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This month we celebrate the life and legacy of Prince Tags: legacy prince celebrate life death word life production new quality entertainment

Prince ( June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Prince arrived on the scene in the late Seventies, and it didn’t take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties. Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made Prince a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little RichardJames BrownJimi Hendrix and George Clinton. While 1999Purple Rain and Sign ‘O’ the Times remain Prince’s best-known albums, the artist’s deep discography is full of funky treasure.

To understand Prince, one must appreciate the extent of his musical obsession. He has always been a willing servant of his tireless muse. “There’s not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can,” he claimed in a 1985 interview. “Music is what keeps me awake.” Because he is a workaholic, it’s difficult to keep track of all he’s recorded for himself and others in his orbit. There are reputedly hundreds of unreleased songs in Prince’s vault. In 1998, he unveiled some of these leftovers on the five-CD set, Crystal Ball. That leviathan followed Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set of new material. The single discs Chaos and Disorder (1996) and New Power Soul (1998) also came out during the same time frame. That’s 10 CDs’ worth of music in a three-year period – much more material than most artists manage in a lifetime – and it doesn’t even include albums by Chaka Khan (Come 2 My House) and Graham Central Station (GCS 2000) on which Prince played a major role. Given such prolific output, it doesn’t take long to realize that Prince isn’t just a musician but a force of nature.

One must also accept the fact that Prince is a genuine American eccentric who defiantly marches to the beat of his own funky drummer. Consider that in 1993 he changed his name from Prince to an unpronounceable cipher: a hybrid of the symbols for male and female. He was thereafter referred to (at his own suggestion) as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” or simply “The Artist.”

“I follow what God tells me to do,” Prince explained. “It said, ‘Change your name,’ and I changed my name to a symbol ready for Internet use before I knew anything about the Internet.” In May 2000, he went back to being Prince. Although his motivations may sometimes seem mysterious, Prince is never uninteresting and always capable one more hit record or a return to stardom.

Purple RainAround the World in a DayBatman, and Diamonds and Pearls have sold more than 2 million copies apiece. Purple Rain alone sold 13 million copies and topped the album charts for nearly half a year at the height of Prince’s reign in the mid-Eighties. As Rolling Stone contended in 1989, “Perhaps more than any other artist, Prince called the tune for pop music in the Eighties, imprinting his Minneapolis sound on an entire generation of musicians both black and white.”

Prince Rogers Nelson was born and raised in Minneapolis. He was named after his jazz musician father. The product of a broken home, Prince found refuge in music. By his early teens he’d mastered multiple instruments and was fronting his first band, Grand Central. A demo tape by the young prodigy resulted in major-label interest, and an 18-year-old Prince signed to Warner Bros., insisting on the right to self-produce. His first two albums, For You (1978) and Prince (1979), unveiled a budding genius and one-man band. For You included “Soft and Wet,” an early glimpse at Prince’s uncensored sexuality, while the latter produced Prince’s first hit, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Number 11). Interest in the youthful rising star was further kindled by Dirty Mind (1980), a provocative and sinuously funky album that appeared like a directional marker at the start of the Eighties. The jittery, New Wavish “When You Were Mine” became a club hit, yet Dirty Mind largely proved too hot to handle for radio. Still, the rising buzz about Prince continued when he opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1980-81 tour. Prince’s fourth album, Controversy (1981), was highlighted by the pulsing title track.

Prince’s breakthrough was 1999 (1982), a self-produced double album made at his home studio. He’d toned down, if not entirely tamed, the hardcore sexuality, and the longish, danceable tracks appealed to disco and New Wave fans alike. Whereas many saw divisions in the culture – in terms of everything from musical preferences to skin color – Prince forged a party-minded unity around the various audiences’ shared interests in “dance, music, sex, romance.” Those were the priorities outlined in “D.M.S.R.,” one of 1999’s key tracks. The album launched three major singles: “Little Red Corvette” (Number Six), “1999” (Number 12) and “Delirious” (Number Eight). As Kurt Loder wrote, “[1999] marked the point at which Prince’s seamless fusion of white rock and roll and black dance-funk became commercially undeniable.” The way had been paved the way for Prince’s stratospheric ascent with the album and movie Purple Rain.

One of the defining releases of the Eighties – along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. – Purple Rain (1984) elevated Prince from cult hero to superstar. The movie, loosely based on Prince’s life story, was set in Minneapolis and his real-life hangout, the First Avenue & 7th Street Entry Club. Prince wrote the treatment and played the lead role of “The Kid.” The film included electrifying performances by Prince and the Revolution – his racially and sexually integrated band, which included guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, bassist Brown Mark and drummer Bobby Z.  Purple Rain also showcased other acts under his umbrella, most notably The Time, who were fronted by Prince’s extroverted foil, Morris Day. The film grossed $80 million and the album, which won Prince an Oscar for Best Soundtrack, rained hits for a year: “When Doves Cry” (Number One), “Let’s Go Crazy” (Number One), “Purple Rain” (Number Two), “I Would Die 4 U” (Number Eight) and “Take Me With You” (Number 25). Even Prince’s non-LP B sides from the period, such as “17 Days” and “Erotic City,” achieved a certain popularity.

For any other artist Purple Rain would have been a hard act to follow, but Prince already had another album, Around the World in a Day, in the can. A tour de force of psychedelic soul released in 1985, it became his second consecutive Number One album and the first to appear on his own Paisley Park label (a Warner Bros. subsidiary). With Prince-mania in full effect, the album generated two more Top 10 hits: “Raspberry Beret” (Number Two) and “Pop Life” (Number Seven). Even a bad film, Under the Cherry Moon – Prince’s first real miscue – couldn’t halt his momentum, as the accompanying soundtrack, Parade (1986), included the classic “Kiss,” his third Number One single.

Prince hit an artistic peak with Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), his first album since 1999 not to be co-credited to the Revolution. A double album that was trimmed down from an intended triple, Sign ‘O’ the Times was Prince’s most musically expansive and lyrically incisive album. On the sobering “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (Number Six), Prince enumerated a catalog of social ills (AIDS, crack, gang violence) over a skeletal funk track. Other hits from the album included “U Got the Look” (Number Two), a duet with Sheena Easton, and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (Number 10). Paisley Park – a 65,000-square-foot multimedia production facility, with three studios and a soundstage – opened for business that same year.

