million-dollar music video was an MTV staple for many months.

CrazySexyCool eventually sold over 11 million copies in the US, becoming one of only seven R&B albums to ever receive a diamond certification from the RIAA, and won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album and a 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for "Creep". However, in the midst of their apparent success, the members of TLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 3, 1995.

They declared debts totaling 3.5 million dollars, much of it because of Lopes's insurance payments arising from the arson incident and Watkins's medical bills, but the primary reason being that each member of the group was taking home less than $35,000 a year after paying managers, producers, expenses, and taxes. They sought to renegotiate their 1991 contract with LaFace, under which they only received seven percent of the revenues from their album sales, and to dissolve their association with Pebbitone. Both Pebbitone and LaFace countered that TLC simply wanted more money and were in no real financial danger, resulting in two years of legal debates before the cases were finally settled in late 1996. TLC's contract was renegotiated, their production deal with Pebbitone and Perri Reid (who had separated from her husband by this time) was rescinded, and the group appeared on the Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack with "This Is How It Works" and was set to re-enter the recording studio in 1997 after signing a new contract with LaFace.

Preliminary work on TLC's third album, FanMail, was delayed when friction arose between the group and their main producer Dallas Austin, who was by this time dating Thomas and helping to raise their young son Tron. Austin wanted $4.2 million and creative control to work on the project, resulting in a stand-off between the producer and the artists. During this period, TLC Thomas appeared in the independent film HavPlenty, and Watkins co-starred in Hype Williams' 1998 film Belly with rappers Nas and DMX. Watkins made a solo song in late 1996 called "Touch Myself". Lopes started her own Lopes Productions artist development company and signed Blaque, a TLC-like female R&B trio. She also appeared on the "Ladies Night" remix with fellow female rappers including Lil' Kim, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, Da Brat and Angie Martinez, which garnered the collaboration a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo, Band, or Group in 1998.

TLC eventually began working with other producers for the FanMail album, until finally negotiating with Austin, who produced the bulk of FanMail and gave the album a futuristic, more pop-based feel. FanMail was another success for TLC, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and selling over 6 million copies in the U.S. The album featured the number-one hit "No Scrubs", produced by Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, and the single "Unpretty," an alternative rock-styled song about self-love written by Watkins and Dallas Austin (another version of it sampled Dennis Edwards' 1984 hit "Don't Look Any Further"), that also reached the top of the charts. At the Lady of Soul Awards the groups was honored with the Aretha Franklin entertainer of the year award.

The videos for both songs were heavily featured on MTV and BET, and three more singles received decent radio play: "Silly Ho", "I'm Good at Being Bad", and Edmonds-written ballad, "Dear Lie". A music video was also released for "Dear Lie". Like CrazySexyCool, FanMail won the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album of 2000 and Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "No Scrubs". The group went on a worldwide tour simply named The Fanmail tour. While the first leg of the tour sold poorly and made the group lose 500,000 dollars, most of the second leg of the tour was sold out. The group had a PayPerView special of their tour which at the time became PayPerView's highest grossing televised special.

The ladies eventually settled the feud, and The Challenge was never followed through. After the conclusion of the successful FanMail tour, the ladies, however, took some time off and pursued personal interests. Lopes was the first to begin recording her solo album, Supernova. In 2000, Spice Girl Melanie C released a single co-written with Lopes in the UK and Europe, called "Never Be the Same Again"; it became a hit reaching #1 in many countries.

Before the recording of their fourth album, 3D, there was a dispute between Lopes on one side and Watkins and Thomas on the other. Lopes originally wanted to withdraw from the group in order to see if they could duplicate their prior success without her contributions. Lopes eventually pursued solo stardom and recorded her first album Supernova, however it underperformed overseas and was never officially released in the United States. Before the album was completed, Lopes died in a car crash.

Returning from yet another hiatus after Lopes's death in a car crash in 2002 while on missionary work in Honduras, Watkins, Thomas and Austin decided that they would complete the remainder of their fourth album, to be called 3D, which also featured production from Rodney Jerkins, The Neptunes, Raphael Saadiq, Missy Elliott and Timbaland. The decision was also made that TLC would retire after the release and promotion of 3D, rather than replace Lopes and continue. Lopes had already completed her vocals for four songs; the remainder were performed by the remaining group members alone, who eulogized Lopes on a number of the tracks. It was their most personal and meaningful album in most fans' eyes, despite it being poorly received.

