The singing group blaque

The singing group blaque DEFAULT

Natina Reed Dead -- R&B Singer from the Group Blaque Dies at 32

Natina Reed, a member of the 90s R&B group Blaque, was killed in Georgia last night after being struck by car. She was 32.

According to the Gwinnett Police Department, the driver of the vehicle that hit Reed called 911 at 10:30 PM last night. She was pronounced dead at Gwinnett Medical Center 29 minutes later.

A press release said that Reed "was in the roadway on Lawrenceville Highway near Hamilton Road when struck."

Police say the investigation is ongoing, but say the driver "was determined to be not at fault and there are no charges pending."

In addition to her singing career, Reed appeared in the 2000 film, "Bring It On." She was a protegé of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.

Reed is survived by her 10-year-old son, Tren Brown, whose father is rapper Kurupt.


Netizens who are musically inclined will agree with some opinion shapers that there was something special about 90s R&B music. The lyrics were creative, the videos cheesy, and the dance moves fancy. Blaque is one of the R&B groups that were popular then. The group has undergone various changes, and netizens have been asking, ''What happened to Blaque?''

What happened to Blaque

Since its formation, Blaque produced and released catchy single hits that made them a household name. Beyond the US borders, their fans referred to them as ''Blaque Ivory.'' With such a promising start, the R&B and pop singers' fans have been curious to find out what happened to Blaque.

Who is Blaque?

Blaque is an American all-girl group that was founded in 1999. The original Blaque members were Natina Reed, Shamari Fears, and Brandi Williams. The name Blaque means "Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything''.

The crew released a ton of hit singles off their two albums, self-titled 'Blaque' (1999) and ''Blaque Out'' (2002). Years after their sophomore album, the trio went under and resurfaced in 2019.

Natina Reed formed the group in 1996 and was joined by her high school friend, Shamari. Brandi joined them shortly afterward. While singing jingles to earn an extra coin, Reed met Ronald Lopes, who introduced her to his sister, TLC's Lisa Lopes, otherwise known as ''Lisa Left Eye.''

After hearing them perform, Lisa officially signed the group to her company, Left Eye Productions. The company sought to form, mentor, manage, and promote solo or group talents of many genres from all over the globe.

Some of the other artists signed to the company were Silhouette, Face Man, Shaunda, and Rusx. So, is Natina related to Left Eye? No, the two connected through the band, which became Lisa's protege, especially during its formative years.

Lisa's influence on the group's maiden album, 'Blaque', was unmistakable. On the album cover, the three strike a pose that strikingly resembles TLC. Lisa mentored them as they got into the music world and also connected them to the who's who in the industry.

Some of the older artists, like NSync, collaborated with the group and made some top hits. Unfortunately, Lisa Lopes passed away in 2002 after a road accident while on a spiritual retreat in Honduras. Her demise presented a significant career setback to the Blaque members.

Bring It On movie

What happened to Blaque

The three Blaque members enjoyed massive success and fame in the 90s. Besides singing, they also tried out their hand in the movie industry. Netizens have been asking, ''Was Blaque on Bring it On?'' Yes. Two crew members, Natina Reed and Brandi Williams featured in the 2000 movie.

The pair had two songs on the movie soundtrack. These were "As If" and "Bring It All To Me," which they performed with 50 Cent. ''Bring it On'' was the story of two rival cheerleading squads and grossed an impressive $90 million.

What happened to Blaque?

The band's debut studio album ranked number 23 on the US R&B chart and number 53 on the Billboard 200 chart. Their singles "808" and "Bring It All to Me" reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

They have more recent albums to their name, including ''Highly Defined'' (2020). So, what happened to the members of Blaque?

Shamari Fears

What happened to Blaque

The American singer, songwriter, and actress is now known as Shamari DeVoe. She is married to fellow singer Ronnie DeVoe. She was the group's lead singer. Apart from ''Bring It On,'' she also featured in 'Honey' (2003). Since 2018, the singer has been featuring on the reality TV series ''The Real Housewives of Atlanta.''

Shamari has also featured in music videos "Ladies Night" by Lil' Kim and "Welcome To Atlanta" by Ludacris. Her financial worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is $4 million.

Natina Reed

What happened to Blaque

Did one of the members of Blaque die? Yes. The all-female group has endured some painful losses. Besides their mentor, they also had to contend with the death of the founding member, Natina Reed, who passed away in 2012.

