The group was very successful in the 1990s and early 2000s in spite of numerous spats with the law, each other, and the group's record label and management. The group has scored ten top-ten singles, five of which went to number one; four multi-platinum albums; and won 4 Grammy Awards. Having sold over 65 million records worldwide, TLC is the best-selling American female group of all time.
Billboard magazine ranked TLC as one of the greatest musical trios. At the end of 1999, TLC was ranked as the seventh most successful act of the 1990s by Billboard. In 2008, the group was inducted into the All Time Hot 100 Artist Hall of Fame by the same magazine, at 56th place. That year it was also listed as the #25 R&B/hip-hop artist of the preceding 25 years. In 2012, TLC ranked 12th on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music, the highest position for a girl group/ In 2015, the group announced that they would be disbanding after recording and promoting their fifth and final studio album together.
Their debut album, Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip, was released on February 25, 1992, by LaFace. The songs on the album are a blend of funk (Watkins), hip-hop (Lopes), and R&B (Thomas), similar to the "new jack swing" sound popularized by producer Teddy Riley in the late 1980s (and TLC's sound was sometimes cited as an example of the "new jack swing" genre). The album was a critical and commercial success, being certified quadruple-platinum within a year and launching a number of US Hot 100 top-ten singles with "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg", "Hat 2 Da Back", "What About Your Friends", and "Baby-Baby-Baby" which reached No. 2 on the Hot 100.
TLC's debut album, chiefly written by Dallas Austin and Lisa Lopes, consisted of playful lyrics, with some female-empowering songs. It was characterized by Watkins' low-register contralto vocals, Thomas's higher-register mezzo-soprano vocals, and Lopes's quirky soprano raps. 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 over her left eye in a pair of glasses).
In late 1993, TLC re-entered the studio with Dallas Austin, Tim & Bob, Arnold Hennings, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface, Jon-John Robinson, Organized Noize, and Sean "Puffy" Combs to record their second album, CrazySexyCool which was released on November 15, 1994. 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, "Red Ligh .... Click here to read the full bio on DISCOGS.