Strange Resemblance: Natina Reed and Left Eye

October 30th, 2012

(Photos from left: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

By Arielle Loren

With the passing of Natina Reed, there have been eerie similarities drawn between the Blaque star and her mentor, TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. They were close prior to Lopes’ death, sharing similar musical aspirations and personal styles. However, few would anticipate that Left Eye would die in a car accident and ten years later Reed would leave this world the same way.

Both city girls, Lopes was born in Philly and Reed in Queens, New York. The two were the epitome of urban cool and sass in their popular late ’90s girl groups. Left Eye, known for her catchy verses in TLC hits like “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs,” was on the rise as one of hip hop’s newest MCs. Natina was a breakout star around the same time, adding her provocative and energetic raps to Blaque’s “808” and “Bring It All to Me.”

They sounded similarly, hyped fans in the same way and inserted hip hop’s flair into their music groups, setting them apart from other R&B girl bands. They even dressed alike, both keeping it sporty but sexy in their apparel. Reed was undeniably Lopes’ protégé, as the two were almost like twins. Left Eye was largely responsible for Blaque getting a deal with Columbia Records, and she executive produced their self-titled debut album.

On the flipside, not all of their interests were the same. Between Blaque and TLC’s hiatuses, Natina would pursue acting, securing a leading role in the cheerleading movie Bring It On with Gabrielle Union, and right before her death, Left Eye would venture to Honduras to study spirituality, yoga and numerology.

Both will be missed and it’s a testimony to both artists’ legacies that whenever Natina’s name is mentioned, Left Eye’s name won’t be far behind.

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