Now TMZ is reporting that surviving members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas are planning a reunion tour that would incorporate Left Eye into the show via archival footage. It’s not the same as Dr. Dre resurrecting Tupac for a drop-in, but it does further the idea that death need not be the end of a performer’s on-stage life.
Following Lopes’ death, Watkins and Thomas finished the group’s final album 3D without her. Though it was unclear whether or not the group would have stayed together had Left Eye survived the car crash; in a notorious statement published in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, she challenged her other two bandmates (plus producer Dallas Austin) to a showdown where the victor would be decided by album sales.
“I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas to an album entitled The Challenge, a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums,” she wrote. “I also challenge producer Dallas ‘The Manipulator’ Austin to produce all of the material and do it at a fraction of his normal rate. As I think about it, I’m sure LaFace would not mind throwing in a $1.5 million dollar prize for the winner.”
Still, she was hugely influential on female MCs, and her influence can still be felt on the radio today (just listen to a Nicki Minaj or Karmin track and tell us you don’t hear echoes there).