St. Petersburg Times: Weekend

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They want to do right

[Publicity photo]
3LW’s first hit single is No More (Baby I’ma Do Right).


© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 16, 2001

3LW is working hard to make a mark as the opening act of the TRL tour.

Pop music history has been filled with female trios, from the Andrews Sisters to the Supremes to Destiny's Child, but radio airplay, CD sales and MTV appearances show there's still room for another threesome fueled by girl power.

Seventeen-year-olds Adrienne Bailon and Naturi Naughton and 15-year-old Kiely Williams are 3LW. The group's name is an acronym for "Three Little Women" and is based on the the classic novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

"We're young, sassy girls who are street savvy and funky and who can handle their business and be mature but still have a young kid side to them," Naughton said recently during a break between a dance rehearsal and tutoring session during a tour stop in Kansas City, Mo.

Four months after the group's self-titled CD debuted in December, it went platinum, propelled by the success of the first single, No More (Baby I'ma Do Right). Their music is a blend of styles the singers have labeled "ghetto pop."

"We have an R&B side, a pop side and a hip-hop side. We sing it all," Naughton said.

On this tour, the girls only have a short time to make a big impression. As the opening act, they start singing before many folks have taken their seats.

"There's a lot of pressure on us to be the first people out there," Bailon said. "We're the ones who have to get the party started. We need to make sure that at the end of the concert the fans remember who opened the show."

[Publicity photo]
Kiely Williams, Naturi Naughton and Adrienne Bailon of Three Little Women (3LW), will open the TRL concert Saturday.
3LW performs four songs during the 20-minute opening set. They sing live to prerecorded music. The only group with a live band is headlining act Destiny's Child.

While many pop acts resort to lip-syncing on stage, 3LW says that's not their style.

"We think it's important to sing live because you can bring the album to life and put your own feelings into the song," Williams said. "If you aren't really singing, the audience might as well be listening to the album at home."

"We wish we could showcase our vocals more on the TRL tour," Naughton said. "We wish we could sing a ballad and show that all three of us have distinct voices, but we don't have that much time."

But 3LW uses the time wisely.

"We are dancing pretty hard, not just prancing around the stage," Naughton said. "We're working extra, extra hard to prove to people out there that 3LW is not the typical girl group."

* * *

PREVIEW: MTV's TRL tour, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ice Palace. $27.50-$49.50. (813) 287-8844.

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