TLC is coming home to the ATL!
Chilli took a moment to talk to Melissa Ruggieri for AJC just days ahead of TLC’s second date in Atlanta, on their fourth national tour in 5 years, this time with the boys — Nelly and Flo Rida!
T-Boz and Chilli perform a fresh mix of their hits on July 24 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta. Find out what to expect on the latest tour, as well as celebrating album anniversaries, celibacy and more!
Q: You did the “I Love the ‘90s: The Party Continues” tour a couple of summers ago and now you’re heading out with Nelly and Flo Rida. Do you like these group tours and getting to hang out with other artists?
A: Because I’m an artist, I love it. When (TLC) first got started, we always did fun things together – with Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera. It makes for a fun tour. People get to see everybody that they love and it makes it more exciting. We’ve done a few tours with Nelly before, he was on (2015’s) “The Main Event” tour with us, and we did some shows together in Australia. But this is our first time working with Flo. He is the sweetest guy. He is so polite, always on time, his people respond so fast to email. He’s so professional, which is the way it should be, but it’s usually not that way. He’s very humble. I love people like that.
Q: Since the tour is just starting, do you know if there will be any interaction among the three acts during the show?
A: We thought about that and had some cool ideas before the tour started, but we couldn’t get anybody on board. We are creative and think outside of the box and everybody doesn’t always think like that, and that’s OK. We really did want to do something very different. It would have started a new trend. Maybe we’ll wind up doing it on another tour with someone else. But it’s all good. All of us are very blessed to have these great songs that people love and it means different things to them.
Q: Where does TLC land in the performance lineup?
A: We’re co-headlining with Nelly, so we’ll take turns with closing. I really love the second spot (in a show) because everybody is in their seats and they’re energized. As it gets later and later you get tired and it’s hot. You’re still enjoying the concert, but it’s a lot different than an hour earlier.
Q: Atlanta is only the second date of the tour, so it will hardly feel as if you’ve left home.
A: It’s always nice to have your folks there. It makes me sing and dance a little harder.
Q: This is the 25th anniversary year of “CrazySexyCool” and 20th anniversary of “Fan Mail.” When you think back on those records, what comes to mind?
A: It is a blessing. There are a lot of amazing songs that are great for the moment, but they don’t have the lyrics to endure. When you make these songs when you’re recording them, you don’t know they have these legs – only time tells you that. We’re blessed to have a few songs like that…When I see the little girls out there who are, like, 8, and I tell you “No Scrubs” is coming, they are jumping up and down. I wish I could hold all of them and bring them on stage! I never get used it.
Q: It’s so cool to see everyone from Weezer (“No Scrubs”) to Bette Midler (“Waterfalls”) covering your work.
A: And Taylor (Swift) with “Unpretty” and even the coaches on “The Voice,” when they did “Waterfalls” (in 2017). It is such an honor to see that, especially when your peers respect you. It makes us feel good about the body of work.