Around this time Prince talked of dueling identities within himself, conjuring characters that represented his good side (“Camille”) and dark side (“Spooky Electric”). The latter had its say on The Black Album, a controversial, hardcore set that was aborted shortly before its intended release. In its place came Lovesexy (1988), which contained the terrific “Alphabet St.” (Number Eight). Commercially, Prince found himself back on top in 1989 with his soundtrack to the first Batman movie. Prince’s dense, tangled funk meshed with film producer Tim Burton’s dark, gothic vision, and his Batman album and “Batdance” single both shot to the top of the charts. A year later, Prince made another of his own movies, Graffiti Bridge. Although it was panned, the double-album soundtrack – with performances by Prince, a reunited Time, Mavis Staple and Tevin Campbell – was compelling, particularly the impassioned “Thieves in the Temple” (Number Six).

In the early Nineties, Prince assembled a backing band, the New Power Generation. They debuted on Diamonds and Pearls (1991), Prince’s most accessible and hit-filled album since Purple Rain. Everything about it was elaborately conceived, including the holographic cover. The album returned Prince to radio with a string of funky, upbeat hits: “Gett Off” (Number 21), “Cream” (Number One), “Diamonds and Pearls” (Number Three) and “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” (Number 23). It would turn out to be Prince’s biggest album of the Nineties. It was followed in 1992 by an album that marked the first appearance of the symbol that Prince would formally adopt a year later as his name. Ironically, the disc whose title was a symbol – and therefore referred to as The Love Symbol Album - opened with a song called “My Name Is Prince” (Number 36). The numerology-minded “7” peaked at Number Seven, but Prince’s most infectious funk workout, “Sexy MF,” proved too profane for radio.

Still, Prince seemed to be on a roll. In August 1992, he signed a contract extension with Warner Bros. for six more albums (at $10 million apiece), and he acquired the title of vice-president with the label. By mid-decade, however, relations would sour as he began appearing in public with the word “SLAVE” scrawled on his face while agitating to get off the label.

In 1993, Prince’s greatest hits were released in two volumes – The Hits 1 and The Hits 2 – and as a deluxe package that appended a third disc, The B-Sides. All three configurations went platinum, though the three-pack charted highest (Number 19). The artist’s final album as Prince, Come, appeared in 1994, as did (for a limited time) the long-shelved Black Album. That same year, Prince launched an independent label, NPG Records, with a various-artists compilation, 1-800-NEW-FUNK. His next single – “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” (Number Three), which also appeared on NPG – marked a return to hitmaking form.

Meanwhile, relations with Warner Bros., to which he was still contracted, were deteriorating badly. The release of The Gold Experience (1995), which contained “I Hate U” (Number 12), was delayed while he squabbled with the label. Disenchanted with what he saw as an unfairly one-sided relationship between label and artist that rendered the latter a “slave,” Prince was let out of his contract with Warner Bros. in 1996. His last album of new music for the label was Chaos and Disorder (1996). “The problems I had with so-called majors,’ he later said, “were regarding ownership and long-term contracts.” Liberated from such concerns, he quickly resumed his prolific ways. Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set, attested to the artist’s creative explosion after being granted contractual freedom.

Subsequent releases have included New Power Soul (1998), an earthy album credited to New Power Generation; 1999: The New Master, a re-recording of “1999,” plus six remixes; and Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999), the most visible of Prince’s later discs. Distributed through a special arrangement with Arista, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic gave Prince the best of both worlds: artistic ownership of his work and major-label distribution. The album was notable for its production credit: Prince, which marked the first time he’d reverted to his old name (and not the unpronounceable symbol) in six years.

It was followed by a series of releases that were largely marketed via Prince’s website, including The Rainbow Children (2001), a mystical and spiritually themed suite, and One Nite Alone Live (2002), a three-disc box set. NEWS (2003), an album of lengthy, jazz-funk instrumentals, garnered a Grammy nomination for the ever-resourceful artist known formerly and forever as Prince.

Prince passed away on April 21, 2016. He was 57.

See more at: https://rockhall.com/inductees/prince/bio/#sthash.4CNEvsFg.dpuf

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Let us celebrate the life of the late great Robin Harris Tags: celebrate life robin harris please moment silence word life production new qulaity entertainment feature

Robin Hughes Harris (August 30, 1953 – March 18, 1990) was an American comedian and actor, known for his recurring comic sketch about Bébé's Kids.

Robin Harris was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Earl, was a welder, and his mother, Mattie, was a factory seamstress. In 1961, the family moved to Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School and attended Ottawa University in Kansas. During this time, he began to hone his craft of comedy. He worked for Hughes Aircraft, a rental car company, and Security Pacific Bank to pay his bills. In 1980, he debuted at Los Angeles’ Comedy Store.

During the mid '80s Robin worked as the master of ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater. His “old school” brand of humor began to gain him a mainstream following. Harris made a promising feature debut playing a no-nonsense bartender in the feature film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988). Harris performed in director Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). As "Sweet Dick Willie," Harris served as part of the neighborhood "Greek chorus" that commented on the events of an increasingly tense day. Harris was Pop, the no-nonsense, quick-witted father of Kid in House Party (1990). He followed up later that year with a small turn as a jazz club MC in Mo' Better Blues. He also had a role in Eddie Murphy's Harlem Nights (1989). Fellow comedian and actor Raymond "The RayVolution" Baxter credits Harris with him becoming a stand up, "I saw Mr. Harris at home in Chicago at a club my aunt worked for and he was nice enough to see me after a set and joke around with me. He said I was funny enough to get on the circuit at 11! So that day I went to work on my material..."

Bébé's Kids

In Harris' "Bébé's Kids" routines, Harris' girlfriend Jamika would insist that he take her son and friend Bébé's three children with them on a date, as she continually agreed to babysit them. The children would regularly make a fool out of and/or annoy Harris. "We Bébé's kids," they would proclaim, "we don't die...we multiply."

The Hudlin Brothers had intended to make a feature film based upon the "Bébé's Kids" sketches, but Harris died while the film was in pre-production. Bébé's Kids instead became an animated feature—the first ever to feature an all-black main cast—directed by Bruce W. Smith and featuring the voices of Faizon Love (as Harris), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, and Tone Lōc.