How did Natina Reed die? The singer was hit by a car while crossing the street in Georgia, Atlanta. She was 32 years old when her untimely death occurred and was two days shy of her 33rd birthday. The car driver called 911, and Natina was pronounced dead about half an hour later at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Preliminary police investigations stated that the driver was determined not to be at fault and had no pending charges. Before the medical team arrived, a person believed to be the driver was seen trying to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the victim.

Natina left behind Trent Brown, her son, whom she had gotten with rapper Kurupt. The group went silent after the death of their founder, which also posed a challenge to their music. Thankfully, after a seven-year break, the group finally released its third album, 'Torch' in 2019.

Brandi Williams

What happened to Blaque

Brandi Danielle Williams has been married to Jay Harris since 2009. The singer has been acting and singing throughout her career. Williams appeared as herself in the 2001 movie ''On the Line.'' She released a solo single ''Love It'' in 2011 and has been contesting in several competitions within Atlanta under the stage name ''Danielle Foushe.''

Today, Brandi runs Beipolished, a unicorn nail polish and clothing enterprise. She is also a lifestyle expert and co-host of ''The ThrowBackZone'' (TBZ), a classic and groundbreaking entertainment show.

Music fans who have been wondering what happened to Blaque now have a peek into their current lifestyles. The entertainment industry will be keen to watch what the remaining band members have in store. recently published a list of black female gospel singers of all time. Contemporary gospel music has grown exponentially over the past few decades and has enjoyed increased demand.

The artists include award-winning Tasha Cobbs, whose career began in 2010. Tamela Mann also makes it to the list. The seasoned singer started her career in 2009 as Kirk Franklin's co-singer. Others are Jamie Grace, who began singing at 11 years old, Mandisa, Cece Winans, and Yolanda Adams, one of the best female vocalists and a radio host.

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Natina Reed

American singer (1980–2012)

Natina Tiawana Reed (October 28, 1980 – October 26, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter, rapper, and actress. She was born in New York City and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she pursued a career in music beginning in her early teens. Discovered by rapper Lisa Lopes, she worked as a writer for the girl groupTLC. Reed gained notice in the late 1990s as a member of the girl group Blaque. They released two albums: their 1999 eponymous debut album that peaked at number 53 on the Billboard 200, and Blaque Out (2001).

Reed starred as a cheerleader in the 2000 teen comedy film Bring It On. She later appeared as herself in the comedy-drama television series V.I.P. and the 2003 dance filmHoney. Blaque disbanded after an unsuccessful transition to Elektra in 2003 and failed an attempt at a reunion in 2010. Reed took a hiatus from music to further pursue acting. In the early 2000s, she was engaged to rapper Kurupt and gave birth to their son. On October 26, 2012, Reed died after being struck by a car near Lilburn, Georgia.

Life and career[edit]

1980-1996: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Natina Tiawana Reed was born on October 28, 1980, in Queens, New York,[1][2] to Paul Reed, a reverend, and Tamara Goodridge.[2] The family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when Reed was age four. She had two sisters, Niesha and Genni Reed, and one brother, Michael Whalen. Her parents divorced, resulting in Reed having a stepfather, Mark Goodridge, a stepmother, Luci Reed, and seven step-siblings who live in London.[2] She was singer Farrah Franklin's cousin.[3] Reed initially wanted to be either Miss America, a veterinarian, an actress, and entertainment attorney.[2][4] By age eight, she had modeled for Macy's and Bloomingdale's advertising campaigns and acted in a hot dog commercial.[2]

Reed played drums at her father's church and performed as part of its drama ministry.[2] She would often beatbox and create beats by hitting walls while writing lyrics to match the melodies.[5] Reed also wrote poems and jingles, with one being purchased by Sprite.[4] Around the ages of 13 or 14, she submitted a song for a competition and won; Reed said that after this experience, she had tried to be more open about her songwriting and allow other people to hear her work.[5]Lisa Lopes discovered Reed through her talent scout brother,[6] and hired her to write for TLC.[5] Reed said that Lopes helped to build her confidence. Following the encouragement of Tommy Mottola, Reed worked as "the official writer" for TLC.[5] She attended Cedar Grove High School.[2]

1997-1999: Blaque[edit]

