LISA “Left Eye” Lopes died 9 years ago today, April 25.
The R&B emcee — real name Lisa Nicole Lopes — shot to fame as a member of the of the R&B threesome TLC, consisting of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas.
As the hip hop half of the Grammy winning trio, Left Eye provided infectiously memorable rap verses on such TLC hits as Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, What About Your Friends, Hat 2 da Back, No Scrubs and Waterfalls.
On April 25, 2002, Lisa Lopes was the sole fatality of a car accident in Honduras. Driving a Mitsubishi Pajero, Lopes allegedly tried to swerve around a truck, but there was another vehicle heading towards them in the opposite direction. To avoid a head-on collision, Lopes swerved all the way off the road. The vehicle rolled several times after hitting two trees, throwing Lopes and three others out of the windows. She died of neck injuries and severe head trauma. The passenger in the front passenger seat was videotaping at the time, so the last seconds leading up to the swerve that resulted in the fatal accident were recorded on video. Lopes’ mother Wanda later sued Mitsubishi Motors, as the Pajero was prone to rollovers according to a 2001 Consumer Reports review.
Her funeral was held at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Engraved upon her casket were the lyrics to her portion of Waterfalls: “Dreams are hopeless aspirations, in hopes of coming true, believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.” Lopes was buried at Hillandale Memorial Gardens, in Lithonia, Georgia, USA.