The first single for 3D was "Girl Talk", the video for which featured Watkins and Thomas alone in live-action segments and Lopes in animated segments. Its follow-up, "Hands Up", featured only Watkins and Thomas in its video, but took place in a nightclub named Club Lopes (Lopes' production company's "eye" logo was a prominent feature on the club's walls). The album only sold two million copies in its first year of release, and "Girl Talk" was the only single to reach the U.S. top forty with a peak position of number 28; "Hands Up" never charted, and a third single, "Damaged", reached number 53. However, the singles enjoyed a bit more success in Europe and Asia.

In June 2003, at Zootopia, an annual concert hosted by New York radio station Z100 held at Giants Stadium, TLC appeared in what was announced to be their last performance. The group, introduced by Carson Daly, showed a video montage dedicated to Lopes, and went on to perform songs against video footage of Lopes performing the same songs, and wearing the same outfits, that were appearing onstage. Fan reaction to the performance led Watkins and Thomas to decide not to disband the group.

In 2003, LaFace had scheduled the release of Now and Forever: The Hits, a TLC greatest hits album with a new song, "Come Get Some", featuring Lil Jon and Sean Paul of the YoungBloodZ. However, the compilation was not released domestically until June 2005, although versions of the compilation were released internationally in 2004 and the album was also available as a legal download from the iTunes Music Store in November 2004. On June 21, 2005, Now and Forever: The Hits was quietly released in the United States; the album debuted at number 53 with 20,000 copies sold.

On June 25, 2004, Watkins and Thomas announced that they were pitching a reality television show, where contestants would compete for a chance to record a single and perform in concert with the two of them. The show was eventually picked up for development by UPN. R U The Girl with Watkins & Thomas debuted on UPN on July 27, 2005. The winner of the show would record with them on a new single and perform the track with them in a live concert finale in Atlanta. Roughly 4.1 million viewers tuned in for the season finale of R U The Girl on September 20, 2005, with 20-year-old Tiffany "O'so Krispie" Baker as the winner. Despite media speculation that the winner of the series was to become a new, permanent member of TLC, Watkins and Thomas have stated never to replace Lopes with a new member.

On October 4, 2005, "I Bet", the first new Watkins and Thomas single in over two years, was released to radio and on the iTunes Music Store, credited to "R U The Girl with Watkins & Thomas" with no mention of the TLC name on the package. The song was also appended to pressings of Now and Forever: The Hits released after October 11, 2005. "I Bet" failed to chart in America and Europe, ending reports that Watkins and Thomas were putting the finishing touches on a repackaged Greatest Hits album.

During the fall of 2005, Watkins lent her vocals to both "It's Good", a track from the 2005 Youngbloodz album Ev'rybody Know Me, and an Atlanta sports anthem titled "The ATL", featuring Monica, and Ciara, among other artists. Furthermore she co-produced the motion picture ATL (based on Dallas Austins' high school experiences) and worked on a clothing line for kids titled, "Chase's Closet".

On May 15, 2007, Now and Forever: The Video Hits was finally released in the United States, after over four years of delayed release dates. A documentary on Lisa Lopes entitled Last Days of Left Eye premiered Saturday, May 19, 2007 on VH1 and VH1 Soul. The documentary chronicled the final days of Lopes' life up to moments before her fatal crash that claimed her life.

On August 20, 2007 a new greatest hits album was released in the UK called Crazy Sexy Hits: The Very Best of TLC, a play on the group's best selling album title Crazy Sexy Cool. Now and Forever: The Video Hits was also released in the UK for the first time on the same date. The album fared better than previous compilation Now and Forever: The Hits, peaking at #57 on the UK album chart (Now and Forever: The Hits made #86).

On June 24, 2008, Watkins and Thomas made a special appearance on the BET Awards. They, along with the original members of En Vogue and SWV, performed in Alicia Keys' tribute to girl groups. Watkins, Thomas, and Keys performed "Waterfalls". TLC were also presenters at the BETJ Virtual Awards on November 25, 2008. Both Watkins and Thomas recently performed together in a concert series in Japan featuring 16 of TLC's greatest songs in April 2009.

In an interview with popular fansite CyberTLC World, Watkins spoke about upcoming plans which included her solo album which she had already begun recording. No planned release date on the album at the moment. In that interview, Watkins also spoke about a possible TLC movie which bandmember Rozonda Thomas is also interested in making. An upcoming TLC-related television program is also in the works as well as an "uplifting" book that Watkins is currently writing. During the interview, Watkins also spoke about TLC's future as a group, stating it was not likely that there will ever be another album from the group but that there will possibly be a farewell tour sometime before she releases her solo project. Watkins recently launched a series of profiles on popular social networking sites Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, YouTube as well as her very own web site titled,www.bozbizz.com to promote her upcoming endeavors. She was featured on The Celebrity Apprentice until she was fired on 04/05/2009.

