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-- by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Curtis Waller

For many fans, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes will be forever remembered as a human headline, a magnet for controversy, the spunkiest member of TLC who once wore a condom over her left eye.

They'll think back and picture the buck-wild musical starlet who set ex-boyfriend Andre Rison's house ablaze in 1994, the scornful aftermath of lovers' quarrel.

But Lopes the person was much more than Left Eye the celebrity, as many are learning now. In the wake of last month's fatal car accident in Honduras, details have emerged that show her as an entrepreneur on the come up, a mother and a humanitarian who in her own words had "a huge and genuine concern for all of mankind," especially children and the elderly.

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
1971-2002
An MTV News special report
She was the type of person who took a fan to his prom after being touched by a letter he wrote. She helped singer Natina Reed get Blaque off the ground after Reed sent fan mail asking for help breaking into the biz. Lopes took several Sudanese refugees called the Lost Boys under her wing after reading about their plight and put them in a recording studio to work on albums by her protégés Egypt and her musical alter ego, N.I.N.A.

Family was everything to Lisa, whether it was her singing sisters in TLC, her blood siblings — two of whom were with her and survived the fatal car accident — or Snow, the little girl she treated as her own. (She also had a hand in helping to raise Mally G, a former member of young rap duo Illegal.)

Lopes' interest in spiritual and physical cleansing led her to Honduras, where she would visit an herbalist known as Dr. Sebie.

"She was his biggest fan," said Jay Marose, Lopes' publicist and friend of nearly five years. Marose said Lopes had frequented Honduras for as long as he'd known her and that she planned to move there.

"If she was anyone's publicist it was him," Marose said of Sebie. "She believed in his cleansing process. There are things you can't eat during that time. There are things you can eat and drink — water, herbs. She lived it. It was near religious for her."

Others who knew Lopes also described her trips to Honduras as holy pilgrimages.

"She was a real spiritual person," remembered Carl Thomas, who performed on Left Eye's overseas solo debut, Supernova. "She talked about what she was doing in Honduras as far as holistic medicine and meditation. She was a real spiritual girl."

"She was always telling us about going to Honduras and how spiritual it was," concurred Rockwilder, who produced songs on Supernova.

"This is this is not a place she went on vacation," Vibe magazine Editor-at-Large Mimi Valdes said. Last year Valdes went to Honduras with Left Eye for a story. "It was not a 'Let me go get a sun tan at the beach' type of thing. This is a place where she was fasting or being healthy or cleansing in these hot spring waters. This was a place [where she said,] 'I can get away from being Left Eye the pop star and I can come here and get my head together and focus.' "


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1971-2002
An MTV News special report



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