TLC’s final album will arrive this summer — hopefully

TLC members Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, shown in 2013, raised funds on Kickstarter for their final album.
TLC members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, shown in 2013, raised funds on Kickstarter for their final album.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

More than two years after TLC said it would record one final album — which would be funded by fans through Kickstarter — the R&B/hip-hop group have announced the record is tentatively set for release this summer.

“We would have loved to have delivered this album sooner to you, but we are confident that you will agree that it was worth the wait when you hear it,” the group’s longtime manager, Bill Diggins, wrote on behalf of the group on Monday. “The pursuit of excellence is never an easy task and always takes longer than expected.”

In early 2015, TLC’s surviving members, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, launched a campaign on the crowdfunding site to record their first new album in more than a dozen years. It would be the group’s first record since the death of founding member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in 2002.


The group hoped to raise $150,000 in 30 days – they did it in fewer than three – and hit $430,255 by the campaign’s final day, making it the fastest-funded project from a pop act.

Among the benefactors were some very famous names: New Kids on the Block – who co-headlined an arena tour with TLC -- put $20,000 toward the campaign, and Katy Perry contributed $5,000.

“We’ve always been known to do innovative, creative and out-of-the-box things,” Watkins previously told The Times. “Kickstarter is one of those opportunities. It’s really ideal for artists who want to express themselves creatively without restrictions, and this is the perfect platform to do an album with our fans and have them involved.”

Supporters will be covering writing and studio sessions with producers and engineers, as well as other costs associated with making the album. TLC is also offering creative say in album tracks and packaging.

“They are going to be heavily involved,” Thomas said. “The title of the album, how it will look -- everything. There will be a poll when it comes to the songs.”

The group had originally set a September 2015 release date for the project, and the delay didn’t go over well with fans as they awaited updates — something Diggins acknowledged in his statement.


“At the time we had no music, no producers, no writers and a few ideas. We also were in the middle of rehearsals for TLC’s first arena tour since the FanMail Tour and therefore on the road for most of the year,” the statement said.

TLC offered previews of two new tracks from the forthcoming album, “Joyride” and “Haters,” late last year.

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