In the early hours of March 18, 1990, Harris died in his sleep of a heart attack in his Chicago hotel room after performing for a sold out crowd at the Regal Theater. Harris was transported back to California, and interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery, near Los Angeles. House Party 2 and Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues (which was released five months after his death) were dedicated to his memory. Through archive footage, in House Party 2, a photo of Harris comes to life and tells Kid "Keep your mind on them books and off them 'gals!", which was actually taken from a scene in the original House Party. In House Party 3, when uncle Vester (played by Bernie Mac) looks at a photograph of Harris, he tells Kid how he misses his father and wishes he was alive, and that he "owes him" $150.

At the time of Harris' death, his wife was pregnant with their son, Robin Harris, Jr .

In 2006, a posthumous DVD entitled We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (2006), was released. The film features never before seen performances by Harris and accolades from his contemporaries Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Robert Townsend, and Joe Torry. The film also features a rap performed and dedicated to Harris by his son, Robin Harris, Jr.

Source: Wikipedia

Let us celebrate the life of Maya Angelou Tags: maya angelou celebrate life word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Maya Angelou, the memoirist and poet whose landmark book of 1969, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” — which describes in lyrical, unsparing prose her childhood in the Jim Crow South — was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died on Wednesday in her home. She was 86 and lived in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Her death was confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. No immediate cause of death had been determined, but Ms. Brann said Ms. Angelou had been in frail health for some time and had had heart problems.

As well known as she was for her memoirs, which eventually filled six volumes, Ms. Angelou very likely received her widest exposure on a chilly January day in 1993, when she delivered the inaugural poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the swearing-in of Bill Clinton, the nation’s 42nd president, who, like Ms. Angelou, had grown up poor in rural Arkansas.

It began:

A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,

Marked the mastodon,

The dinosaur, who left dried tokens

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their hastening doom

Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,

Come, you may stand upon my

Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow,

I will give you no hiding place down here.

Long before that day, as she recounted in “Caged Bird” and its five sequels, she had already been a dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor, single mother, magazine editor in Cairo, administrative assistant in Ghana, official of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and friend or associate of some of the most eminent black Americans of the mid-20th century, including James Baldwin, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Afterward (her six-volume memoir takes her only to the age of 40), Ms. Angelou (pronounced AHN-zhe-lo) was a Tony-nominated stage actress; college professor (she was for many years the Reynolds professor of American studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem); ubiquitous presence on the lecture circuit; frequent guest on television shows, from “Oprah” to “Sesame Street”; and subject of a string of scholarly studies.

In February 2011, President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Throughout her writing, Ms. Angelou explored the concepts of personal identity and resilience through the multifaceted lens of race, sex, family, community and the collective past. As a whole, her work offered a cleareyed examination of the ways in which the socially marginalizing forces of racism and sexism played out at the level of the individual.

“If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat,” Ms. Angelou wrote in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Hallmarks of Ms. Angelou’s prose style included a directness of voice that recalls African-American oral tradition and gives her work the quality of testimony. She was also intimately concerned with sensation, describing the world around her — be it Arkansas, San Francisco or the foreign cities in which she lived — with palpable feeling for its sights, sounds and smells.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” published when Ms. Angelou was in her early 40s, spans only her first 17 years. But what powerfully formative years they were.

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Marguerite Ann Johnson was born in St. Louis on April 4, 1928. (For years after Dr. King’s assassination, on April 4, 1968, Ms. Angelou did not celebrate her birthday.) Her dashing, defeated father, Bailey Johnson Sr., a Navy dietitian, “was a lonely person, searching relentlessly in bottles, under women’s skirts, in church work and lofty job titles for his ‘personal niche,’ lost before birth and unrecovered since,” Ms. Angelou wrote. “How maddening it was to have been born in a cotton field with aspirations of grandeur.”

Her beautiful, volatile mother, Vivian Baxter, was variously a nurse, hotel owner and card dealer. As a girl, Ms. Angelou was known as Rita, Ritie or Maya, her older brother’s childhood nickname for her.

After her parents’ marriage ended, 3-year-old Maya was sent with her 4-year-old brother, Bailey, to live with their father’s mother in the tiny town of Stamps, Ark., which, she later wrote, “with its dust and hate and narrowness was as South as it was possible to get.”

Their grandmother, Annie Henderson, owned a general store “in the heart of the Negro area,” Ms. Angelou wrote. An upright woman known as Momma, “with her solid air packed around her like cotton,” she is a warm, stabilizing presence throughout “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

The children returned periodically to St. Louis to live with their mother. On one such occasion, when Maya was 7 or 8 (her age varies slightly across her memoirs, which employ the techniques of fiction to recount actual events), she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.

She told her brother, who alerted the family, and the man was tried and convicted. Before he could begin serving his sentence, he was murdered — probably, Ms. Angelou wrote, by her uncles.

Believing that her words had brought about the death, Maya did not speak for the next five years. Her love of literature, as she later wrote, helped restore language to her.

As a teenager, now living with her mother in San Francisco, she studied dance and drama at the California Labor School and became the first black woman to work as a streetcar conductor there. At 16, after a casual liaison with a neighborhood youth, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. There the first book ends.

Reviewing “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in The New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called it “a carefully wrought, simultaneously touching and comic memoir.”

The book — its title is a line from “Sympathy,” by the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar — became a best seller, confounding the pervasive stereotype that black women’s lives were unworthy of memoir.

The next five volumes of Ms. Angelou’s memoir, all, like the first, originally published by Random House, were “Gather Together in My Name” (1974), “Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas” (1976), “The Heart of a Woman” (1981), “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes” (1986) and “A Song Flung Up to Heaven” (2002).

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"I agreed a long time ago, I would not live at any cost. If I am moved or forced away from what I think is the right thing, I will not do it...

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Together they describe her struggles to support her son through a series of odd jobs. “Determined to raise him, I had worked as a shake dancer in nightclubs, fry cook in hamburger joints, dinner cook in a Creole restaurant and once had a job in a mechanic’s shop, taking paint off cars with my hands,” she wrote in “Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas.” Elsewhere, she describes her brief unsuccessful stint as a prostitute and brief successful one as a madam.

Ms. Angelou goes on to recount her marriage to a Greek sailor, Tosh Angelos. (Throughout her life, she was circumspect about the number of times she was married — it appears to have been at least three — for fear, she said, of appearing frivolous.)

