CD single cover art

"No Scrubs" is a Grammy award-winning song recorded by American R&B/Hip-Hop girl group TLC for their album FanMail. Released on January 23, 1999 as the album's first single, "No Scrubs" became TLC's third number one single and eighth top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100. It also earned their second Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.

The single is generally considered to be one of the group's signature songs and was the 2nd biggest Hot 100 single of 1999, according to Billboard's Year End Charts. The single was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in the United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Background and compositionEdit

"No Scrubs" is an R&B and hip-hop song that contains dance elements and features TLC member Chilli on lead vocals. Background vocals were provided by Chilli, Debra Killings and former Xscape members Kandi Burruss and Tameka Cottle, who were also credited for writing the song. The song was produced by Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs. There are two versions of the song: the album version and the Main Mix, which features a rap verse by Left Eye and was used in the song's music video.

Chart performanceEdit

"No Scrubs" climbed into the U.S. top ten as an airplay-only single, but jumped to #1 upon single release. The single remained in that spot for four weeks from April 10, 1999 to May 7, 1999 and remained in the top ten for seventeen consecutive weeks. The single's airplay at the time was astonishing; it was the very first song to peak with over 140 million audience impressions and was crowned Top Airplay Song of 1999. It holds the record for most weeks at #1 on the Rhythmic Top 40 with fifteen weeks. "No Scrubs" is listed at #161 on the All Time Singles Chart Worldwide with over six million points. In Australia, "No Scrubs" was a huge success, spending seven consecutive weeks at the summit of that country's chart from May 2 - June 20, 1999.

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by Hype Williams had a futuristic theme to it and recieved massive airplay on MTV.

Screen cap from the music video

It eventually went on to win the 1999 MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video, beating out 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys.

Each member had a set in the video. The video also has a dance sequence where the members dance in front of the TLC logo. The video also features the members in three different outfits: white, black, silver and Left Eye in blue. When there are shots of the members together, they have two different outfits: black and silver. It should be noted that T-Boz's hair is red in the video. The video is stylistically similar to Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's video for their 1995 duet "Scream".

Track listingsEdit

  • US CD Single
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) - 3:39
  2. "No Scrubs" (instrumental) - 3:39
  • EU CD Single
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) - 3:37
  2. "No Scrubs" (Main Mix with Left Eye's rap) - 4:00
  3. "No Scrubs" (instrumental) - 3:37
  4. "Silly Ho" (album version) - 4:16
  • UK CD Single 1
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) - 3:37
  2. "No Scrubs" (Main Mix with Left Eye's rap) - 4:00
  3. "Silly Ho" (album version) - 4:16
  • UK CD Single 2
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) - 3:39
  2. "Waterfalls" (radio edit) - 4:19
  3. "Creep" (radio edit) - 4:26


  • Kelly Clarkson covered the song as a fan request while performing a concert in Virginia in August 2012.
  • Little Mix covered the song during their 2013 DNA Tour.
  • During live performances, Blink-182 commonly used the "No Scrubs" chorus during the bridge of their 1998 single "Dammit".
  • UK band Kids in Glass Houses covered this song at an acoustic night at the Full Ponty festival.
  • Swing Out Sister also covered the "No Scrubs" chorus in their version of "Now You're Not Here" registered live on Live in Tokyo.
  • Marjorie Dawes sang part of the song on the UK comedy show Shooting Stars.
  • Incubus covered part of "No Scrubs" during their MTV acoustic performance.
  • Lisa Loeb performed an acoustic cover of part of the song when she appeared on a late night talk show in 2000.
  • UK band The Saturdays covered the track in 2010, but the studio version remains unreleased. Only a live version of their cover exists.
  • Philidelphia singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia covered "No Scrubs" on his 2010 album Something New.
  • Karmin covered "No Scrubs" in 2011 shortly before releasing "Crash Your Party", connecting to a "throwback cover" of the song to the "old school sample" in "Crash Your Party".
  • Bastitle covered the song in his "Good Enough" track on the album XXYYXX.
  • Scott Niblett covered the song on his album It's Up to Emma.

Use in popular cultureEdit

  • After TLC released "No Scrubs" in 1999, Sporty Thievz made an answer song called "No Pigeons" that same year.
  • The song is referenced by Michael Kenton's character in the 2010 film The Other Guys.
  • In 2012, a Saturday Night Live sketch featuring host Christina Applegate sampled part of the song.
  • Meadow Soprano and her friend Hunter Scangarelo sing along to "No Scrubs" while cooking in the kitchen in The Sopranos episode "Toodle Fucking-Oo"
  • Jack McFarland sings a line from the song in the Will & Grace episode "Poker? I Don't Even Like Her".
  • "No Scrubs" was covered on the popular television series Glee in the season four episode "Sadie Hawkins".
  • Jessie J covered the song during a commercial break for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • On T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, songwriter Tameka "Tiny" Cottle was honored an ASCAP Woman Behind the Music award in the episode "It Takes Two to Hustle" and one of the things mentioned was "her work with TLC", as the song was indirectly referenced because it was the only song she wrote for the group.
  • Lizette Carter recorded a cover for the animated film Happy Feet.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.