In honor of Left Eye, a compilation was released on January 27th, 2009, under the name "Eye Legacy". The album will feature old and unreleased material in remixed form. Guests on the album include TLC, Lil Mama, Chamillionaire, Missy Elliott, Clyde McKnight, and Bobby Valentino.

Thomas' debut solo album titled, Bi-Polar is scheduled to be released sometime in 2009 or 2010. Watkins debut untitled solo album is to be release in 2009.

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I Still Believe

Carey on the set of the music video for "I Still Believe".

Brenda K. Starr recorded the song for her debut album Brenda K. Starr, and it was produced by E. Deodato. The song was based on a real life relationship of one of its songwriters, Antonia Armato: Armato's former boyfriend had proposed to her, but she felt that the timing was not right. He was not pleased, and pushed her into an ultimatium: to get married or break up. Even though Armato loved her boyfriend at the time, she stuck to her convictions and the couple broke up. To deal with her emotional pain, Armato wrote the song.

It was released as the first single from Starr's debut album in 1988 (see 1988 in music) and peaked at number thirteen on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Starr's first and only top twenty single on the Hot 100. Its video comprises scenes of Starr singing the song in a warehouse intercut with scenes of her walking past many romantic couples. It is considered her signature song, and in 1996 (see 1996 in music) she recorded a new version of it. While the original version of the song was dance-pop, the re-recording was based on a more Latin-styled production, and parts of the song were also translated into Spanish. The original version of the song was ranked seventh on VH1's list of "40 Most Awesomely Bad Breakup Songs".

Mariah Carey co-produced her cover of the song with Stevie J and Mike Mason for her eighth album, #1's, and it was released as the album's third single in 1999 (see 1999 in music). She re-recorded the song as a tribute to Starr, as she had been Starr's backing singer in the late 1980s and Starr had helped jump start Carey's career by handing a demo tape to Sony executive Tommy Mottola, who then signed Carey's first recording contract.

Unlike the preceding single from #1's, "When You Believe", "I Still Believe" enjoyed more success within the United States than elsewhere, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Though it was Carey's first single to chart on radio airplay points alone, its airplay was relatively low while sales were much stronger. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, and was ranked thirty-sixth on the Hot 100 year-end charts for 1999. Outside the U.S. it settled in the middle of the charts, such as in Spain or the United Kingdom where it reached the top twenty. It entered the Canadian top ten, but did not reach the top forty in Australia or Germany.

The single's video, directed by Brett Ratner, was heavily inspired by Marilyn Monroe's 1953 visit to U.S. troops in Korea for a USO show. It shows Carey (who emulates Monroe's make-up and hairstyles and Judy Garland's performance gestures) visiting Edwards Air Force Base in California and singing for airmen and soldiers as Monroe had done during the Korean War.

A remix of the song was produced by Carey and Damizza titled "I Still Believe/Pure Imagination" (formally "I Still Believe (Damizza Reemix)" ). It differs significantly from the original, as it retains none of the music and only minor lyrical elements. The melody is based heavily on interpolations of the song "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and the song features rapped and sung parts by Krayzie Bone (of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) and Da Brat.

An abbreviated version of "I Still Believe/Pure Imagination", without Da Brat and more from Krayzie Bone, can be found on Bone's album Thug Mentality 1999. A video for the remix was commissioned and directed by Carey herself, showing her as a peasant girl in a Mexican village as she tends to her goats and gathers water for her family. Bone is portrayed as a pariah of sorts in the town, in whom Carey may have a romantic interest. Da Brat takes on the role of the community gringo, as she arrives in a car with a lot of money.

Several other remixes of the song were created, and each was carefully overseen by Carey, who re-recorded her vocals for all of them. Stevie J, who co-produced the original song, enlisted the help of rappers Mocha and Amil to join Carey on a remix he was developing. Although it contains completely new musical elements (with no music derived from the original and only small lyrical elements), Carey, Stevie J and the rappers do not receive songwriting credit.

David Morales created several remixes of the song, including the "Classic Club" mix. It retains the song's original music and chord progressions with Carey's original vocals and considerable ad libs. Other remixes by Morales include "The King's Mix" and the "Eve of Souls" mix, which do not contain complete vocals of the song, and feature little more than ad libs and shouting over club beats.

Jamaican dancehall artist Beenie Man sampled most of the lyrics under the song Crazy Notion from his Art and Life album, released in 2000.

In 1989, Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam covered this song in Cantonese, with the title 依然 ('Still'). She also covered the English version of the song in 1990.

1 "I Still Believe"/"Pure Imagination".

