Celebrating the Legacy of Lisa Lopez, a Tejano Singing Sensation

Lisa Lopez is a Tejano singer whose 1982 single “Si Quieres Verme Llorar,” produced by Rick Garcia and published on the Hacienda Record label, peaked at the top of the Billboard Regional Mexican Airplay chart in the United States. Lopez, whose target audience was primarily Mexicans, made her Billboard Top Latin Albums début in October 1981, making her the first female Tejano musician to do so. Female musicians historically have experienced less commercial success than male ones. Along with Chavela Ortiz, Patsy Torres, Laura Canales, Shelly Lares, Elsa Garcia, and Selena, Lopez was one of the seven female singers to find popularity in Tejano music prior to the genre’s zenith in the 1990s.

Lopez, who was musically comparable to Lydia Mendoza and Chelo Silva, is the niece of Isidro Lopez. She had a recording contract with Sony Discos at the start of the 1990s, but none of her songs reached the top of the charts. In addition to winning the first-ever Tejano Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Female Entertainer of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Decade, Lopez also got the Tejano Music Award for Song of the Year in 1982.

Early Life

Lopez was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1971. She is the daughter of US Army staff sergeant Ronald Lopez Sr. and seamstress Wanda Denise (née Andino). Lisa has a younger brother named Ronald Jr. and a younger sister named Raina Anitra (also known as Reigndrop). According to Lopez, whose father was “very strict, very domineering” and a “talented musician” who could play the piano, saxophone, clarinet, harmonica, and clarinet, the family was treated like they were in “boot camp.”

When Lopez’s parents divorced when she was still in school, her paternal grandmother cared for her until she was older. At age 5, she started using a toy keyboard and eventually wrote her tunes. She and her brothers started the musical group The Lopez Kids when she was ten years old, performing gospel music at community events and churches. She went to the girls’ high school in Philadelphia.


Personal Life

Lopez has spoken up about her private life and traumatic history. In the documentary “The Last Days of Left Eye”, Lopez admitted that meeting a struggling mother in recovery had a significant impact on her. The struggling mother’s 8-year-old daughter was later adopted by her. 

Lopez had numerous tattoos. The most noticeable feature was a huge bird on her left arm, which she claimed stood for freedom. Later, she placed “80” around the eagle, which was Andre Rison’s NFL number when playing for Atlanta. Rison was dating Lopez in 1993 and lived together in a luxurious two-story home. She also had a tattoo of a moon with a face on her foot in homage to Rison’s alias “Bad Moon”; Lopez subsequently added the words “Love U 2” in the form of musical notes for Tupac Shakur – Lopez and Shakur connected at a professional gathering in 1991 and they spent a lot of time together and quickly became friends. Her upper right arm has a big tattoo of a pierced heart over the word “Parron” for her deceased stepbrother who perished in a boating accident.  On her left earlobe, she had a little tattoo that was a tribute to her moniker and included an arrow pointing to the left over the image of an eye.

Lopez was a passenger in a car accident that killed a 10-year-old Honduran child around two weeks before she passed away. The boy, Bayron Isaul Fuentes Lopez, was following behind his brothers and sisters when he stepped off the median strip and was struck by a van driven by Stephanie, Lopez’s assistant, as stated in Philadelphia Weekly: “It is commonplace for people to walk the roads that wind through Honduras, and it is often difficult to see pedestrians.” 

The child was put into the car by Lopez’s party after they had stopped, and Lopez held the child in her arms as “someone gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as they rushed him to a nearby hospital.” The next day, he passed away. Even though it was agreed upon by the authorities and the boy’s family that his death was an “unforeseeable tragedy” and no blame was placed on the van driver or Lopez, she paid the boy’s medical bills and funeral costs in the amount of $3,700 and gave the family about $925 for any additional costs. 

In the film The Last Days of Left Eye, Lopez is shown selecting a child’s coffin from a nearby funeral house. In an earlier segment of the video, Lopez said she sensed the presence of a “spirit” following her. She was impressed by the boy’s similar last name and speculated that the spirit could have made a mistake by taking his life rather than hers.

Death and Commendations

In Honduras on April 25, 2002, Lisa Lopez was killed in a motor vehicle collision. She tried to dodge a truck and an approaching automobile while driving, which caused her car to spin and eject her and three other passengers. Lopez sustained serious head injuries and passed away immediately. Video of the crash was recorded while a documentary was being produced.

Thousands of people attended her burial, which was conducted on May 2, 2002, at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. On her casket, the words to her verse from the TLC song “Waterfalls” were inscribed. The funeral featured a performance of “Shackles (Praise You)” by the gospel duet Mary Mary. Lopez was buried in Lithonia’s Hillandale Memorial Gardens.

Lopez was characterized by producer Jermaine Dupri as a motivated person who loved playing the part of a rock star. She was well-recognized for her tattoos, desire to challenge standards, and rebellious spirit. Lopez’s distinctive personality and talent had a long-lasting effect.



Lopez was establishing two educational facilities for kids in Honduras. The other institution was called Creative Castle, and it was constructed on an 80-acre tract of property she called Camp YAC.

The Lisa Lopez Foundation was established by Lopez’s family in 2003, not long after the actress passed away, to give neglected and abandoned children the tools they need to improve their quality of life. Her charity traveled into several undeveloped areas and offered new garments to underprivileged children and their families by her spiritual motto: “Energy never dies… it just transforms.” The organization held a charity auction in August 2007 when goods given by celebrities were sold. It contributed about $5,000 to the Hogar de Amor (“Home of Love”), a Honduran orphanage.  In Decatur, Georgia, the foundation started holding an annual music event called “Left Eye Music Fest” in 2012. In an unspoken nod to Lopez, members of the fictitious activist group “Left Eye” in Boots Riley’s 2018 film Sorry to Bother You adopt a stripe of eye black beneath the left eye as their insignia.


To sum up, Lisa Lopez was a gifted Tejano singer who found great success in the music business. As one of the few female musicians to succeed in the Tejano genre, she broke down barriers and achieved fame on the music charts. Lopez’s legacy continues via her music and humanitarian initiatives, leaving a lasting impression on the business and the lives of those she aspired to serve, despite going through personal hardships and a sad tragedy that took her life.