T’Melle Discusses Her Mentor, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, and That Tragic Accident

T’Melle knows that this is what she was meant to do. A former protégé of TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the Philly-born T’Melle started singing in the church before forming a girl group, Egypt, and being taken under the wing of the Grammy Award- winning superstar. But her passion for performing was ignited years earlier.

“I always knew [what] I wanted to do because my father was a music teacher,” she says. “He always had me singing musicals and watching musicals. Of course, I was always in church. When I met the girls [of Egypt], I was just like ‘this is what I want to do.’ ”

Meeting fellow Philly native Left Eye was beneficial to the young singer. She soaked up everything Left Eye had to share with her about performing and dedication.

“That was my mentor, my big sister, she just taught me so much in a short period of time,” T’Melle shares. “Lisa broke down the bad she went though. She would go into detail [and] say, ‘These are the mistakes I made — don’t you make them.’ I wish I still had her. She was all about her fans. She was everything I want to be.”

T’Melle was seriously injured in the car accident that claimed Lopes’ life. Thankfully, T’Melle survived, but faced a harrowing journey back to health.

“[I was] in a wheelchair for two years. I was in critical condition, had two blood transfusions,” she says. “The doctor said they were going to amputate my leg. That’s what I’ve overcome. I just kept on pushing.”

Her determination led to her making a full recovery, and reclaiming her musical career. Now a solo artist, the young star is excited about seeing her destiny fulfilled.

“You can’t give up. If this is really what you eat, breathe and live — you cannot give up. … You’re going to have the haters say ‘you can’t do that.’ People told Beyoncé, Madonna and everybody else that. You’ve got to keep on striving and keep working and pushing and I know I know its cliché and everybody says it, but, trust me, I’m a living testimony that hard work will pay off.” –todd williams

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