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Logo of 3LW.png
Background information
Also known as
  • 3LDub
  • 2LW
OriginNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1999–2006
Past members

3LW (initialism of "3 Little Women") was an American girl group that enjoyed a number of modest hits during the early 2000s. Its founding members are 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.[2] They are best known for their hit singles "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)", "Playas Gon' Play" and "I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)".


1999–2002: 3LW[edit]

In 1999, the original line up of 3LW formed. Their debut single, "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)", was released in the fall of 2000. "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" 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.[3] 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 "What More Can I Give" as part of a supergroup of various artists including Michael Jackson, Reba McEntire, Usher, Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, Céline Dion, and Mariah Carey in response to the September 11 attacks. 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") gained traction, and the act was retained.

2002–2004: A Girl Can Mack and The Cheetah Girls[edit]

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 left the group.[4] In an interview on Wendy Williams' radio show, Naughton alleged that she had a number of conflicts with Bailon, Williams, and their management, which led to an August 2002 altercation involving a plate of food from KFC.[5][6] Naughton later claimed that she was forced out of the group.[7]

Williams and Bailon continued as a duo while using the "3LW" name, causing the press to jokingly refer to them as "2LW".[4] The departure of Naughton greatly affected the group's popularity and album sales. According to a cover story for the October 2002 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine, Williams and Bailon said they received death threats. A Girl Can Mack's release date was pushed back a month, but sales were still disappointing. The album debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with a disappointing 53,000 copies sold in the first week.[8] After the second single released from the album, "Neva Get Enuf", underperformed, the group released a Christmas-themed LP Naughty or Nice, which failed to appear on any major Billboard charts.[9] After nationwide auditions for a new third member, fifteen year old Jessica 'J' Benson was selected as the third member and made her first appearance with the group in March 2003.[10]

In the midst of 3LW's public drama, Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon signed on to star in the Disney Channel original movie "The Cheetah Girls" alongside Raven-Symoné and Sabrina Bryan.[11][12] Over time, Williams and Bailon became more involved with Disney's the Cheetah Girls, which eventually became a real recording group after the surprising success of the film and its accompanying soundtrack. With the sudden success of the franchise, Williams and Bailon found themselves having to juggle activities for both 3LW and the Cheetah Girls simultaneously.[13]

2004–2008: Point of No Return, image conflict, and breakup[edit]

Due to Williams and Bailon's increasing involvement in the Cheetah Girls, progress on 3LW's third studio album, now titled Point of No Return,[14] had halted.[15][16][17] The lead-off single, "Feelin' You", was added on radio stations July 12, 2006. Point of No Return was set to be released on August 15, 2006, but got shelved indefinitely and eventually fell off the release schedule. The album delays were caused by image conflicts between both groups and the album was never released.

In early 2007, Bailon stated in Girls Life magazine that 3LW was on hold because of the Cheetah Girls. However, on January 7, 2008, Bailon confirmed in an interview with BlogTalkRadio that 3LW officially disbanded. Bailon and Williams then decided to pursue the Cheetah Girls franchise full-time, although the group itself would disband in the same year.[18]

In 2022, the songs "Trouble"[19] and "After This"[20] were released on iTunes.

In popular culture[edit]

  • 3LW are featured as bonus characters in the 2001 video game NBA Street.[21]
  • In January 2001, 3LW appeared in an episode of the Nickelodeon series Taina as a fictional girl group (along with the same name of this episode) called Blue Mascara where the main character (Christina Vidal) is overjoyed to become a member of the popular all-female singing group at school until they tell her that she must get rid of Renee (Khaliah Adams).[22][23][24]
  • In October 2001, 3LW appeared on the Disney Channel series The Jersey in the episode "Speaking of Coleman" where after freaking out at a debate competition, Coleman Galloway (Jermaine Williams) gets a lesson in handling stage fright by jumping into the body of one of the three members of the group which in general was Kiely Williams.[25]
  • In November 2002, 3LW appeared in an episode of the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That.[26]

Past members[edit]


Studio albums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award
2001 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award Win for "Best New R&B or Hip-Hop Artist"
Soul Train Lady of Soul 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 BET Award

"Nominated for "Best Group"

2003 Soul Train Music Award Nominated for "Best Group, Band or Duo R&B/Soul Single"


  1. ^ a b Paoletta, Michael (December 16, 2000). "Reviews & Previews - Albums". Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 51. p. 26. Retrieved June 12, 2022. With its eponymous debut, the young ladies of 3LW (3 Little Women) are the latest pop-infused R&B act to join the youth-driven musical movement
  2. ^ "3LW : 3LW Sign To So So Def, Ask 50 Cent To Get 'Gangsta' With Them – Rhapsody Music Downloads". VH1. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "3LW Is A Trio Again". Billboard. March 4, 2003. Archived from the original on June 20, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Oh, Minya (August 21, 2002). "3LW Become 2LW – News Story". MTV News. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  5. ^ "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  6. ^ "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "3LW : Naturi Describes Alleged 3LW Fist Fight That Led To Split". VH1. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  8. ^ D'angelo, Joe (October 30, 2002). "Santana's Shaman Blessed; Foos At #3 On Albums Chart". MTV. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
  9. ^ Moss, Corey (September 30, 2002). "3LW Holiday Album Due; Members Land Film Roles". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "3LW Become a Trio Again ... Finally". MTV.
  11. ^ Moss, Corey (October 4, 2002). "Remaining 3LW Pair Too Busy To Hold Auditions For New Member". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  12. ^ Dangelo, Joe (October 29, 2002). "3LW Don't Judge Others By Color Of Their Spots In 'Cheetah Girls'". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Miller, Gerri (August 25, 2006). "CHEETAH GIRLS 2". Scholastic. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Reid, Shaheem (July 25, 2005). "Jermaine Dupri Boosting Grown-Up 3LW With Their Sexy Return". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Moss, Corey (July 2, 2003). "3LW Celebrate New Beginning". MTV News. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "3LW". MTV. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Platinum R&B Female Group 3LW Set to Release Their Third Anticipated Album Point of No Return August 15th!!". Sony. May 22, 2006.
  18. ^ Carter, Brooke (March 13, 2017). "What Happened to 3LW 2018 – News & Updates". Gazette Review. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Trouble - Single by 3LW on Apple Music". iTunes. February 14, 2022.
  20. ^ "After This - Single by 3LW on Apple Music". iTunes. March 15, 2022.
  21. ^ "GameSpot Video: NBA Street Movie 12". Gamespot.com. June 18, 2001. Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  22. ^ Taina - Blue Mascara - Part 1
  23. ^ Taina - Blue Mascara - Part 2
  24. ^ Taina - Blue Mascara - Part 3
  25. ^ Disney's The Jersey - S02E19 "Speaking of Coleman"
  26. ^ 3LW - All That Skit 2002

External links[edit]