Interview, Lifestyle

Chilli Reveals Acupuncture and Red Light Therapy Keeps Her Healthy

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There isn’t a more perfect example of the phrase “black don’t crack” than Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. One third of the 1990’s R&B group, TLC, Chilli hasn’t appeared to age since the day the group entered the music scene over 25 years ago.
After dominating the charts with TLC’s four multi-platinum albums, Chilli is showing no lines of slowing down — professionally or physically.
Despite many years of touring, performing, and life on the road, Chilli has maintained her physique and youthful glow thanks to being disciplined and figuring out a regimen that works best for her. And it’s clearly working.

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Mainly, because the 47-year-old mom takes her health very seriously.
“You have to take care of the temple like God wants us to,” Chilli told ESSENCE exclusively. “Your older self will tell what the younger self did. The earlier you start, the better.”
Besides God laying his hands on her, what exactly does Chilli do to maintain her youthful glow?
“I do acupuncture,” she revealed. “I do a lot of different things to make sure inflammation is not in my body. Most people have inflammation, they don’t even know it because they don’t feel it at the time.”
She continued, “A good chiropractor is also essential because your hips and stuff are not balanced. You don’t know it until you lay on that table and you see one leg is longer.”

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And with so many new fads on the market promising to reverse aging, remove fine lines and get rid of that stubborn fat, it’s often hard to determine what’s going to have health benefits for the long run. For Chilli, she undergoes cryotherapy, or cold therapy, regularly.
“I also do red light therapy. That’s also good for inflammation,” she said. “It’s an LED light and it doesn’t burn your skin, but it helps with arthritis. Even if your skin has acne and stuff like that, you can find red light therapy. I suggest doing the whole body. That’s what I do on a consistent basis. I don’t ever feel like I have any injuries.”

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Finally, she said that the real key to looking as amazing as she does it eating right — a lot. “That helps and you can enjoy life a lot longer,” she said.
Welp, there you have it. If you’ve ever wanted to know how Chilli does it — now you know.

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By Kimberley Wilson for Essence 
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Interview

TLC On Their Tour Residency Wishes & Future Music Plans!

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Patch: It’s been a little over a year since you released your album, “TLC.” What was it like to work on and release new material after all these years? … And is it really your “final” album?

Chilli: It was like riding a bicycle really. Once you know how to do something that you love, even if you step away for a long time, to come back to it is to pick it up like you never stopped. It was really exciting. It’s the final album, yes, but I wouldn’t say it’s the last of TLC music that you’ll hear from us. We’re open to tons of opportunities. Album wise though, yes, it was definitely the final one.

T-Boz: It’s been an absolute blessing. The studio is my second home really; I’ve never stopped recording. The difference for this was just that it was for our next studio album. It’s always hard doing a new album because it’s so much pressure. The studio part is easy, but the pressure is the hard part. And yes, it’s the final album. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of TLC though, it’s just the final album. We’re still open to singles and soundtracks and Christmas songs. There will still be lots of TLC!

Patch: If you ever recorded another record, what are some artists/groups you’d like to collaborate with?

Chilli: Bruno Mars, definitely.

T-Boz: So many of the artists I’ve dreamed of collaborating with have died in the past few years, so I really need to think about this one. There’s so many great artists out there.

Patch: You’ve headlined or co-headlined several successful tours, including I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour in 2017. What do you enjoy most about touring?

Chilli: I just love being on stage. What we do on stage, looking out to the audience and how the music is affecting those fans, from people smil[ing], to people who are crying, to people singing along and dancing, that makes me feel good.

T-Boz: The fans and the energy are the absolute best. Just being able to tour and have sold out shows 26 years later is an absolute blessing.

Patch: What is your favorite song to perform live and why?

Chilli: I don’t have a favorite song to perform, but anything uptempo I really enjoy. I don’t like to slow it down.

T-Boz: I don’t have one to be honest. I love them all. The energy on stage is what I love performing most, more so than the individual songs themselves.

Patch: Would you ever consider a Las Vegas residency?

Chilli: Well, we’re currently working on that. Hoping to lock that down sooner than later!

T-Boz: Absolutely! This has been our dream for years now!

Patch: You were in San Diego not too long ago for the San Diego Pride Festival. What was that experience like, and why is the cause important to you?

Chilli: It was honestly such a great show. It was awesome. And important, because we want our fans to know we love them as much as they love us. Every time we get to perform, we want to make them feel that, and San Diego was just perfect for that.