Lopes created the girl group Blaque, an acronym for Believe, Life, Achieving, Quest, Unity and Everything, as "an outlet" for Reed.[6][7] The group included singers Shamari Fears and Brandi Williams;[7] Lopes described Reed as the rapper and writer of the trio.[6] Reed and Fears were school friends,[4][8] and worked together on other music projects including an urban country group.[9] They had met Williams during an audition for Lopes' production company Left Eye Productions.[4][8] Reed was 19 when Left Eye Productions signed the trio.[8][9] Lopes mentored and managed the trio[7] and media outlets identified Reed as Lopes' protégé.[10][11] Reed explained Blaque's sound and style: "The vibe we want to get across that we're universal. We're not just urban and R&B."[8] According to Billboard, Blaque's music contains elements of R&B, pop music, and rap music. Jean-Claude Olivier of Trackmasters said that Blaque was more pop in comparison to TLC.[8] Blaque first appeared as a group during a cameo appearance in the music videos for the remix of Lil' Kim's 1997 single "Not Tonight" and Jermaine Dupri's 1998 song "Someday at Christmas".[12][13] In 1999, they performed as the opening act for NSYNC's NSYNC in Concert and TLC's FanMail Tour.[14][15]

The group recorded their eponymous debut album with producer Dallas Austin in a Miami studio. They also worked on the record at Lenny Kravitz's home for two weeks. The trio collaborated with rappers Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah during the recording sessions.[5] Reed was the primary writer for Blaque,[4][6] having co-writing credits on seven of the album's 14 tracks;[16] "I Do" was written entirely by Reed.[16] Her tracks were published through Dotted Line (Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)).[8] A Los Angeles Sentinel writer identified Reed as "the sassy MC who gave hits like '808' their punch",[17] while Bruce Britt of BMI characterized her musical style as "brash hip-hop rhymes".[18] In her 2008 book Pop Princesses, author Beth Peters wrote that Reed's reputation was "notoriously naughty" and "wild, fiery, and feisty".[4]

Blaque was released June 1, 1999, under Trackmasters' imprint label.[7][19][a]Blaque peaked at number 53 on the Billboard 200;[21] on April 10, 2000, the album was certified platinum and had sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.[22][23] It was promoted through three singles: "808", "Bring It All to Me", and "I Do".[8][24] The first two tracks charted at number eight and five on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.[25] On June 2, 1999, "808" was certified gold for selling over 500,000 copies worldwide.[23] When Reed was 14, she wrote "I Do" after seeing singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette on MTV.[4][26] She said: "I wanted to write a song that could make an artist like her have the acceptance to be played on [R&B] stations."[26] A writer for BET noted the group's music videos had a "futuristic feel",[27] and Reed said: "We're straight out of the year 2080."[28]

2000-2002: Bring It On and continuing music career[edit]

Reed played cheerleader Jenelope in the 2000 teen comedy film Bring It On, her first acting role.[29][30] She described the character as "the one with the attitude" and "ghetto and cute at the same time".[4] She appeared alongside Williams and Fears, who played LaFred and Lava, friends to lead character Isis (played by Gabrielle Union).[4][30][31] Reed, Williams and Fears would often look into the camera when delivering their lines, because of their lack of acting experience.[30] Blaque contributed two songs to the film's soundtrack: "As If" and a remix of "Bring It All to Me" featuring verses from rapper 50 Cent.[30][32] On the 15th anniversary of its release, Union said that people erroneously associate Reed's lines ("Let's beat these Buffys down" and "You been touched by an angel, girl") with her character.[29]

Reed appeared as herself in a 2001 episode of the comedy-drama television series V.I.P.[33] The same year, she was featured on the hook for her then-fiancée Kurupt's single "It's Over" from his third studio album Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey,[34][35] and appeared in its music video flirting with him.[36] Jazmin Perez of Vibe included it as one of the "tracks to watch",[34] though Reed's portion was criticized as childish and incongruent with the rest of the single.[35][37] "It's Over" peaked at number 88 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop SongsBillboard chart.[38] Blaque was featured on the song "Head to the Sky" on Lopes' debut solo album Supernova also released in 2001.[39]

