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 were Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Naturi Naughton. Jessica Benson later replaced Naughton after she was forced out of the group in 2002. 3LW was signed to the label Epic Records, and later moved to So So Def.[1] 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)".

Logo of 3LW.png
Background information
Also known as
  • 3LDub
  • 2LW
OriginNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1999–2007
Associated acts
Past members


1999–2002: 3LWEdit

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.[2] 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 line-up changesEdit

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 after heated arguments.[3] 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 a heated argument in August 2002 involving an altercation with KFC food.[4][5] Naughton later claimed that she was forced out of the group.[6]

Williams and Bailon continued as a duo while using the "3LW" name, causing the press to jokingly refer to them as "2LW".[3] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9][10] Following the film's completion, Williams and Bailon went back to 3LW and held auditions across the country for a new third member. Jessica Benson made the cut and joined 3LW in early 2003.[11] Jessica's first performance was on Live with Regis & Kelly, followed by a performance on Soul Train. 3LW eventually left Sony, and signed a new record deal with Arista and Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label, and began working on their new album, with the tentative titles of Phoenix Rising and UNDER 21.

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.[12]

2004–2007: Point of No Return, image conflict, and breakupEdit

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,[13] had halted.[14][15][16] 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.[17]

In popular cultureEdit

  • 3LW are featured as bonus characters in the 2001 video game NBA Street.[18]

Past membersEdit


Studio albums

Awards and nominationsEdit

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. ^ "3LW : 3LW Sign To So So Def, Ask 50 Cent To Get 'Gangsta' With Them – Rhapsody Music Downloads". VH1. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "3LW Is A Trio Again". Billboard. March 4, 2003. Archived from the original on June 20, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Oh, Minya (August 21, 2002). "3LW Become 2LW – News Story". MTV News. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  5. ^ "3LW: One Story, Two Sides". MTV. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  6. ^ "3LW : Naturi Describes Alleged 3LW Fist Fight That Led To Split". VH1. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  7. ^ D'angelo, Joe (October 30, 2002). "Santana's Shaman Blessed; Foos At #3 On Albums Chart". Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Moss, Corey (September 30, 2002). "3LW Holiday Album Due; Members Land Film Roles". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Moss, Corey (October 4, 2002). "Remaining 3LW Pair Too Busy To Hold Auditions For New Member". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Dangelo, Joe (October 29, 2002). "3LW Don't Judge Others By Color Of Their Spots In 'Cheetah Girls'". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "3LW News". Yahoo! Music. March 5, 2003. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  12. ^ Miller, Gerri (August 25, 2006). "CHEETAH GIRLS 2". Scholastic.
  13. ^ Reid, Shaheem (July 25, 2005). "Jermaine Dupri Boosting Grown-Up 3LW With Their Sexy Return". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  14. ^ Moss, Corey (July 2, 2003). "3LW Celebrate New Beginning". MTV News. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "3LW". MTV. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Platinum R&B Female Group 3LW Set to Release Their Third Anticipated Album Point of No Return August 15th!!". Sony. May 22, 2006.
  17. ^ Carter, Brooke (March 13, 2017). "What Happened to 3LW 2018 – News & Updates". Gazette Review. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "GameSpot Video: NBA Street Movie 12". Gamespot.com. June 18, 2001. Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010.

External linksEdit