T-Boz: For us, fans are fans, no matter their sexual orientation, but I love Pride because it allows people to be themselves and stand up for what they believe in. You’re supposed to have pride in who you are, and that’s what Pride is about. Anytime fans are being true to themselves, we want to support that!

Patch: Now you’re headed back to the San Diego area. Your performance at KAABOO in Del Mar is just weeks away. What can fans expect?

Chilli: They can expect a lot of energy. A lot of energy. There’s a lot of choreography. Even on the ballads, we bring the energy and the entertainment.

T-Boz: High energy concert, ton of excitement! Basically, we plan to have a big party together with tens of thousands of people, that’s what this is all about!

Patch: Will you get a chance to enjoy the festival? If so, who are you looking forward to seeing?

Chilli: We’re excited for everyone, but I’m really excited to see Katy Perry! She’s amazing, so it’ll be awesome to see her.

T-Boz: I wish! But my family are waiting for me. I’ve got a little one at home who’s waiting for me, so I’ll be in and out, to be with my family.

Patch: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Chilli: Just that I’m so excited to be a part of this and I hope they invite us again!

T-Boz: I just want to thank the fans for their support over all these years, still coming to see us and selling out all these shows! If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be doing this anymore.

Content extraction credit: Loopy Adorno
Charity, Interview

T-Boz: “Politics Prevented Missy Elliott Feature On Last TLC Album!”

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Last year when TLC were doing the promotional rounds for their new album, they revealed the record had 2 guest features, but the final tracklist only featured one guest, Snoop Dogg (on ‘Way Back’).

This had fans wondering who that missing guest feature could have been. J. Cole? Drake? Lil Mama? Well, it was none of the above!

Finally, T-Boz has put all speculation to rest! She exclusively told Daniel S. Bahrami for Loverboy Magazine that the guest feature was none other than Missy Elliott!

Oh that was Missy Elliott!“, T-Boz exclaimed when asked about the mystery feature. “I love her dearly, but it was just a matter of politics taking too long. We needed to put the album out for the fans. I want to make it clear – it had nothing to do with her! I’m glad we are free from all that industry stuff now. I don’t have the patience.

During the interview, T-Boz answered a lot of questions fans have been wondering.

TLC European Tour 

“Yes, the European fans definitely will get to see more of us. I don’t know why we didn’t go there before. I know some plans were postponed. We’re rescheduling that now.”

LGBTQ Fanbase

“Honestly, I’ve never separated people like that. I love our LGBTQ fans, but I don’t look at it like, ‘We have two different fan groups. Those are my gay fans, and those are my straight fans.’ If I can touch people with my music, then that makes me happy. From the get-go I’ve always told people to be themselves and stand up for themselves. I guess that resonates more with the LGBTQ community and I’m all for that. People need to be cool in their own skin.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race 

“[Appearing on the show] That’s totally up to them. I would definitely come! Helloooo! I would love to be a judge and I personally love RuPaul. We worked with his make-up artist, Mathu Andersen, on the ‘No Scrubs’ video. I specifically asked for someone who knew how to do drag make-up, because I’ve always been so mesmerised by it. I wanted that kind of make-up and Mathu was perfect.”

T-Boz Unplugged 2018

One thing we are working on is a Las Vegas residency. We are also doing ‘T-Boz Unplugged’ on 14th October in L.A. It raises awareness and funds for kids growing up with sickle cell. It’s at Avalon. You can find out more and make donations at www.tbozunplugged.com. It’s awesome because the foundation teaches kids about holistic remedies and acupuncture, not just being on all that medication which keeps us in a weakened state. Also how to build your up body, in an organic way.”

Check out the full interview HERE 

Anniversary, Interview

TLC Honor Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation Of’ Album on 20th Anniversary

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2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the release of Lauryn Hill‘s ground-breaking debut solo album, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ in 1998.

Beats 1 caught up with the ladies of TLC to share their thoughts on the album and some of their memories of the former Fugees frontwoman!

Chilli:

I love the whole album and it’s hard for me to pick just one song because of her delivery. I mean, she be in the videos sometimes pregnant, and sometimes not. She was doing it at a time where they would probably be like, “wait until you have your baby.” Whereas these days, a female artist — whether you’re an actress or whatever — if you’re pregnant, you celebrate that from the moment that you decide to share it with the world. She didn’t care, she just did it. Her voice — to be able to rap like that and sing like that, she was and is unbelievably talented. There’s nobody like Lauryn Hill.

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T-Boz:

She’s special. She is very special. And you know what I love and respect about her, is that I remember meeting her for the first time when we first came out. She paid us so much homage. Even in the beginning, she went out of her way to get over to me, to say something. I thought that was really cool how amazingly nice she was in and to give respect to another artist. She’s so dope.