On January 29, 2002, Blaque's second studio album Blaque Out was released only in Japan.[7][40] It was made available temporarily for digital download in 2007 in the United States and was reissued in 2011.[7] Discussing its release, Reed said that the death of a group member's mother and "technical difficulties" led to the delays.[36] "Can't Get It Back" (2001) was the lead single from the album,[41] and promoted with a music video.[42] The song charted at number 91 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[43] Reed felt that Blaque Out was the group's best album.[5] She is credited as a songwriter on it.[44] In a review of Blaque Out, Demetria Lucas of Vibe criticized Reed's verses and vocals as too similar to Lopes and wrote it "makes for monotony".[45] Blaque made a cameo appearance in the music video for Jermaine Dupri's single "Welcome to Atlanta" (2002).[46] In the same year, Reed's song "Rock Climber" was featured on the compilation albumDragonfly Presents a Better Life Through Chemistry.[47][48]

2003-2012: Career setbacks and hiatus[edit]

In 2003, Blaque recorded a third album Torch with Elektra, which was never released.[5][7][b] The group worked closely with Missy Elliott on five of the album's tracks.[5][52] Scheduled for release in August 2003, it was promoted with the single "Ugly" featuring verses by Elliott.[49][52] Reed was unhappy with Torch's musical direction and her lack of creative control. According to Reed, Blaque retains the rights for the album, and they collectively refused to release it. She explained: "If it's not necessary to give them a record that we don't even too much care for, why give it to them?"[5] Despite it not being released, Ernest Hardy of Vibe somehow obtained a copy of Torch and in a review wrote that Reed's raps are "filled with hiccup effects, yeah-yeahs, and nasal phrasing", "lifted" from Lopes, describing the album as "passable, if highly derivative".[49]

In 2004, Blaque contributed the single "I'm Good" to the soundtrack album for the 2003 dance filmHoney,[53] and make a cameo appearance as themselves.[54] "I'm Good" was Blaque's highest charting single in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 17 on the UK Singles Chart.[53] The song also reached number 95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[43] Blaque separated in 2004,[55] and Fears and Williams pursued careers as solo artists.[22] Before the group broke up, singer Erica Pullins was temporarily hired as a replacement for Reed.[56][57] A compilation album Blaque by Popular Demand was released on February 27, 2007.[58]

Reed said that she took a hiatus from her music career "to focus on other aspirations that she ha[d] including acting".[5] According to other reports, she left Blaque to join a Christian ministry.[57][59] After Torch was not released, Reed refused to record secular music and pursued gospel music instead.[60] In 2008, she appeared as herself in the television filmTil 6 in the Morning by Platinum Souls.[61] The online magazine Bossip reported that Reed was arrested on April 13, 2010, in Gwinnett County on charges of prostitution, disorderly conduct, and cocaine possession; this news was picked up by other outlets.[62][63] Reed's management denied the arrest report, saying that the alleged mugshots were photoshopped by someone who had previously hacked into and deleted Reed's Twitter account.[64][65][c] On June 29, 2011, she was arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, and driving without a license,[66][67] and was jailed for two days.[67] Reed's license had been revoked after a previous DUI arrest.[67] During their hiatus, Blaque attempted a reunion, and worked on a project known as Private Show.[5][55] The album was abandoned because the members had different priorities.[5][60]

In a 2012 interview, Reed said she waited to pursue a solo career to avoid comparisons with other artists, specifically rapper Nicki Minaj.[5] Prior to her death, she was working on a solo album, a book, and scripts and hired an acting agent as a means of "revamping her career".[5][68] Reed had reunited previously with the Blaque group members for a performance at the Left Eye festival.[5] In the fall of 2012, Blaque had started work on an album and reality television show,[11][31] but further information about either project was not released following Reed's death.[31]

Personal life[edit]

An image of a man wearing blue shirt and flashing a hand sign to the camera.
Reed was engaged to Kurupt(pictured in 2011) in the early 2000s— they have one child together.

During the early 2000s, Reed became engaged to Kurupt though the couple never married.[31][69] They had planned to be married in the spring of 2001,[70] and rescheduled it to 2002 or 2003 due to conflicts with their work schedules.[36] Rapper Foxy Brown, Kurupt's former fiancée, dissed Reed on the track "730" from her 2001 album Broken Silence.[36][71] Reed responded to MTV News:

You can't chase something that doesn't chase you back [...] I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what people think about me. It's petty — it's like people never grow up in this game. You watch Biggie and all that shit that [he] and Pac went through, and people still don't get the message. They still want to start the wars and create fires.[36]

