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Keke Palmer, Drew Sidora cast in VH1's TLC biopic

Rapper Lil Mama, Keke Palmer and actress-singer Drew Sidora are set to portray the groundbreaking R&B/hip-hop/pop trio TLC in an upcoming VH1 biopic.

February 19, 2013|By Gerrick D. Kennedy
  • Lisa Lopes, left, Rozanda Thomas and Tionne Watkins of TLC.
Lisa Lopes, left, Rozanda Thomas and Tionne Watkins of TLC. (Dahler )

The VH1 biopic of platinum-selling girl group TLC is taking shape.

Rapper and VMA stage crasher Lil Mama, Keke Palmer and actress-singer Drew Sidora (“The Game”) are set to portray the groundbreaking R&B/hip-hop/pop trio known for its brazen anthems and fiery interpersonal drama.

"I would sing 'No Scrubs' over and over again to the point my parents would have to tell me to stop, but I never did, I had my little hairbrush as my mic and nobody could tell me I wasn't the fourth member of TLC," Palmer said in a statement announcing her casting.

Lil Mama, the rambunctious voice behind “Lip Gloss” and judge of MTV’s “America's Best Dance Crew,” will take on the role of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in a car crash in Honduras in 2002. Palmer (“Akeela & the Bee”) is tapped to portray Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and Sidora will play Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins.

Thomas and Watkins also announced a musical comeback that would include their first original material since their 2002 album “3D,” which was released six months after Lopes’ death. The surviving members are expected to cut new music for a soundtrack to the VH1 film. Earlier last year, it was also announced that the group was considering a North American tour that would incorporate video projections of Lopes.

TLC has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. No word on what label will issue the upcoming disc or a projected release date.

VH1 announced plans of the biopic, titled "Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story," late last year.

The film, the first in a series of music biopics the network is producing, will be executive-produced by Watkins and Thomas. Kate Lanier, who penned the scripts for “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Beauty Shop” and “Set It Off,” wrote the screenplay.

Lanier will have a lot of ground to cover. While the trio's rise in the early '90s was marked by multi-platinum albums and smash hits such as "Waterfalls," "Creep" and "No Scrubs," the Atlanta-based trio was rife with controversy.

Among other things, the trio went bankrupt after their breakout album, "Crazy, Sexy, Cool"; Lopes torched her boyfriend's mansion; and at one point, the girls just couldn't get along (Lopes once challenged her bandmates to solo discs with a $1.5-million prize for the best project). 

"Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story" will begin shooting in Atlanta in March. Charles Stone III ("Deadline") will direct. 

Gerrick Kennedy

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