TLC, the superstar girl group of the 1990s, is officially back with new music, a movie about them and plans to tour.
"We had a great run," said Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. "To be here two decades later and have another chance to do even more, I feel like the sky is the limit."
Chilli and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins had mounted other comebacks since Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in a car crash in 2002, but challenges — including a brain tumor that blinded T-Boz for a time — slowed them.
"This is our baby"
When VH-1 premieres "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" on October 21, a new generation of potential fans will learn about the groundbreaking trio.
Chilli and T-Boz were closely involved from start to finish in developing the script, casting and preparing the actors, Chilli said. "This is our baby."
Actress-singer Keke Palmer plays Chilli, rapper Lil' Mama portrays Left Eye and Drew Sidora is T-Boz.
"We basically took them under our wings and we shared a lot of stories with them," Chilli said. "We spent a lot of time with them, and they were very observant when it came to looking at how Tionne and I interact with each other, the chemistry that we naturally have."
"We spent more time with Lil' Mama, since Lisa was not here," Chilli said. "So we really had to spend more time with her. She looked at a lot of video footage. She did a lot of research."
The film includes sequences with Lil' Mama that closely echo the VH-1 documentary "Last Days of Left Eye."
"We're really proud with how she portrayed Lisa, and I know Lisa would be very happy and I know her family would be very happy as well," Chilli said.
Lil' Mama may join TLC
Lil' Mama may be on stage singing Left Eye's parts when TLC tours to promote a new album set for release next year, they said.
"For sure, we're talking and thinking about it when we go on tour," Chilli said.
She performed with Chilli and T-Boz this summer several times, including at Drake's OVO Festival in Toronto.
The group is keeping details about next year's album — their first in a decade — a secret, other than to say it will have a lot of featured artists, including Lady Gaga.
"We have some other surprises," Chilli said.
Fans can already hear a new TLC single — "Meant to Be" — that they recorded with Ne-Yo. It was released this week as part of the soundtrack album for the movie.
The ballad "kind of sums up our 20-year span as a group," Chilli said.
"It will definitely pull on your heartstrings," said T-Boz.
The rest of "TLC 20," which is available Tuesday, is a compilation of their greatest hits, including "Creep," "Waterfalls" and "No Scrubs."
Alan Duke | CNN