Reed became pregnant with Kurupt's child during the recording of Blaque Out; she said that the album's limited release was the result of her pregnancy and the label's uncertainty over the group's future.[5] In 2002, she gave birth to their son, Tren Brown.[31] Following Reed's pregnancy, the couple separated.[72] Reed's father said that being a mother was "one of her most treasured roles".[2] Following Lopes' death in an automobile accident in La Ceiba, Honduras, in 2002,[10] Reed was interviewed for a BET Tonight episode about her life.[73] Reed said she lived with Lopes three months before her son's birth and was taken care of during her pregnancy.[73] Tren, who had lived with Kurupt for four years before Reed's death, remained with his father.[74] Reed's father said he planned to raise money to help Tren.[75]


On October 26, 2012, a red Honda Accord struck Reed on the Lawrenceville Highway near Hamilton Road north of Lilburn, Georgia.[11][31][76] The driver and the passenger attempted CPR, but Reed was pronounced dead at the Gwinnett Medical Center at 10:59 p.m. (EDT).[77][78] The Gwinnett County police said that the driver "was determined to be not at fault and there are no charges pending",[11][79] and they started an investigation into the accident to determine why Reed was in the road.[76][77] Reed's death was first reported by TMZ the following day,[11][76] and media outlets incorrectly reported that Reed had died in a hit and run.[77][79] An obituary, written by Reed's family, was published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on October 30.[80] At the time of her death, Reed was living in the StudioPlus Atlanta Peachtree Corners extended stay hotel in Norcross, Georgia.[74][81][d]

On November 3, a public funeral service, organized by the Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, was held at the Abundant Life Church in Lithonia, Georgia.[80][81][82] Reed was buried at the North Atlanta Memorial Park and Chapel Mausoleum in Doraville, Georgia.[1] Prior to the service, Reed's parents held a press conference in Atlanta to criticize the police investigation. According to their attorney, the police had ignored their requests for information about "the time of incident, exact location, information about the driver and even Reed's personal belongings". Police released a report an hour after the conference was scheduled, responding that "they did not hold back any information".[68] A year after Reed's death, her sister Niesha Stevens died of unknown causes.[83]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also: List of awards and nominations received by Blaque

Reed was nominated for several accolades for her work with Blaque. For "808", the trio was nominated for Best R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist at the 1999 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award;[84] at the 2000 ceremony, they were also nominated for R&B/Soul Album Of The Year, Group, Band Or Duo.[85] "I Do" was nominated for Best Editing In A Video at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards,[86] and the group won Best New Artist-R&B at the 2000 Billboard Video Awards for "Bring It All To Me".[87] The group was nominated for Best Female Group at the 2001 BET Awards.[88]


See also: Blaque discography

Guest appearances[edit]



  1. ^For the international release, the album was titled Blaque Ivory.[20]
  2. ^Despite reports that Torch was not released, AllMusic erroneously reported that it was made available on August 5, 2003 and it was reviewed by Vibe.[49][50] According to the database Rate Your Music, a bootleg of the album was released in 2003.[51]
  3. ^Reed's charges are not listed on the websites for the Gwinnett County Courts or the Gwinnett County Jail.[64]
  4. ^Reed's mother said that she was living in a hotel during the process of moving into a new home.[81]



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  60. ^ abYkigs (September 21, 2011). "Interview: Brandi D "We Tried Blaque and We Decided To Take A Backseat on That for Right Now, But I'm Still in Love with Music". YouKnowIGotSoul. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018.
  61. ^Christopher Martin (director) (2008). Til 6 in the Morning by Platinum Souls (Television Film). Platinum Souls.
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  63. ^"Rumor Control: Day 26 Gay Scandal, Brandy x Monica, Drake's New Boo Speaks?". Vibe. April 28, 2010. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017.
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  67. ^ abcTan, Emily. "100 Hip-Hop Mugshots: Stories Behind the most Notorious Arrests". Townsquare Media. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017.
  68. ^ abkunbitinuoye (November 2, 2012). "Natina Reed's family seeks police investigation into her death". The Grio. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018.
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  76. ^ abc"R&B Singer Killed After Being Hit By a Car". TMZ. October 27, 2012. Archived from the original on April 28, 2017.
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Book sources[edit]

  • Lentz III, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN .
  • Peters, Beth (2008). Pop Princesses. New York City: Random House Publishing Group. ISBN .