After the marriage dissolved, she embarked on a career as a calypso dancer and singer under the name Maya Angelou, a variant of her married name. A striking stage presence — she was six feet tall — she occasionally partnered in San Francisco with Alvin Ailey in a nightclub dance act known as Al and Rita.

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She was cast in the Truman Capote-Harold Arlen musical “House of Flowers,” which opened on Broadway in 1954. But she chose instead to tour the world as a featured dancer in a production of “Porgy and Bess” by the Everyman Opera Company, a black ensemble.

Ms. Angelou later settled in New York, where she became active in the Harlem Writers Guild (she hoped to be a poet and playwright), sang at the Apollo and eventually succeeded Bayard Rustin as the coordinator of the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that he, Dr. King and others had founded.

In the early 1960s, Ms. Angelou became romantically involved with Vusumzi L. Make, a South African civil rights activist. She moved with him to Cairo, where she became the associate editor of a magazine, The Arab Observer. After leaving Mr. Make — she found him paternalistic and controlling, she later wrote — she moved to Accra, Ghana, where she was an administrative assistant at the University of Ghana.

On returning to New York, Ms. Angelou helped Malcolm X set up the Organization of Afro-American Unity, established in 1964. The group dissolved after his assassination the next year.

In 1973, Ms. Angelou appeared on Broadway in “Look Away,” a two-character play about Mary Todd Lincoln (played by Geraldine Page) and her seamstress. Though the play closed after one performance, Ms. Angelou was nominated for a Tony Award. On the screen, she portrayed Kunta Kinte’s grandmother in the 1977 television mini-series “Roots” and appeared in several feature films, including “How to Make an American Quilt” (1995).

Ms. Angelou’s marriage in the 1970s to Paul du Feu, who had previously been wed to the feminist writer Germaine Greer, ended in divorce.

Over time, some critics expressed reservations about Ms. Angelou’s prose, calling it facile and solipsistic. Her importance as a literary, cultural and historical figure was amply borne out, however, by the many laurels she received, including a slew of honorary doctorates.

Her other books include the volumes of poetry “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie” (1971), “Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well” (1975); “And Still I Rise” (1978) and “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?” (1983).

She released an album of songs, “Miss Calypso,” in 1957.

But she remained best known for her memoirs, a striking fact in that she had never set out to be a memoirist. Near the end of “A Song Flung Up to Heaven,” Ms. Angelou recalls her response when Robert Loomis, who would become her longtime editor at Random House, first asked her to write an autobiography.

She demurred at first, still planning to be a playwright and poet. Cannily, Mr. Loomis called her again.

“You may be right not to attempt autobiography, because it is nearly impossible to write autobiography as literature,” he said. “Almost impossible.”

“I’ll start tomorrow,” Ms. Angelou replied.

Dave Itzkoff contributed reporting. New York Times

 

Let us celebrate the life of NBA legend - Wilt Chamberlin Tags: wilt chamberline nba legend life celebrate word life production new quality entertainment

He was basketball's unstoppable force, the most awesome offensive force the game has ever seen. Asked to name the greatest players ever to play basketball, most fans and aficionados would put Wilt Chamberlain at or near the top of the list.

Wilt Chamberlain as a Laker won 33 straight games and the NBA title in 1971-72.

Dominating the game as few players in any sport ever have, Chamberlain seemed capable of scoring and rebounding at will, despite the double- and triple-teams and constant fouling tactics that opposing teams used to try to shut him down.

As Oscar Robertson put it in the Philadelphia Daily News when asked whether Chamberlain was the best ever, "The books don't lie."

The record books are indeed heavy with Chamberlain's accomplishments. He was the only NBA player to score 4,000 points in a season. He set NBA single-game records for most points (100), most consecutive field goals (18) and most rebounds (55). Perhaps his most mind-boggling stat was the 50.4 points per game he averaged during the 1961-62 season--and if not that, then perhaps the 48.5 minutes per game he averaged that same year.

He retired as the all-time in career points with 31,419, which was later surpassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. He is tops in rebounds with 23,924. He led the NBA in scoring seven years in a row. He was the league's top rebounder in 11 of his 14 seasons. And as if to prove that he was not a selfish player, he had the NBA's highest assist total in 1967-68.

But the most outstanding figures are his scoring records; Most games with 50+ points, 118; Most consecutive games with 40+ points, 14; Most consecutive games with 30+ points: 65; Most consecutive games with 20+ points: 126; Highest rookie scoring average: 37.6 ppg; Highest field goal percentage in a season: .727. And with many of these, the player in second place is far behind. His name appears so often in the scoring record books that his name could be the default response any time a question arises concerning a scoring record in the NBA.

During his career, his dominance precipitated many rules changes. These rules changed included widening the lane, instituting offensive goaltending and revising rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws (Chamberlain would leap with the ball from behind the foul line to deposit the ball in the basket).

No other player in NBA history has spawned so many myths nor created such an impact. It's difficult to imagine now, with the seemingly continuing surge of bigger skilled players, the effect of playing against Chamberlain, who was not only taller and stronger than almost anyone he matched up against but remarkably coordinated as well. A track and field star in high school and college, Chamberlain stood 7-1 and was listed at 275 pounds, though he filled out and added more muscle as his career progressed and eventually played at over 300 pounds.

An incident recounted in the Philadelphia Daily News involving Tom Meschery of the Seattle SuperSonics illustrated what it was like to play in the trenches against Chamberlain. Meschery had the ball in the line and put up four fakes before attempting his shot. Chamberlain slapped the ball down. Meschery got it again, faked again, and got it blocked again. Enraged and frustrated, the Seattle player ran up to Chamberlain swinging. As if in a scene from The Three Stooges, Chamberlain put his hand on the 6-6 Meschery's head and let him swing away harmlessly. After the third swing, Chamberlain said, "That's enough," and Meschery stopped.

Chamberlain's power was legendary. Rod Thorn, who has been a player, coach, GM and NBA executive, remembers a fight in which Chamberlain reached down and picked up a fellow player from a pile of bodies as if he were made of feathers. The man was 6-8 and weighed 220 pounds.

Chamberlain was one of the few players of his day who had the sheer strength to block a dunk. In a game against New York in 1968, Walt Bellamy, the Knicks' 6-11, 245-pound center, attempted to dunk on Chamberlain. "Bellamy reared back," one spectator who was there later recalled to the Philadelphia Daily News, "and was slamming the ball down when Wilt put his hand above the top of the rim and knocked the ball off the court. He almost knocked Bellamy off the court, too."