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Loverboy (song)

“Loverboy” cover

The sample of Cameo's "Candy" that Carey had used for the song was not her first choice: she had originally wanted to use a sample of the song "Firecracker", originally performed by Martin Denny but popularized by the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Producers of Sony Music artist Jennifer Lopez's song "I'm Real" had used the sample in her song, and because Lopez' album was released first, Carey discarded the "Firecracker" sample. She later used an interpolation of the melody of "Firecracker" in the main remix of "Loverboy". Small snippets of the original version of "Loverboy" featuring the "Firecracker" sample are heard in some advance trailers for the film Glitter, for which the album Glitter served as a soundtrack. In the film, "Loverboy" is the first major hit single by Billie Frank (played by Carey).

According to "Firecracker"'s music publisher, Lopez called to license a sample of the song a month after Carey had. Sony denied reports that record executive and Carey's ex-husband Tommy Mottola shared information about "Loverboy" with Lopez, while "The Inc"'s Irv Gotti said that Mottola contacted him with instructions to create a song that sounded exactly like another Glitter track he produced called "If We" featuring rappers Ja Rule and Nate Dogg.

The single's video, directed by David LaChapelle, uses the album version of the song and features appearances from both Carey and Cameo. Cameo can be seen driving all over a racetrack (Los Angeles County Raceway) and vocalizing as Carey, dressed in revealing clothing, is shown singing in various "car girl" positions at the track on a hot summer day. She flags down cars as the "flag girl" and dances as a "tire girl" in a kaleidoscope-inspired sequence, before jumping out of a cake to the roars of the crowd below.

The song's main remix, titled "Loverboy (remix)", uses the same sample as the album version and retains all of Carey's original vocals. It has a different introduction, the singing and spoken parts of Cameo are greatly reduced (and are not credited), and additional raps are included by Da Brat, Ludacris, Shawnna, and Twenty II. A video was also made for the remix and retains most of the shots of the original. In it, Ludacris and Shawnna can be seen rapping together as they ride in an old car, while Da Brat and Twenty II rap together in a more modern car without a hood. The "Firecracker" version of the song was rumored to feature Da Brat, and the remix of the "Firecracker" version featured Lil' Kim. Neither have ever surfaced.

David Morales created some club remixes of the song that contain re-recorded vocals, including "Loverboy (Club of Love remix)". Two-Step producer MJ Cole produced remixes which retain the original vocals of the song, but involve restructuring.

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Sock It 2 Me

“Sock It 2 Me” cover

The track peaked at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and reached the top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, the Rhythmic Top 40, and on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts.

The music video was directed by Hype Williams and is clearly inspired by the Mega Man video game series. It takes place on a remote planet where Missy Elliott & Lil' Kim are wearing red and white space suits being chased by robot monsters. Towards the end of the video Elliot & Kim are rescued by Da Brat who starts to rap her verse and is wearing a black and yellow space suit. One notable moment in the video is when Elliott and other dancers are in a space ship doing Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" dance.

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Always Be My Baby

“Always Be My Baby” cover

Outside the U.S., the song became another success, but it was unable to match the chart success of "Fantasy" in most markets. Although generally performing less well than "One Sweet Day," it reached the top five in Canada and the United Kingdom, where it fared better than all of Carey's releases from Daydream. In Australia, it reached the top twenty.

The music video for "Always Be My Baby" was the second to be directed by Carey. She is the seemingly happy narrator of a tale of young love, as a young boy and a girl elope in the middle of the night. The video was filmed on location at Carey's sponsored charity, Camp Mariah.

The main remix of this song, also known as "Always Be My Baby (Mr. Dupri Mix)", features re-sung vocals with most of the melodic structure retained while using a sample of the song "Tell Me If You Still Care" by The S.O.S. Band, including vocals from Da Brat and Xscape. (Da Brat would later go on to rap on remixes of "Honey" (1997), "I Still Believe" (1998), "Heartbreaker" (1999), "Loverboy" (2001), and "4real4real", an international bonus track for Carey's latest album, E=MC².) A video was created for the Mr. Dupri Mix, which shows Carey, Da Brat, and Xscape hanging out around Carey's former mansion. It is in black and white and has the shot of Carey in a beret that would become the cover for this single.

Dance remixes with re-recorded vocals were created by David Morales and Satoshi Tomiie of Def Mix Productions. There was also a reggae remix featuring Lil' Vicious.

On Season 7 of American Idol, David Cook performed a rock arrangement of the song during the April 15, 2008 episode, in which Carey mentored the contestants on her songs. His version received high praise from all three judges, and even Carey herself. Cook's version charted and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 67.

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Source : Wikipedia