“Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything”
In the beginning, Shamari Fears walked away from her initial R&B group Intrigue, along with a recording contract with Elektra Records, and after meeting Brandi Williams at a talent show, Fears and Williams joined classmate Natina Reed‘s R&B group Blaque. While singing jingles to make extra cash Reed met Ronald Lopes, brother to Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. The trio would then go on to sign with Left Eye Productions, and make their first cameo appearance in Lil Kim‘s “Not Tonight (remix)” video.
The trio introduced a pop-friendly sound as Williams and Fears ushered in a much softer approach while Reed effortlessly embodied the “Left Eye” persona.
In 1997, Blaque released their self-titled debut album, which peaked at No. 23 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop charts. The first single “808” caught the attention of young R&B fans everywhere, however, their follow-up single, “Bring It All To Me” featuring N’Sync‘s JC Chasez became their biggest hit to date, reaching No. 5 on Billboard charts. In 1999, Blaque served as the opening act for N’Sync’s world tour, and TLC’s FanMail Tour.
In 2000, the group went on to record a remake of Shelly Peiken and Guy Roche‘s single “As If” for the soundtrack to the film Bring It On, which became a teen success as the trio made a special cameo appearance as cheerleaders.
In 2001, while their self-titled debut album went platinum, the second album Blaque Out was shelved as the group was dropped from Columbia Records. Blaque Out was soon leaked on the Internet, and the video for the first single “Can’t Get It Back” was never released. After the world mourned the tragic death of “Left Eye” on April 25, 2002, Blaque signed with Elektra Records and began work on their third album. An alternate version of the shelved album was released to iTunes on May 22, 2007, but was later taken down. On December 2011, Blaque Out was released back onto iTunes.
In 2003, the group’s intended third album Torch would never see the light of day. Although their single “I’m Good” would appear on the Honey soundtrack, Torch would be permanently shelved as it was “scheduled” to be released exclusively to iTunes in 2008. However, it was later confirmed that former Destiny’s Child manager and father of Beyoncé, Mathew Knowles owns the rights to the album Torch and Blaque Out.
On July 28, 2012, Blaque reunited for the Left Eye Music Festival in Decatur, GA. Shortly after, the trio contracted with artist manager Inga “Nandi” Willis, and started working on an album and a reality television show. Unfortunately, the release of their new projects would come to a close as on October 26, 2012, Natina Reed passed away after being hit by a car near Atlanta, Georgia.
HERSource recognizes Blaque and the lives of Natina Reed and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes as we celebrate Women’s History Month in their memory.