External links[edit]

Exclusive: Blaque Group Members Sing at Niesha Reed's Funeral

How Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes's R&B trio wrestled their album from Matthew Knowles

There was a moment, around the turn of the millennium, where everything went Blaque. Discovered by Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the teen three-piece perfected the slinky stutters of that era’s R&B pop, with imagery that repacked Missy Elliott’s third-eye Afrofuturism for a gel pen-loving generation. As a kid-friendly TLC, Shamari DeVoe (née Fears), Brandi Williams and Natina Reed shared their predecessors’ intolerance for scrubs. If men featured in their videos, they were eyeballed like pick’n’mix and then discarded, unworthy of being in their orbit.

Blaque’s boldness – down to their homemade bubblewrap look – turned out to be their special sauce. With 1.5m debut album sales and tour dates with ‘NSync and TLC, they were poised to become 00s pop’s next mammoth girl group. Second album, Blaque Out!, however, was scrapped (it showed up on iTunes a decade later), while its feisty lead single Can’t Get It Back flopped and became a hit for Mis-Teeq instead. Then, following the death of Left Eye in 2002, Blaque lost their biggest cheerleader. “I definitely felt let down by the industry,” says DeVoe, also a cast member on Real Housewives of Atlanta. “There was a point where I lost my passion to ever want to sing again.”

After Reed’s tragic death in a road accident in 2012, fan clamour for another unreleased Blaque album, 2003’s Torch, began to grow. Encouraged by a petition, the group won back the rights to their recordings from one-time manager Matthew Knowles, and the album finally came out last month. “It feels really good to finally release it,” says Williams. “And with us able to own these songs now, and our fans still wanting to hear them, I actually think this is perfect timing.”

Despite its of-the-time production, Torch is a way more fun and inventive R&B album than recent releases from Blaque’s millennium-era peers such as Ciara or Usher. Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Linda Perry contribute, and Missy Elliott brings an out-of-the-box spirit to five tracks. The album closes with Her Name Is, a tribute to Left Eye. “Lisa was so much to us,” says Williams. “She was a true friend, a big sister, a mother figure. For us to lose her at such an early time in our career was just a devastating blow.”

Blaque are now planning a string of US shows as a two-piece, as well as brand new music soon. “Twenty years ago, you had to have a major label behind you,” says Williams. “Now, artists are able to put their careers in their own hands. Shamari and I are really interested in taking the independent route.” In a career marked by label disputes and personal tragedy, Blaque have weathered the knocks and are ready to thrive again. “I wanna make sure that we continue to keep Natina’s legacy alive,” says DeVoe. “We’re doing this for Natina and Lisa.”


Group blaque singing the

A couple of weeks ago, we marked 10 years since the death of TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Thinking back, she was definitely a trendsetter and created quite a legacy for herself.

Although it’s commonplace now, Left Eye was among the first artists to speak openly about contraception. She was also the original R&B bad girl, publicly beefing with her group mates and boyfriends. Be glad Twitter wasn’t around in 1999. Also, she was way ahead of the curve on radio’s current marriage of R&B and pop. Her 2001 solo album Supernova, which was released overseas, sounded like a prototype Nicki Minaj album. Except it wasn’t, you know, an embarrassing pile of garbage.

The most overlooked part of Left Eye’s legacy is her group, Blaque. Much like their mentor, they were way ahead of their time, for better or worse. Remember them?

Thanks to a chance meeting, Blaque was introduced to stardom. Natina Reed, Shamari Fears and Brandi Williams united to form Blaque Ivory in the late 90s. While singing jingles to make ends meet, Natina met Ronald Lopes, who introduced her to his sister, Left Eye. Blaque hit pay dirt.

Blaque’s self-titled debut dropped in the summer of ’99 and their mentor’s influence was apparent. Look at that album cover, they look like the Sour Patch Kid version of TLC. The album was a surprise hit, eventually selling 1.5 million copies.

The secret to their success? Mind-numbingly catchy singles.

Have you really listened to the lyrics of “808?”

‘Cause I’ll be goin’ boom like an 808
Be makin’ circles like a figure 8
You know it feels good from head to toe
Now hold on to me baby here we go

Sounds like a toddler wrote these lyrics. The song was actually written by R. Kelly, so that’s pretty close – they have the same bladder habits.

Goofy lyrics didn’t stop “808” from going gold in June 1999. Even I admit it was mighty tough to change the radio station when it appeared. I barely recall the remix but others remember it fondly.

