On this day in music history: July 8, 1995 – &…

On this day in music history: July 8, 1995 – “Waterfalls” by TLC hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks, also peaking at #4 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Marqueze Etheridge, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Organized Noize, it is the second pop chart topper for the Atlanta, GA based R&B vocal trio. Written specifically for TLC, the production team Organized Noize base the song on both personal experiences, and those of people in their inner circle of friends and family. It also touches on timely topics such as the consequences of the drug trade and promiscuity. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ rap is inspired by her difficult upbringing and personal struggles. She pens the lyrics on the way to the studio, having been released from police custody after unintentionally burning down the mansion of her then boyfriend, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison. The track also features background vocals by La’Face Records vocal mainstay Debra Killings and Cee-Lo Green, then a member of The Goodie Mob. Released as the third single from their second album “CrazySexyCool” on May 29, 1995, it becomes TLC’s biggest single. Entering the Hot 100 at #39 on June 10, 1995, it races to the top of the chart four weeks later. “Waterfalls” is supported by a memorable and cutting edge music video directed by F. Gary Gray (“Friday”, “The Italian Job”, “Straight Outta Compton”). At a cost of over $1,000,000, the clip is shot over two days on June 8th and 9th, 1995, on the back lot of Universal Studios, featuring actors Ella Joyce (“Rock”), Bokeem Woodbine (“Jason’s Lyric”, “The Rock”) and rapper Shyheim. The video wins four MTV VMA awards, including Video Of The Year, making TLC the first African Americans artists to win the award. The single receives Grammy Nominations for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Record Of The Year in 1996. “Waterfalls” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.