The year is 1995; Michael Jackson is back in the NBA, Toy Story is on the big screen, and TLC’s music is EEEEEEEEEVERYWHERE. Only problem is, they’re broke.
Literally, flat broke.
(Let’s throw back a few years.)
As the group started in 1991, they signed a management deal with Perri Reid, better known as the artist “Pebbles.” The original agreement allowed both their managers and their record label to recoup on their investments, which is standard practice. But the investments, according to all three members of the group, got excessive. From champagne dinners and private jets to first class EVERYTHING – even for non-essential persons involved – the management’s entourage was living large. The ladies, not so much. They were losing money, every day, every week, unable to pay back HUGE sums due to their managers, even as THIS video was EVERYWHERE.
That’s why, on July 3, 1995, just as “Waterfalls” was about to hit #1, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Taking a breath, re-negotiating their contracts, and catching up on their personal time that was much-missed during their crazy “CrazySexyCool” releases and concerts, they refocused, re-centered, and brought forth a better version of themselves – both personally, and behind the scenes in their business life.
So what’s the moral of the story?
For T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli; know your worth. Have someone on YOUR side negotiating your contract, and don’t trust everyone on your team. Delegate the responsibilities of things like taxes, finances, and all the business operations to someone else. Then, take a deep breath and KNOW it will work. When you put in the time up front, things have a way of doing that.
You could say, if the rivers and the lakes they were used to were singing and recording music, they should leave the chasing of Waterfalls to someone else.
But you don’t have to say that. I think they already did.
Here’s to you, ladies!