Strength was something Chamberlain developed as a college and professional player. Photographs of him in high school show a slender, agile boy who, at 6-11, towered above the other players. In three varsity seasons at Philadelphia's Overbrook High, starting in 1952-53, Chamberlain led the team to records of 19-2, 19-0, and 18-1. His coaches there took full advantage of his gifts. The team would practice missing free throws so that Chamberlain could grab them and score field goals. At a time when goaltending was legal, Chamberlain sometimes infuriated his teammates by tipping balls in on their way down, even if they were on target.

During his prep years, he scored 2,206 points and had individual games in which he scored 90, 74 and 71 points. In his senior year he averaged 44.5 points. In his 90-point game he scored 60 points in 12 minutes of the second half. "But it's nothing," Chamberlain said in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991, "when you consider that the team we were playing against was trying to freeze the ball."

It was also during this time that one of his nicknames, "the Stilt," was coined by a local newspaper writer. Chamberlain detested it, as he did other monikers that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath." The names he didn't mind were "Dippy" and "Dipper," along with the later variant, "Big Dipper." The story goes that Chamberlain's buddies seeing him dip his head as his walked through doorways tagged him with the nickname and it stuck.

In 1955, Chamberlain announced he would play college ball at the University of Kansas. Because NCAA rules at the time prohibited freshmen from playing at the varsity level, Chamberlain was placed on the freshman team upon his arrival at Kansas. His first contest with the freshmen was against the varsity, which was favored to win its conference that year. Chamberlain later reminisced about the game in the Philadelphia Daily News: "We whipped 'em, 81-71. I had 40 or 42 points, about 30 rebounds, about 15 blocks. I knew I had to show them either I could do it or I couldn't."

Chamberlain made his debut for the Jayhawks' varsity squad in a game against Northwestern on Dec. 3, 1956. He set a school record when he scored 52 points in an 87-69 victory. Chamberlain then guided Kansas to the 1957 NCAA title game against North Carolina. Although North Carolina beat Kansas by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The following year he was selected to all-conference and All-America teams. He showed his athletic versatility by winning the high jump competition in the Big Eight track and field championships, clearing the bar at 6-6. In May, 1958 Chamberlain decided to forego his senior season at Kansas, opting instead to turn pro. But because of an NBA rule that prevented college players from playing in the league until their class graduated, he was in limbo for one year. He passed the time by playing for the Harlem Globetrotters in 1958-59 for a salary reported to be around $50,000, an astronomical sum at the time.

In 1955, the NBA created a special "territorial" draft rule that allowed a team to claim a local college player in exchange for giving up its first-round pick. The idea was to cash in on college stars who had built strong local followings, but the Philadelphia Warriors, who were owned by the cagey Eddie Gottlieb, took it one step further. They claimed Chamberlain as a territorial pick even though he had played his college ball in Kansas. Gottlieb, one of the NBA's founding fathers, argued that Chamberlain had grown up in Philadelphia and had become popular there as a high school player, and since there were no NBA teams in Kansas, they held his territorial rights. The league agreed, marking the only time in NBA history that a player was made a territorial selection based on his pre-college roots.

When Chamberlain finally slipped on a Philadelphia uniform for the start of the 1959-60 season, the basketball world eagerly awaited the young giant's debut -- and he didn't disappoint. In his first game, against the Knicks in New York, he pumped in 43 points and grabbed 28 rebounds. In a sensational rookie year, Chamberlain averaged 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds and was named NBA Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and NBA Most Valuable Player as well as being selected to the All-NBA First Team. Only Wes Unseld would duplicate Chamberlain's feat of winning Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season. (Unseld did it in 1968-69.)

With Chamberlain, the Warriors vaulted from last to second and faced the Boston Celtics in the 1960 NBA Playoffs. The series saw the first postseason confrontation between Chamberlain and defensive standout Bill Russell, a matchup that would grow into the greatest individual rivalry in the NBA and possibly any sport. During the next decade, the pair would square off in the playoffs eight times. Chamberlain came away the victor only once. In that initial confrontation, Chamberlain outscored Russell by 81 points, but the Celtics took the series, four games to two.

Chamberlain's inaugural season seemed to take a heavy toll on him. After the postseason loss to Boston, the rookie stunned his fans by announcing that he was thinking of retiring because of the excessively rough treatment he had endured from opponents. He feared that if he played another season, he would be forced to retaliate, and that wasn't something he wanted to do.

In Chamberlain's first year, and for several years afterward, opposing teams simply didn't know how to handle him. Tom Heinsohn, the great Celtics forward who later became a coach and broadcaster, said Boston was one of the first clubs to apply a team-defense concept to stop Chamberlain. "We went for his weakness," Heinsohn told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1991, "tried to send him to the foul line, and in doing that he took the most brutal pounding of any player ever.. I hear people today talk about hard fouls. Half the fouls against him were hard fouls."

Dominating the game as few players in any sport ever have, Chamberlain seemed capable of scoring and rebounding at will, despite the double- and triple-teams and constant fouling tactics that opposing teams used to try to shut him down.

Despite his size and strength, Chamberlain was not an enforcer or a revenge seeker. He knew how to control his body and his emotions and rarely got into altercations. One indication of this was the astonishing statistic that not once in his 14-year career, in more than 1,200 regular and postseason games, did he foul out. Some people claimed he simply wasn't aggressive enough. "My friends would say, 'Hey man, you should throw [Bill] Russell in the basket, too.' " said Chamberlain. "They said I was too nice, too often against certain of my adversaries."

Of course, Chamberlain didn't retire. He simply endured the punishment and learned to cope with it, bulking up his muscles to withstand the constant shoving, elbowing and body checks other teams used against him.

In a virtual repeat of his rookie year, he poured in 38.4 points and 27.2 rebounds per game in 1960-61. The next season he made a quantum leap in his performance. Posting a phenomenal average of 50.4 points per game, he became the only player in history to score 4,000 points in a season.

On March 2, 1962, Chamberlain set a record that may stand forever. In a game against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa., he scored 100 points in four quarters to help the Warriors win the game, 169-147. Despite the fact that Chamberlain had reportedly stayed out all night the previous evening, he obviously came ready to play against the Knicks. Chamberlain was so "on" that he even made 28 of 32 free throws, despite having, up to that point in the season, just a paltry .506 percentage from the stripe.

