|Also known as||3 Little Women, 3LDub, 2LW|
|Origin||Newark, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, hip hop soul|
|Labels||Epic (1999–2003), So So Def (2003–2007)|
|Associated acts||Lil' Wayne, Jermaine Dupri, The Cheetah Girls, Loon, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Yo Gotti, Yung Joc|
|Past members||Adrienne Bailon (1999–2007)
Kiely Williams (1999–2007)
Naturi Naughton (1999–2002)
Jessica Benson (2003–2007)
3LW (initialism of "3 Little Women") was an American hip hop soul girl group that enjoyed a number of modest hits during the early 2000s. Its founding members were Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Naturi Naughton. Jessica Benson later replaced Naughton after she left the group in 2002. 3LW was signed to the label Epic Records, and later moved to So So Def.
In 1999, the original line up of 3LW formed. Their first single, "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)", was released in the fall of 2000. "No More" was a chart success, and was followed by "Playas Gon' Play" in early 2001. The group's self-titled debut album, 3LW was released on December 5, 2000. The album went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA, selling 1.3 million copies in the US. In the summer of 2001, the group embarked on the MTV Total Request Live tour along with Destiny's Child, Dream, Nelly, Eve, and Jessica Simpson.
In 2001, 3LW recorded a song with various artists including Michael Jackson, Frankie J, Usher, Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey in response to the 9/11 attacks called "What More Can I Give". In late 2001 they collaborated with Lil' Romeo and Nick Cannon for "Parents Just Don't Understand" on the Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius soundtrack.
3LW spent the first half of 2002 in the studio, recording an album tentatively titled Same Game, Different Rules. The album and its intended lead single "Uh Oh" were presented to the label, who felt it did not have enough urban radio appeal. The tracks from Same Game, Different Rules were leaked to the Internet in MP3 format, and Epic considered dropping the girls. A fan support campaign for 3LW named 'Never Let Go Of 3LW' (after their song "Never Let Go") spread to the radio, and the act was retained, despite the album loss.
2002–2003: A Girl Can Mack and downfall
Recording a new set of tracks, the group returned in the summer of 2002 with the P. Diddy-produced single "I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)", featuring Loon. That same summer, the group performed a concert special on Nickelodeon titled Live on Sunset. By August, the group was set to release its newest LP, A Girl Can Mack, when member Naughton had left the group for good after heated arguments. A Girl Can Macks release date was pushed back a month, but sales were still disappointing debuting at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with a disappointing 53,000 copies sold in the first week. Approaching the time that the group was ready to deliver their second album, Naturi Naughton announced that she was no longer a member of the group. Naughton alleged that she had a number of conflicts and arguments with Bailon, Williams, and their management, which led to a heated argument in August 2002 involving an altercation with KFC food. Not long after, Naughton claimed that she was forced out of the group.
Williams and Bailon continued as a duo while using the "3LW" name, causing the press to jokingly refer to them as "2LW". According to a cover story for the October 2002 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine, Kiely & Adrienne said they received death threats and that they had to beef up security. The departure of Naturi greatly affected the group's popularity and album sales. After the second single released from the album, "Neva Get Enuf", underperformed, auditions were held across the country for a new third member. Jessica Benson made the cut and joined 3LW in early 2003. Without Jessica, the group might have had to split due to "bankruptcy". Jessica's first performance was on Live with Regis & Kelly, followed by a performance on Soul Train.
2003–2008: Point of No Return
In the summer of 2005, the group recorded "Wake Up Everybody '05" with 103 various African-American, Jamaican and British R&B, reggae, hip hop and urban gospel artists under the name "VH1 Save the Music R&B All-Stars", including Quincy Jones, Destiny's Child, Jagged Edge, Nina Sky, Jill Scott, Ginuwine, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Nas, T-Boz & Chilli, Ice Cube, Maxi Jazz, Mis-Teeq, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, Solange, Keith Sweat, T.I., Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Mýa, The Pussycat Dolls, Brian McKnight, Queen Latifah, Cham, Mr. Vegas, Sean Paul and Mario Winans, in response of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well as the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.
The group's third studio album was originally called Phoenix Rising, but was renamed Point of No Return. The lead-off single, "Feelin' You", was added on radio stations July 12, 2006. The album was supposed to be released later that year, but was pushed back to a 2007 release because of Adrienne and Kiely's involvement with Disney's Cheetah Girls franchise, and eventually fell off the release schedule. The album delays were caused by image conflicts between both groups. During the success of The Cheetah Girls, Jessica Benson finished high school and contact between parties involving 3LW was limited. As a result, the album was never released. In early 2007, Bailon stated in Girls Life magazine that 3LW was on hold because of the Cheetah Girls project. However, rumors were finally put to rest by Bailon in an interview with Jonathon Jackson in 2008. Bailon confirmed that 3LW officially disbanded after they were removed from the So So Def roster. Bailon and Williams decided to then pursue The Cheetah Girls franchise full-time. In late December 2008, the Cheetah Girls disbanded and ventured off into solo careers.
Williams confirmed via an online chat on her official website that she has not spoken to Bailon since the final date of The Cheetah Girls: One World Tour 2008 citing that she and Bailon were "both busy" and "doing [their] own thing" while original member Naughton and Bailon have since reconciled, as well as Bailon and Benson who reconnected during a Recording Session in Atlanta for Adrienne's solo album.
Bailon announced she is working on her debut solo album, due for a release via Island Def Jam Records. Bailon and Williams are collaborating on a talk show together, which Williams described as "a young version of The View". In 2008, Williams filmed a music video for her first solo single "Make Me A Drink" in New York City. A teaser of the video was released online in October 2009 with news that the single would be released soon.
In popular culture
Awards and nominations
|2001||Soul Train Music Award Win for "Best New R&B or Hip-Hop Artist"|
|Soul Train Music Award Win for "Album of the Year"|
|BET Award Nominated for "Best Group"|
|2002||BET Award Nominated for "Best Group"|
|2003||Source Award Nominated for "Best Female R&B act"|
|2003||Soul Train Music Award Nominated for "Best Group, Band or Duo R&B/Soul Single"|
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- "3LW : 3LW Sign To So So Def, Ask 50 Cent To Get 'Gangsta' With Them – Rhapsody Music Downloads". VH1. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "3LW Is A Trio Again". Billboard. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
-  Archived July 17, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
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- [dead link]
- "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "3LW : Naturi Describes Alleged 3LW Fist Fight That Led To Split". VH1. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "3LW News". Yahoo! Music. March 5, 2003. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- Moss, Corey (July 2, 2003). "3LW Celebrate New Beginning". MTV News. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "3LW". MTV. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "GameSpot Video: NBA Street Movie 12". Gamespot.com. June 18, 2001. Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15.