You can listen to the full episode on Beats 1 here.

Interview, Lifestyle

What Chilli Wants Is For Women To Be Open To Dating Outside Their Own Race

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Chilli with model Lasse Larsen in 2010

Chilli is no longer actively looking for Mr Right, as she is currently dating someone that she is ‘testing the waters’ with, she revealed exclusively to Essence this week.

Staying true to her own word, she is also open to dating men outside of her own race, noting that her current love interest is not black, and she wants more women to be more open minded.

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Chilli with photographer Robert Ector in 2010

I want for women, especially for women of color, to not be so closed minded when it comes to love,” Chilli, who identifies as mixed, said. “God made all of us and you may not find your husband because you’re trying to stick to one group. You’ve got to be open.”

“You want the person who’s the best person for you, no matter what color he is”.

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Chilli with Floyd Mayweather and Calvin Evans shooting for ‘What Chilli Wants’ 

I usually know after two months…I can just tell. I’ve always known,” she said. “The day I turned 30, I got this kind of smartness or something, this maturity about myself…when your turn 30, you become more confident in how you feel about things, which is great. That way you can cut and weed out a lot of the BS you go through.”

But one area in Chilli’s life that has never had any BS is when she’s onstage performing with her group, TLC. The bestselling girl group is one of the featured acts on Netflix’s Once In A Lifetime Sessions, streaming now.

The eight-part music documentary takes fans behind the scenes to witness intimate performances by some of their favorite artists.

Chilli said that “it was an easy yes” to document their performance for a Netflix special, which features the other remaining member of TLC,  Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. The duo continue to tour as a group after the death of their third bandmate, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002 after a fatal car crash.

We’re all about connecting with our fans and so to do this in a way where we could perform in front of a nice intimate setting for our fans and then kind of open up to let fans see how we record in the studio and having our live band there, it was just a great recipe for something delish,” she said.

And it’s something new,” Chilli added, “we’re always very happy to be part of something new.

 

Anniversary, Interview

TLC Reveal Why They Rejected Britney Spears’ Biggest Hit!

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2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the birth of one of the biggest songs in music history, ‘Baby One More Time‘, which launched the career of Britney Spears!

Max Martin, the writer and co-producer of ‘Baby’ was convinced he’d written an R&B song (“Pop music with a flavour – what we call R&B in Sweden, what you guys [in America] say is pop,” sent the song, then called Hit Me Baby (One More Time), to TLC who rejected it.

While TLC interpreted the lyrics as alluding to domestic violence, they actually represented Martin’s attempts at American slang, believing “hit me” could seamlessly replace “call me”.

This is a large part of the reason the song wasn’t accepted by the girls in TLC. “I was like: ‘I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC?’ said T-Boz.

“I’m not saying ‘hit me baby.’ No disrespect to Britney,” T-Boz continues on her initial thought of the song. “It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”

“Understand we’re not just passing up hits,” Chilli added. It just wasn’t a song that fit in the direction TLC was aiming for.

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“That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney,” T-Boz explained.

“Every song isn’t good for each artist, and when you’re a real artist you know what you believe in and what you really want to sing. So, I’m clear that it was a hit, but I’m also clear that it wasn’t for TLC.”

Nonetheless, TLC later went on to record their own timeless smash that year to add to their catalog in the form of 1999’s record breaking ‘No Scrubs‘.

Interview excerpts from MTV News in 2013.
Interview

TLC: “We’d still be touring if Left Eye was here, being our silly selves”

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Still CrazySexyCool:
By Wesley Case

When Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas learned last week that Riplay, the rising R&B trio from Baltimore signed to Def Jam Records, cited her group, TLC, as a major inspiration for the members’ individuality, Thomas beamed like a proud parent.

“When we hear those kinds of things, especially young girl groups that are really wanting to come out and make a difference, I’m like, ‘Yes! We’re doing what we’re supposed to do again,’ ” Thomas said on the phone from her Atlanta home. “We’re staying on the right path. More power to them.”

She’s heard similar stories since the early ’90s, when TLC — featuring Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — burst onto the R&B scene, complete with their own colorful, hip-hop-influenced style with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” From Grammys and platinum plaques to tragedy and drama that led to a memorable VH1 “Behind the Music” special, TLC’s story and influence continues to resonate with fans today — something Thomas does not take for granted.