He hit 36-for-63 from the field, about which he commented to HOOP magazine, "My God, that's terrible. I never thought I'd take that many shots in a game." Toward the end of the game, the Warriors went out of their way to feed Chamberlain the ball, to the point of fouling the Knicks whenever they had possession.

In 1962, Chamberlain moved with the franchise to San Francisco, and he led the league in scoring in both 1962-63 and 1963-64. The Warriors lost to the Celtics in the 1964 Finals in five games. But midway through the following season, he was sent back home to Philadelphia. Two days after the 1965 All-Star Game (a game in which he scored 20 points and pulled down 16 rebounds), Chamberlain was swapped to the 76ers, formerly the Syracuse Nationals until the 1963-64 season, for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and $150,000. In Philadelphia, he joined a promising 76ers team that included Hal Greer and Larry Costello in the backcourt and Chet Walker and Luke Jackson up front.

The Sixers were a .500 ballclub in Chamberlain's initial year on the team. The following season, 1965-66, Philadelphia posted the best record in the league, at 55-25, but for the second year in a row the 76ers fell to Boston in the Eastern Division Finals. Philadelphia, which had added talented forward Billy Cunningham, started the year by winning 45 of its first 49 games en route to an 68-13 record, at the time the best in league history.

In the division semifinals, the Sixers ousted Cincinnati. The division finals saw the 76ers matched up against the Celtics -- and Chamberlain matched up against Russell once again. After years of frustration, Chamberlain finally got by his arch rival as Philadelphia raced by Boston in five games, ending the Celtics' eight-year stranglehold on the NBA title. Playing the Warriors in the 1967 NBA Finals, the Sixers came away with the championship, winning the series in six games.

After his monstrous scoring year in 1961-62, Chamberlain's average dropped slowly each year until the 1967-68 seasons, when it rose slightly to 24.3 points per game from 24.1 the season before. During his first seven years Chamberlain scored an average of 39.4 points per game and led the league in scoring all seven seasons, a string matched only by Michael Jordan two decades later. In Chamberlain's second seven years, he averaged 20.7 points.

Was the waning production attributable to the effects of age and better defenses? Chamberlain didn't think so. "I look back and know that my last seven years in the league versus my first seven years were a joke in terms of scoring," he told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I stopped shooting -- coaches asked me to do that, and I did. I wonder sometimes if that was a mistake."

One of the main reasons coaches asked him to shoot less was to try to win more. Of the 14 years he played in the NBA, only twice did his teams emerge with the NBA title. In 1966-67, Sixers Coach Alex Hannum asked Chamberlain to pass the ball more often than shoot, and to play more aggressive defense. The strategy worked. Although he failed to win the NBA scoring title for the first time in his career, averaging 24.1 points, Chamberlain recorded the league's highest shooting percentage (.683), had the most rebounds (24.2 rpg), and was third in assists (7.8 apg).

Chamberlain took his new role so seriously that he led the league in assists the next season. In 1967-68, he was also chosen to the All-NBA First Team for the seventh and final time and selected league MVP for the fourth and final time. After taking the Eastern Division that season, the Sixers were eliminated in the Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons by the Celtics. Soon after, Chamberlain was traded to the Lakers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff.

He spent his final five campaigns in Los Angeles and helped the Lakers to the NBA Finals four times in those five seasons. The most notable season was 1971-72, in which he scored only 14.8 points per game. But his contributions came in other forms. At age 35, he managed to grab 19.2 rebounds per contest and was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Chamberlain had become a great team player, complementing the styles of guards Jerry West and Gail Goodrich and forwards Happy Hairston and Jim McMillian. The 1971-72 Lakers set an NBA record by winning 33 games in a row en route to a then NBA-record 69-13 regular-season mark, one victory better than Chamberlain's 1966-67 Sixers team (the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan would post a 72-10 record in 1995-96 . The Lakers then stormed to the championship with a five-game triumph against New York in the 1972 NBA Finals.

Retiring from the NBA at the end of the 1972-73 season, Chamberlain went on to demonstrate the full range of his talents. Eclectic didn't begin to describe his activities. Like many pro players, he spent a year coaching at the pro level, for the San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association. San Diego had wanted him to be a player-coach, but legal entanglements prevented that, and Chamberlain soon because bored with a coach-only role. In 1984 he acted in the movie Conan the Barbarian. Big-league volleyball attracted his energies for a while, as did tennis, running marathons and even polo. At one point he hoped to challenge Muhammad Ali to a world heavyweight fight.

Even when he was in his 50s, a story would pop up every now and then about some NBA team talking to Chamberlain about making a comeback, figuring he could still give them 15 or 20 solid minutes as a backup center. Chamberlain, who loved the limelight, seemed to bask in those reports, but he never took up any team on its offer. Rather he continued to be a voracious reader who also published several books and involved himself with other pursuits including maintaining a lively bachelor's existence.

In 1978, his first year of eligibility, Chamberlain was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996-97 he was selected to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

On Oct. 12, 1999, Chamberlain passed away at the age of 63 due to heart failure at his home, which he named Ursa Major after the constellation containing the stars forming the Big Dipper, his trademark in the basketball world. He left the NBA as a legendary figure to talk about for years to come.

Source: NBA

Let's celebrate the life of Lisa Left Eye Lopes Tags: lisa left eye lopes celebrate life word life production feature weekly blog

Lisa Nicole Lopes (May 27, 1971 – April 25, 2002), better known by her stage name Left Eye, was an American rapper, dancer, and singer-songwriter. She is best known as a member of the R&B/hip-hop group TLC. Lopes contributed her self-written raps to many of TLC's hit singles, including "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg", "What About Your Friends", "Hat 2 da Back", "No Scrubs", "Waterfalls", "Girl Talk". Lopes won four Grammy Awards for her work with TLC.

On April 25, 2002, Lopes was killed in a car crash in La Ceiba, Honduras. She was the driver of the vehicle when she rolled off the road and was thrown out; she died from her injuries. The last days of her life were filmed from March 30, 2002 until her death on April 25, 2002, including the accident that took her life; later the footage was made into a documentary called The Last Days of Left Eye which aired on VH1's rock docs in 2007.

