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Your weekend must-listen: TLC's career collection '20'

Weekends call for a special soundtrack: Something celebratory without being too hype, background-y when needed but also capable of sparking kaffeklatsch-type conversation, and of course, high quality enough that you don’t feel you’re squandering your precious free time listening it. TLC’s 20 retrospective, out this week, hits all those marks and more. Because nothing should be harder than it has to be on the weekend, read this now so you’re ready to listen this evening before you hit the town, or tomorrow morning when you’re mellowing with some coffee.

Background: TLC dominated ’90s R&B with three delightfully titled albums (Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, 1992; CrazySexyCool, 1994; FanMail, 1999) that sold tens of millions of copies and threw off about 10 big hits, from “What About Your Friends” to “No Scrubs,” all of which you can hear on 20. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the group’s flamboyant rapper, died in a 2002 car crash, after which the group broke up.

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TLC premieres new single 'Meant to Be': Hear it here

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TLC’s 20th anniversary this year is a bittersweet milestone considering founding member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes passed away 11 years ago. Still, that isn’t stopping co-founders Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from putting together a VH1-produced biopic about the evolution of the multiplatinum R&B trio CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which premieres October 21.

There’s also a new compilation from the group called 20 that features the new single “Meant to Be,” a sweet, breezy pop tune written by Ne-Yo. Give it a listen below.  READ FULL STORY

Lil Mama to play Left Eye in VH1's TLC biopic

Vh1 has just announced the principal cast of its hotly-anticipated TLC biopic Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story, including the big news of who will be playing the late, great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez.

Lil Mama — the 23-year-old rapper who rose to fame with 2007’s “Lip Gloss” — will take on the Left Eye role, while Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, True Jackson) and Drew Sidora (That’s So RavenStep Up) have been tapped to play Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, respectively.

The TV movie starts filming in R&B group’s hometown of Atlanta, GA, next month, and the actual TLC alums T-Boz and Chilli will serve as consultants.

“We really want fans to experience our story in an authentic way,” Chilli said in a press release. “There is so much to our story that hasn’t been told until this movie, it really has to be done the right way.”

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T-Boz confirms Left Eye projection for TLC reunion tour, says Tupac's hologram made her cry

The Year of the Virtual Performer is officially in full swing.

Fresh of the heels of TLC’s “reunion” tour announcement, member T-Boz confirmed to Essence that the deceased Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes will indeed be represented on tour.

“I have been trying to get a hologram for years, but no one would pay for the budget,” she told Essence. Instead, the group will settle for projecting Left Eye’s likeness on a Jumbotron during shows. “Fans are happy, but it’s a reminder that she’s not here,” she says.

“With Lisa, the first three years, I don’t think I could’ve dealt with a hologram because you see how eerie it is,” she continued, adding: “When I saw the Tupac hologram, it made me feel some kind of way. I had tears in my eyes because he was my friend.”

Read more on EW.com:
On the tenth anniversary of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’ death, TLC announces ‘reunion’ tour
Tupac’s hologram was developed by Oscar-winning effects people, cost a ton of money, has a Twitter account
Review: TLC, 3D


On the tenth anniversary of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' death, TLC announces 'reunion' tour

A decade ago today, TLC rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the most volatile and outspoken member of the platinum R&B trio, passed away following a car accident in Honduras. She was 30 years old. Lopes left behind a legacy of controversy (in 1994, she famously set her NFL player boyfriend’s house on fire) and huge hits (TLC notched four number ones and sold 22 million albums in the nine years they were together).

Now TMZ is reporting that surviving members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas are planning a reunion tour that would incorporate Left Eye into the show via archival footage. It’s not the same as Dr. Dre resurrecting Tupac for a drop-in, but it does further the idea that death need not be the end of a performer’s on-stage life.