Their most prolific (i.e., overplayed) hit was “Bring It All To Me.” Good lord, they wore it out on the radio in Va. Ever disliked a song during the first 500 listens but it eventually you gave in and started tolerating it – even, gasp, liking it? Yeah. The radio/album version featured J.C. Chasez of N’SYNC but I guess he couldn’t be bothered to show up for the video.

(Side note: Listening to “Bring It All To Me” reminded me that J.C. could SING. He needs to get off America’s Next Dance Crew and get in the studio.)

The hyperactive “I Do” wasn’t as memorable as Blaque’s first singles but it did reasonably well. The success of their debut should have springboarded Blaque to long-term success.

 But if that had happened, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.

In 2001, Blaque geared up to release their sophomore effort Blaque Out, with the lead single “Can’t Get It Back.”

Then boom, the drama hit like an 808.

Blaque Out was shelved at the last minute by Columbia Records. Around this time, Natina and her boyfriend/future babydaddy, West Coast rapper Kurupt, started feuding with Kurupt’s ex, Foxy Brown. Remember this gem?

Foxy fired back, claiming to be the reason Natina was kicked out of Blaque, but Natina said she was just on hiatus to give birth. Again I say, be glad Twitter wasn’t around then to document this foolishness.

To make matters much worse, Blaque’s biggest inspiration died in a car crash in Honduras months later. The chilling footage is here, but I warn you, it’s very disturbing.

Blaque Out was eventually released in Japan in 2002 and finally made it to iTunes in the U.S. in 2007. It was then removed from iTunes soon afterward but just recently reappeared. The girls just can’t catch a break.

Blaque went back to the drawing board in 2003 for Torch. Despite the album title, the singles “I’m Good” (which also appeared on the Honey Soundtrack) and “Ugly” failed to catch fire. Yet again, another album was shelved.

I guess the ladies saw the writing on the wall and soon explored other projects. Natina apparently went into ministry and was replaced during overseas performances by Erica Pulliins. Shamari signed with Darkchild and um, didn’t do too much. She did appear on this horrible song, however.

The original trio has since reunited and are trying to get a new material released. No luck yet.

Should They Come Back?: Geez, after all the depressing research I’ve conducted, I almost want ’em to come back just so they can experience SOME good news. I’m on the fence about their success in 2012. On one hand, they would have no problem infiltrating today’s “pop disguised as R&B” radio playlists. But Blaque really lost their mojo when they lost their muse. If they can rekindle that spark, they’ll be baby-talking their way back into your earbuds.

The death of Natina Reed Blaque Documentary


American vocal group

For the YouTuber, see Kat Blaque.

Blaque is an American girl group that charted from 1999 to 2004. Outside of the United States they are known as Blaque Ivory. Their self-titled debut album Blaque sold more than 1 million copies and was certified Platinum. The group's debut included the platinum-selling R&B single "808", the international pop hit "Bring It All to Me", and a third single, "I Do". The group went on hiatus from 2002 until 2007, releasing three less successful singles, "Can't Get It Back", "Ugly", and "I'm Good", the latter appearing in the film Honey.

In 1999, Billboard named Blaque the 4th Best New Artist of the year, with "Bring It All to Me" landing at number 30 on the 2000 Year End Chart.[1] Blaque worked on two albums in the mid-to-late 2000s but did not release them. The group attempted a comeback in 2012, but ultimately failed due to Natina Reed's accidental death.


Natina Reed and Shamari Fears both moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and met while in high school. Reed formed Blaque while Fears formed another group called Intrigue. Intrigue won a recording contract with Elektra Records, and Fears met up with Brandi Williams at a talent show while a member of that group. Fears left Intrigue to join up with Reed in Blaque and Williams joined the group shortly thereafter. Reed met Ronald Lopes while singing jingles to earn extra cash and he introduced her to his sister Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC. Lisa Lopes signed the group to her production company, Left Eye Productions.

Blaque has said that their name means "Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything".[2]

Music career[edit]

1997–2000: Debut[edit]

In 1997, the group made a cameo appearance in the video Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight (Remix)".

Their self-titled debut debuted at number 23 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and at number 53 on the official Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by RIAA. The album's lead single "808" was a success in the U.S. reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and Gold certification. The follow-up single "Bring It All To Me" which featured JC Chasez, was a hit making number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The last single "I Do" was not a success like the previous singles, reaching number 73 on the R&B/Hip-Hop single chart. The single "I Do" was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing.