Lisa Lopes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Wanda, a seamstress, and Ronald Lopes, an Army staff sergeant. She has two younger siblings, Ronald and Raina.

TLC started off as a female trio called 2nd Nature. The group was renamed TLC – derived from the first initials of its then three members — Tionne, Lisa and Crystal. Things did not work out with Crystal Jones, and TLC's manager Perri "Pebbles" Reid brought in Damian Dame backup dancer Rozonda Thomas as a third member of the group.To keep the "initial" theme of the band's name, Rozonda needed a name starting with C, and so became Chilli—a name chosen by Lopes. Band mate Tionne Watkins became T-Boz which was derived from the first letter of her first name and "Boz," which is slang for "boss". Lopes was renamed "Left Eye", after a compliment from a man who once told her he was very attracted to her because of her left eye. Lopes emphasized her nickname by wearing a pair of glasses with the left lens covered with a condom, in keeping with the group's promotion of safe sex, wearing a black stripe under her left eye and, eventually getting her left eyebrow pierced.

The group arrived on the music scene in 1992 with the album Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip. With four singles, it sold six million copies worldwide; TLC became a household name. 1994 saw the release of CrazySexyCool, which sold over 23 million copies worldwide and cemented TLC as one of the biggest female groups of all time. TLC's third album, FanMail, was released in 1999 and sold over 14 million copies worldwide.[6] Its title was a tribute to TLC's loyal fans and the sleeve contained the names of hundreds of them as a "thank you" to supporters.

During the recording of FanMail, a public conflict began amongst the members of the group. Lopes sent a message to Vibe magazine saying, "I've graduated from this era. I cannot stand 100 percent behind this TLC project and the music that is supposed to represent me." In response to Lopes' comments, Watkins and Thomas stated to Entertainment Weekly that Lopes "doesn't respect the whole group" and "Left Eye is only concerned with Left Eye". In turn, Lopes sent a reply through Entertainment Weekly issuing a "challenge" to Watkins and Thomas to release solo albums and let the public decide who was the "greatest" member of TLC:

“I challenge Tionne 'Player' Watkins (T-Boz) and Rozonda 'Hater' Thomas (Chilli) to an album entitled "The Challenge"... a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums. Each [album]... will be due to the record label by October 1, 2000...I also challenge 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.”

T-Boz and Chilli declined to take up the "challenge," though Lopes always maintained it was a great idea.[10] Things were heated between the ladies for some time, with Thomas speaking out against Lopes, calling her antics "selfish", "evil", and "heartless." TLC then addressed these fights by saying that they are very much like sisters that have their disagreements every now and then as Lisa stated, "It's deeper than a working relationship. We have feelings for each other, which is why we get so mad at each other. I usually say that you cannot hate someone unless you love them. So, we love each other. That's the problem."

Solo career

After FanMail Lopes began to expand her solo career. She became a featured rapper on several singles, including former Spice Girl Melanie C's "Never Be the Same Again", which topped the charts in thirty five countries, including the United Kingdom. She was also featured on the first single from Donell Jones' second album, "U Know What's Up", and she sang "Space Cowboy" with 'N Sync on their 2000 album, No Strings Attached. In September 2000, she co-hosted the MOBO Awards in the UK alongside Trevor Nelson, where she also performed "U Know What's Up" with Donnell Jones. Lopes also collaborated on "Gimme Some" by Toni Braxton from her 2000 album The Heat. In 2001, she appeared in two commercials for Gap Inc.. rappers, and rock bands competed against each other and were judged. The show's winner, which ended up being a male-female rap duo, was promised a record deal and funding to produce a music video, which would then enter MTV's heavy rotation. A then-unknown Anastacia finished in third place, but ended up securing a record deal after Lopes and the show's three judges were impressed by her performance. About nine months before her death, Lopes appeared on the singers' edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire along with Joey McIntyre, Tyrese, Nick Lachey, and Lee Ann Womack. She dropped from a $125,000 question and won $32,000 for charity. A year later, in 2002, the episode of her drop was shown and was dedicated to her.

Lopes created "Left Eye Productions" to discover new talent. She helped the R&B trio Blaque secure a record deal with Columbia Records. Their self-titled debut album was executive-produced by Lopes, who also made a cameo appearance on the album and in their music video "I Do". Lopes was also developing another new band called Ejypt. They worked on her second album under her new nickname, N.I.N.A, meaning New Identity Not Applicable.

Supernova

Main article: Supernova (Lisa Lopes album)

Lopes spent much of her free time after the conclusion of TLC's first headlining tour supporting Fanmail recording her debut solo album, "Supernova". It includes a song titled "A New Star is Born", which is dedicated to her late father. She told MTV News:

“That track is dedicated to all those that have loved ones that have passed away. It's saying that there is no such thing as death. We can call it transforming for a lack of better words, but as scientists would say, 'Every atom that was once a star is now in you.' It's in your body. So, in the song I pretty much go along with that idea. ... I don't care what happens or what people think about death, it doesn't matter. We all share the same space.

Other tracks covered personal issues, including her relationship with NFL football player Andre Rison. In 1994, Lopes infamously burned down Rison's Atlanta mansion, resulting in the loss of all his possessions. Among the album's twelve tracks was also a posthumous duet with Tupac Shakur that was assembled from the large cache of unreleased recordings done prior to his murder in 1996. The unreleased song, "Left Pimpin", was sampled for the song "Quickie", which is featured on TLC's fourth album, 3D. Initially scheduled for release on a date to coincide with the tenth anniversary of her father's death, Arista Records decided to delay, then cancel the American release. The album was eventually released in August 2001 in various foreign territories.

N.I.N.A.

After numerous talks with Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, Lopes severed her solo deal with Arista (despite remaining signed to the label as a member of TLC) and signed with Knight's Tha Row Records, intending to record a second solo album under the pseudonym "N.I.N.A." (New Identity Not Applicable). She was recording with David Bowie for the project, who she was also trying to get involved with the fourth TLC album. The project was also to include several songs recorded by and with Ray J along with close friend Missy Elliott.The album was cancelled after Lopes' death in April 2002. In 2011, An unofficial remix album to Supernova was released online featuring artists from Tha Row Records.