“It’s definitely a blessing from God that we’ve been able to have longevity in such a hard business,” said Thomas, who will be in town to perform with Watkins as TLC at Artscape on Friday. “We never allowed all the craziness to tear us apart.”

One of the best-selling female singing groups ever with more than 70 million records sold worldwide, TLC appeared like fresh-faced stars out of the gate, with a look and sound that nodded to a recent past (early rap, new jack swing) but felt fresh and distinctive, too.

After their 1992 debut, maturation and pop domination followed: 1994’s “CrazySexyCool,” and songs like “Creep” and the crossover hit “Waterfalls,” announced the trio as an undeniable pop force, and 1999’s “FanMail” birthed the now era-defining anthem, “No Scrubs.”

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With messages of self-respect and empowerment, the songs resonated with Top 40 audiences, and women of all ages in particular. Thomas said it was clear during recording that the songs were special to the members, but they had no idea at the time if they’d ever catch on with the masses.

“You hope that once it’s out there, people can relate. … We don’t go into the studio and say, ‘OK, what do we think people want us to say?’ ” Thomas said. “It really boils down to the simple fact that we’re all the same. We all go through similar things.”

That includes unexpected tragedy, which struck TLC in 2002.

While in Honduras, as TLC was on a collective break and Lopes pursued a solo career, she died in a car accident at 30. Thousands attended her funeral in Georgia, while many more mourned around the world.

In late May, Thomas posted a candid photograph of Lopes on Instagram with a caption that said she thinks of her “all the time.” On the phone, Thomas said, “the memories are always good.”

“I always think about if she were still alive, what we’d be doing. I know we’d still be on the road, being our silly selves,” Thomas said. “We know that what we’re doing is what she would have wanted us to do — to keep going so that we keep this TLC thing alive as long as we possibly can.”

Lopes didn’t sing on TLC records, Thomas said. But as the group’s rapper, she was the most charismatic, often stealing songs with thoughtful verses that added a welcomed hard-edge to TLC’s smooth R&B. She was the most outspoken and controversial of the group, too. (She infamously burned an ex-boyfriend’s house down in the mid-’90s by setting fire to his sneakers).

But Thomas said Lopes was irreplaceable, which is why TLC has remained a duo in her absence. Despite reported inner-group turmoil over the years, Lopes kept her role, a fact Thomas wasn’t going to change in her passing.

“We would always say, if we were ever going to replace her, it would have happened while she was still around,” Thomas said with a laugh. “It could never be done anyway.”

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Still, a final chapter of sorts came last summer, when TLC released their self-titled and last studio album, Thomas said. Led by singles “Way Back” and “Haters,” the album debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, a sign that even a group as successful as TLC isn’t immune to lukewarm responses after a considerable layoff. (It was their first original album in 15 years.)

Despite no plans to ever record a full album again, Thomas and Watkins plan to record for soundtracks and other one-off opportunities, she said. They couldn’t stop singing if they tried, according to Thomas.

The creativity is all the way through the DNA. We can’t shelve it even if we wanted to, and we don’t want to,” Thomas said. “It has to make sense to us, not only musically but visually, too. Those kinds of things are important to us, and when it feels right, we do it.”

For Thomas, there’s satisfaction in simply knowing TLC’s influence on music’s current generation. Besides inspiring groups like Riplay, she’s proud to see artists like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars — noted TLC fans — ruling the charts by being themselves, just as her group did.

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“Bruno Mars is very colorful, like how we were when we first got started,” Thomas said. “You love watching him perform because he’s just so entertaining, and he reminds me a lot of us in so many ways.”

Studio albums may be in the past, but TLC will continue to perform live regularly, Thomas said. There are plans for the duo to sign on for a Las Vegas residency in the near future, she said.

Thomas couldn’t remember how long it’s been since her last trip to Baltimore, but guessed it was on a tour date many years ago. Artscape attendees can expect the group’s big hits, and an overall vibe of positive energy, she said.

“We love what we do still. We give 200 percent on stage,” Thomas said. “We hear so many people say … our albums were the soundtrack of their high school years or college or whatever. All that love that we get from them and pour back out to them, it’s just a whole TLC lovefest going on.”

Thomas doesn’t take for granted the fact she still gets to provide that love, and it’s received with open arms.

“We’re just so thankful and grateful that we’re able to do this, and even more thankful that people still want to see us,” she said. “It’s a big deal.”

TLC performs at Artscape on 7:30 p.m. Friday at the MICA Main Stage, 1400 Cathedral St., Mid-Town Belvedere. Free. For more information, go to artscape.org.

Baltimore Sun

Cred: Luis A.