Following Lopes’ death, Watkins and Thomas finished the group’s final album 3D without her. Though it was unclear whether or not the group would have stayed together had Left Eye survived the car crash; in a notorious statement published in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, she challenged her other two bandmates (plus producer Dallas Austin) to a showdown where the victor would be decided by album sales.

“I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas to an album entitled The Challenge, a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums,” she wrote. READ FULL STORY

TV Jukebox: 'House,' 'Pretty Little Liars,' 'One Tree Hill,' and more music-on-TV moments

Even though love songs account for about 90 percent of the market (a statistic I just made up as I listened to Adele and Snow Patrol on repeat), it’s been a while since we had a good line-up of serious heart flutterers here on TV Jukebox. From a rain-soaked reunion (Pretty Little Liars) to a synchronized swimming-themed proposal (Glee), it was a good week for all things gushy and gooey. Some were searching for love (Private Practice, Happy Endings), while others were letting it go (Gossip Girl, The Secret Circle).

Of course, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a some rumbling (Teen Mom 2), reconciliation (House), revenge (Hell on Wheels), strip club shenanigans (One Tree Hill, CSI), and straight-up struttin’ (House of Lies). All of which is without mentioning the most disturbing use of ’80s soft rock to come down the pipeline is quite some time. Thanks for that, Criminal Minds! See our latest picks below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!) READ FULL STORY

Did 1995 have the best summer songs of the past 25 years?

summer-1995Every year when the weather turns warm, publications like this one reopen the all-important debate on the best songs of that particular summer. Katy Perry, Kanye West, and Usher are among the artists in contention for the 2010 title by our reckoning. Billboard recently tried to add a scientific and historic dimension to the discussion by ordering the 10 top songs for each summer from 1985 to 2009 based on chart performance. Their 25 individual lists are well worth perusing for anyone inclined to musical nostalgia. Taken together, they also raise an intriguing secondary question: Which of those summers gone by had the best songs?

I hereby nominate 1995. I knew I’d end up picking some year from the ’90s before even looking at the lists, simply because that’s when I first started paying pop music serious attention as an adolescent. Regarding each list more closely, though, I’m struck by how many classic tunes were inescapable between June and August ’95. TLC’s unassailable “Waterfalls” tops the count. At No. 3, it’s the Notorious B.I.G’s timeless “One More Chance.” Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” and All-4-One’s “I Can Love You Like That” round out the R&B roster nicely. Rock fans, meanwhile, could choose between Bryan Adams’ enduringly cheesy “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” and Blues Traveler’s alt nugget “Run-Around.” Yeah, that was a great summer on the radio.

Then again, who’s to say 1985 (Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, Prince) or 1999 (Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys) or 2002 (Nelly, Jimmy Eat World, Cam’ron, Nelly again) doesn’t have it beat? Check out Billboard‘s lists and let us know which summer you think had the best hits.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

Also: EW’s 100 Greatest Summer Songs of All Time

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Carlos Santana’s ‘Guitar Heaven’: Full tracklist revealed

TLC's T-Boz and Chilli to reunite at Justin Timberlake show

The two surviving members of TLC will perform together at an Oct. 17 “Justin Timberlake and Friends” concert in Las Vegas, People.com reports. This marks the first time Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas have played a U.S. show since 2002, the year when bandmate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a car crash.

Considering just how hugely TLC’s music loomed over the R&B scene in the ’90s, this is a pretty big deal. I know I still miss TLC a little bit every time “Waterfalls” or “No Scrubs” comes on the radio. So what do you make of this news? Are you scrambling to get tickets to Vegas already? If the October show goes well, do you think that T-Boz and Chilli should keep the reunion going — either as a duo, or with a new third vocalist? Weigh in below.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Karen O’s Where the Wild Things Are track debuts on MySpace
An EW exclusive video: Band of Skulls
Heidi Montag ‘sings’ at Miss Universe competition

Photo credit: TLC: RD DiMaio/Retna Ltd.; Timberlake: Anthony G. Moore/PR Photos

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