Eye Legacy, Forever... The EP

Main article: Eye Legacy

In 2008, Lopes' family decided to work with producers at Surefire Music Group to create a posthumous album in her honor, "Eye Legacy". Originally set to be released October 28, 2008, the release date was pushed back to November 11, then to January 27, 2009. The song "Crank It", which features Lopes's sister Reigndrop, was released as a promotional single. The first official single from the album, "Let's Just Do It", was released on January 13, 2009 and features Missy Elliott and TLC. The second official single, "Block Party", features Lil Mama and Clyde McKnight. The album largely consisted of reworked versions of tracks from the Supernova album.

Main article: Forever... The EP

In November 2009, "Forever... the EP" was released which contained international bonus tracks not used on the Eye Legacy album. The EP was only available to download.

"Fantasies"

An unreleased track featuring Lopes was uploaded to SoundCloud on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of her death by Block Starz Music.[19] A portion of the proceeds from the song "Fantasies", which features rapper Bootleg of The Dayton Family, will go to the Lisa Lopes Foundation.

Personal life

Lopes at an event

Lopes was often vocal about her personal life and difficult past. She readily admitted that she had come from an abusive, alcoholic background and struggled with alcohol problems herself. These problems became headline news in 1994, when she set fire to Andre Rison's tennis shoes in a bathtub, which ultimately spread to the mansion they shared, destroying it. Lopes claimed that Rison had beaten her after a night out, and she set fire to his shoes to get back at him. However, she said burning down the house was an accident. Lopes later revealed that she did not have a lot of freedom within the relationship and was abused mentally and physically, having released all her frustrations on the night of the fire.

Lopes, who was sentenced to five years’ probation and therapy at a halfway house, was never able to shake the incident from her reputation. Her relationship with Rison continued to make headlines, with rumors of an imminent wedding, later debunked by People magazine. Lopes revealed on The Last Days of Left Eye documentary that her meeting with a struggling mother in rehab left a big impression on her. She subsequently adopted the woman's 8-year-old daughter. Ten years previously, she had adopted a 12-year-old boy (Jamal of the group Illegal).

Lopes had several large tattoos. Most prominent was a large eagle on her left arm, which she said represented freedom. Later, she added the number "80" around the eagle, which was Rison's NFL number while in Atlanta. She also had a tattoo of a moon with a face on her foot in reference to Rison's nickname, Bad Moon. On her upper right arm was a large tattoo of the name Parron, for her late stepbrother who died in a boating accident, arching over a large tattoo of a pierced heart. Her smallest tattoo was on her left ear and consisted of an arrow pointing to her left over the symbol of an eye, a reference to her nickname.

Roughly three days before her own death, Lopes was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the death of a ten-year-old Honduran boy. As reported in Philadelphia Weekly, "It is commonplace for people to walk the roads that wind through Honduras, and it's often difficult to see pedestrians." The boy, Bayron Isaul Fuentes Lopez, was following behind his brothers and sisters when he stepped off the median strip and was struck by the van driven by Lopes' personal assistant. Lopes' party stopped and loaded the boy into the car, and the Philadelphia Weekly goes on to explain that "Lisa cradled the dying boy's bleeding head in her arms" while "Someone gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as they rushed him to a nearby hospital." Lopez died the next day and Lopes paid approximately US$3,700 for his medical expenses and funeral, and later compensated the family around US$925 for their loss, although it was apparently agreed upon by the authorities and the boy's family that his death was an "unforeseeable tragedy", and no blame was placed on Lopes or the driver of the van. In the documentary The Last Days of Left Eye, Lopes is shown in a local funeral home choosing a casket for the child. Earlier in the documentary, Lopes mentioned that she felt the presence of a "spirit" following her, and was struck by the fact that the child killed in the accident shared her last name, even thinking that the spirit may have made a mistake by taking his life instead of hers.

Charity

Lopes started the Lisa Lopes Foundation, a charitable group dedicated to providing neglected and abandoned youth with the resources necessary to increase their quality of life. Her spiritual motto is the one that she used for her foundation: "Energy never dies...It just transforms." Her foundation went into various underdeveloped villages and gave away brand new clothes to needy children and their families. In 2012, the Foundation began hosting an annual music festival, known as "Left Eye Music Fest", in Decatur, Georgia.

Death

On April 25, 2002 in La Ceiba, Honduras, while driving a rented Mitsubishi Montero Sport around a bend in the road, Lisa Lopes swerved to the right slightly then again to the left as she tried to avoid a collision with another vehicle that was in her lane ahead of her (it's not clear as to the direction of travel of the other vehicle at the time of the accident). 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, and was the only person fatally injured in the accident. Raina Lopes, 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.

Her funeral was held at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on May 2, 2002. Thousands of people attended her funeral.[28] 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.

In a statement to MTV, producer Jermaine Dupri remembered Lopes:

She was determined to be something in life. She was a true Hip-Hop star. She cared about some press. She was the star out of the group. She was the one who would curse on TV. She had the tattoos. You could not expect the expected. When you see Lisa, you could expect something from her. That is the gift she carried.

Controversy over leaked autopsy photos led to a protest by NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In response, Earnhardt, Jr. and his DEI teammates Michael Waltrip and Steve Park painted a single black stripe next to the left headlight decals of their Chevrolet Monte Carlos for the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway to protest about the display of her autopsy photos. A similar controversy had befallen Earnhardt, Jr. himself after his father's death in the Daytona 500 a year earlier.

A documentary showing the final 27 days of Lopes's life, titled The Last Days of Left Eye, premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival in April 2007, for an audience that included many of Lopes's contemporaries, including Monica, Ronnie DeVoe, 112, Big Boi, India.Arie, and CeeLo Green. VH1 and VH1 Soul broadcast the documentary on May 19, 2007. Much of the footage was shot with a hand-held camera, often in the form of diary entries filmed by Lopes while on a 30-day spiritual retreat in Honduras with family and members of the R&B group Egypt. In these entries, she reflected on her personal life and career. A calmer side of her personality was on display, showing interests in numerology and yoga. She was in the process of setting up an educational center for Honduran children on 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land she owned.

UNI Studios

In 1998, Lopes created the UNI Studios for the purpose of recording solo projects. Lopes's family opened the studio to the public. So far, her brother Ronald Lopes is the general manager of the studio. Lopes had a dream of making new artists able to record music at a low price, in a high-end studio at her house. Lisa's family continues to operate it and fill it with new equipment.

Source: Wikipedia

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