TLC Defends Their Decision To Re-Record ‘Waterfalls’ Without Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes


Last week we got our first listen of a new re-recorded version of TLC’s signature song Waterfalls that features Japanese pop singer Namie Amuro in place of the late Lisa Left Eye Lopes. The single has only been made available in Japan but once it hit the Internets, the rest of the world got a taste of this new version of the track. Both fans and Lopes family members alike have spoken out against the song because they feel that it disrespects Lopes and her memory. Today we hear from TLC member Rozonda Chili Thomas about why she says the song was re-recorded. This new version of Waterfalls was re-recorded and released in order to honor Left Eye’s memory, not blaspheme it, she says.

TLC have defended their decision to re-record ‘Waterfalls’ with a Japanese pop singer. Last week, it was revealed that the band’s two surviving members, T-Boz and Chilli, remade their classic hit with J-Pop star Namie Amuro performing the rap originally performed by Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, who died in a car crash in Honduras in 2002 … The new ‘Waterfalls’ will only be released in Japan, but Left Eye’s sister Reigndrop Lopes has claimed she wasn’t informed in advance. “I did not know about it until a fan posted it online. I mean, it would have been nice if they would have given us a heads up before being surprised,” she told TMZ. However, Lopes added that she had no objections to the re-recording, providing it remains a Japan-only release. Now Chilli has come out to set the record straight and said the reason for the remake is because they don’t own the master recording’s to Lopes’ rap, and all requests to gain rights were rejected. She told TMZ: “We were forced to use a creative way to honor Lisa’s memory and celebrate this milestone with the fans.” The group reportedly reached out to Lisa ‘Left Eye Lopes’ brother in a bid to resolve the issue. In a statement, they said: “We have and always will protect our sister’s legacy as TLC consists of the three of us collectively… there will never be a replacement for Lisa or any members in TLC” … Last month (May), TLC revealed they are recording their first album of new material since 2002’s ‘3D’ with collaborators including Drake and Ne-Yo. The duo are set to make their live comeback next month at The Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which runs from July 26-27.

Yeeeeeeeeah, I dunno. I can totally understand that the surviving members of TLC felt they had to re-record the song if they couldn’t get their hands on the master tapes of Left Eye’s vocal but, IMHO, it was a bad idea from the start to re-record the track with anyone else in Left Eye’s place. They could’ve re-recorded the song, just Chili and Tionne T-Boz Watkins, and left the rap vocal out … or they could’ve rapped Left Eye’s portion themselves. Either case would’ve been a nice way to honor Left Eye’s memory by highlighting the fact that she is gone. Replacing her with someone else — a random Japanese pop star — just feels and sounds bad all around. I don’t honestly think Chili and T-Boz meant any disrespect … but I do think their decision to replace Left Eye was a bad one.


  • Alecia

    Yeah I’m with you Shannon. Some groups have members have members that are simply irreplaceable. To me this would be like the Beatles recording without John Lennon. It just doesn’t work. Some things are left better preserved in history.

    • Shannon

      Alecia, I didn’t write this one but I agree with Trent and with you: ‘Some groups have members have members that are simply irreplaceable.’ Exactly.

    • Alecia

      My bad Trent. I read it and thought it was Shannon. But I agree.

    • @Alecia — No worries, I think we are ALL in agreement here :)

  • azuresque

    Just felt I needed to point out that Namie Amuro is no random pop star. She’s a popular, well respected pop veteran in Japan and Asia with over 20 years in the business. The equivalent of Mariah and Whitney.

  • Tawnie

    Oh Namie Amuro is no random japanese pop star. But I hear ya!