In mid-1999, Blaque toured as one of the opening acts for boy band'N Sync.[3] Blaque also performed as one of the opening acts for TLC's FanMail Tour later that year.

In 2000, the group starred as cheerleaders in the film Bring It On and went to the studio and recorded the Shelly Peiken and Guy Roche song "As If" for the soundtrack that same year. A remixed version of the Blaque song "Bring It All To Me" appeared in the film, with added rapping by 50 Cent.

2001–2002: Blaque Out[edit]

While their self-titled debut album went platinum, the second album called Blaque Out, which was set for release in 2001, was shelved as the group was dropped from Columbia Records for unknown reasons. The video for the first single "Can't Get It Back" was never released. The album was soon leaked on the Internet. After Lopes's death in a car crash in Honduras on April 25, 2002, they signed with Elektra Records and after Reed gave birth to a son, they began work on their third album. An alternate version of the shelved album was released to iTunes on May 22, 2007, but was later on taken down. December 2011, Blaque Out was released back onto iTunes.

2005–2012: Reunion, Reed's death[edit]

Fears was signed to Darkchild Records in 2005. Williams also signed a new record deal and started working on a solo album. She also provided vocals on the hook of Nelly's single "Grillz".

In 2005, Blaque came back together to record their fourth studio album Private Show (originally titled Beauty). They worked on the album sporadically from 2005 to 2009. Blaque agreed to film a show Blaque In the House for airing in the summer of 2008; however, the show was never picked up, and the album went unreleased. Blaque released four songs on YouTube: "Cut You Off", "All Nighter", "Blue Jeans" and "High Definition" before they decided to disband.

On July 28, 2012, Blaque reunited for the Left Eye Music Festival in Decatur, Georgia. At the event, Blaque performed their single "808". Shortly after, the group contracted with artist manager Inga "Nandi" Willis, and started working on an album and a reality television show.

On October 26, 2012, Reed died after being hit by a car near Atlanta, Georgia. The group broke up shortly after her death.[4] Two days later, "Cut You Off", a song intended for the album, leaked via the internet.[5]

2003–2019: Torch, change in lineup[edit]

Blaque's intended third album, Torch, featured Missy Elliott, songwriter Linda Perry, and producer Rodney Jerkins. The intended single "Blackout" was a derided as a "rip-off" of 50 Cent's song "In da Club".[6]

"I'm Good" appeared on the soundtrack for the film Honey and Torch was not released.

The album was scheduled to be released exclusively to iTunes in 2008, nearly five years after its completion by Music World Entertainment, but this was canceled. It has been confirmed that Mathew Knowles owns the rights to the albums Torch and Blaque Out.[7]

On May 31, 2019, Blaque released Torch under the label Blaque/The Move Entertainment.

Other media[edit]

In addition to their recording work, Reed, Fears, and Williams appeared in the 2000 film Bring It On as members of the East Compton Clovers cheerleading squad, fronted by Gabrielle Union. Williams also had a small role (playing herself) in the 2001 movie On the Line. Blaque also appears on Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes's 2001 solo debut album, Supernova, on the track titled "Head to the Sky", which was only released internationally. In 2005, two clips of Fears's solo songs titled "The One" and "NJ2" were leaked onto the internet.





Other appearances[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Result Category
2000 Nominated Best Editing In A Video
For: "I Do"

BET Awards

Year Result Category
2001 Nominated Best Female Group
For: "Blaque"

Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards

Year Result Category
1999 Nominated Best R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist
For: "808"
2000 Nominated R&B/Soul Album Of The Year, Group, Band Or Duo
For: "Blaque"

Billboard Video Awards

Year Result Category
2000 WonBest New Artist-R&B
For: "Bring It All To Me"




  1. ^Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Blaque". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  2. ^Hay, Carla (April 17, 1999). "Blaque Wants More Than Just TLC". Billboard. 111 (16): 18.
  3. ^Gill, John (November 19, 1999). "Blaque Gets 'N Sync For New Single, Talks Touring Days". MTV News.
  4. ^[1]
  5. ^"". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  6. ^Group, Vibe Media (September 2003). Vibe. Vibe Media Group.
  7. ^"Mathew Knowles owns the rights to group Blaque's albums". the Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  8. ^"RIAA – Searchable Database: Silkk the Shocker". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  9. ^Jason Ankeny. "Blaque | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  10. ^"Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  11. ^"UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2015-08-30.

External links[edit]


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