Anniversary, Competition, Review

TLC’s Last Album Reaches It’s First Year Anniversary!

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It’s been a long, long time coming“, the opening line from ‘Way Back‘, the first single lifted from TLC‘s first album in 15 years, which was released a year ago today on June 30, 2017!

After breaking the record for the fastest Kickstarter funded pop project ever in 2015 (they raised over $430k and smashed their $150k deadline in under 48 hours), the girls were finally ready to unleash their hard work to the world, independently on their own label, 852 Musiq.

The album went on to become the #1 Independent Album on Billboard and topped the R&B Album Charts in the UK and in other parts of the world, whilst the lead single ‘Way Back’ remained in the Adult R&B singles chart for months.

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They aren’t done with the album just yet. The girls are toying with the idea of releasing another single from the album and possibly even a remix album (two remixes were made exclusively for the Japan version of the album).

To celebrate this milestone, we are giving away a signed copy of this amazing album to ONE lucky fan!

To enter, simply tell us your favorite song on the album! We’ll choose a winner at random on July 31.

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Announcement, Interview

TLC Were Supposed to Open For Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ Tour!

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T-Boz recently stopped by at Steve Harvey‘s own talk show Steve to discuss her latest book, A Sick Life.

T-Boz is looking for a husband… and she will only allow Steve Harvey to be the matchmaker!

Steve stated he has had success with 6 marriages as a result of his love matchmaking using the Dating Pool segment of his show!

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But for the first time, T-Boz revealed that TLC were going to be the opening act on Michael Jackson‘s 2009 ‘This Is It‘ comeback tour in London!

When discussing who she’d like to work with, T-Boz said “I’ve worked with Michael Jackson, like, he had us perform at his Save The Children tour. But I wanted to work WITH him! On the same stage, which we were supposed to open for his last concert.”

“I was about to pack up my house and everything, like, Chase, we’re going to live with Michael!

A TLC and Michael Jackson tour would have been something only dreams were made of! Although it wasn’t meant to be, the fact Michael chose our girls speaks volumes!

Check out the full interview on the Steve show below!

Video credit: Megan Dove
Announcement, Interview, Television

T-Boz Opens Up About TLC Reality Shows, BET Awards, Weight Loss, Solo Music, DAYS and her ‘No Scrubs’ Inclusion

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T-Boz is officially reprising the role of Sheila on the hit TV soap Days of our Lives for the third time this summer!

She is currently in the process of shooting her scenes in between her prior commitments, touring with TLC and carrying out charity work and events like T-Boz Unplugged.

T-Boz took some time out her hectic schedule on the set of Days to jump on her Instagram to connect with the fans!

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Days of our Lives schedule

They are working me, because in between the TV show I am still doing tours and then I have a day off to travel and then come back on set. But I think I’m off set for a while because when they needed me I’m touring already so I think I’ll have to come back later. So I’m gonna miss doing DOOL for the rest of the next month. 

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We’re thinking about it. I might. That kinda TV stuff depends on what it is, I’m not feeling reality right now. These [soap] shows that I’m doing now are way easier, and the pay is nice. And I’m done early enough to do dinner for my kids, and that matters a lot. Those kind of [reality] shows can take all day, a lot of waiting around.   

Ballads

I am not a ballad person. Chilli is more of a ballad person than me.

No Scrubs background vocals

Yeah, I sang background vocals, maybe they left me out? But yeah, I sang on it. I don’t sweat the small stuff, y’all know my voice. I ain’t gotta trip. They should add me to the background vocals because I was on the background vocals.

TLC’s absence at BET Awards

Why wasn’t we at the BET Awards? You should ask them. For some reason I could have sworn that we were black. And for us to be the biggest selling American girl group of all time and we’re black, and you don’t have us on there? That’s wack. But it’s all good, I’m not tripping, I’m not begging nobody for nothing. 

T-Boz Unplugged 2018

October 14 is when I plan on doing T-Boz Unplugged this year. Don’t know who the hell is going to perform yet, because I have been tired and I’ve been working. But Brian [Amlani] has been on my ass about sitting down and picking who we can have perform this year. Summer time is tour time for a lot of artists so sometimes it’s hard to book people because of the scheduling not because they don’t want to.

Weight loss

It looks like I lost weight? A little bit. Sometimes food be good, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you bloat up, other stuff going on, I might have to take steroids for my sickle cell. And then you go down! But I’m not a shallow person, so I don’t be tripping. If my ass got big it got big, and if I got small I got small, ok? But thank you, though. 

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That show was wack as fuck. I did not like Totally T-Boz at all! I’m glad it was only 4 episodes because they didn’t let me be me and do me. That was just a depressing time in my life, I was going through a lot. I had just lost my spleen and almost died. Long story short, if you’re not gonna let me be me, there’s no need for me to be doing the show. 

Solo song on movie soundtrack and being allowed to work outside TLC

I’m going in the studio tomorrow. I’m doing a song for a soundtrack, so you’ll be hearing that come out for the movie, and it’s solo. And don’t nobody ask if it features Chilli because that would be a TLC song, and everything we do we don’t do together, because I’m tired of y’all acting like we’re joined to the hip! When Lisa was alive, ‘is it..’ no! If they’re involved, it’s TLC, if not, whatever! I guess we could have solo stuff and feature each other but it’s still to me like TLC a little bit, except for it’s not on a TLC album, but no it’s not Chilli being featured on the song, OK? We are not tied at the hip, y’all.

 

Interview, Review

TLC: ‘We’re smart enough to understand what people love about us’

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By Shaun Curran for iPaper

I’ve just asked the members of TLC whether, like the lyrics to their 90s megahit “No Scrubs”, they can spot a sleazy, good-for-nothing scrub coming from 10 yards.

“Sometimes!” shrieks Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. “Sometimes!” “Most times!” says Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. “I think you really can tell.”

“Absolutely!” “We have a scrub-dar! It works most of the time. We know!”

We are crammed in a Portakabin backstage at south London’s Mighty Hoopla festival, a pop extravaganza that TLC will headline tonight.

They’ve just come from Paris (“We had fun, oui oui, oui oui”) and despite getting on site just minutes ago – when I first arrive, Watkins is putting eyelashes on, Thomas is doing her hair – I feel like I’m in the presence of a well-honed double act: a brash one (Watkins) and a quieter one (Thomas), they finish each other sentences, nod in enthusiastic agreement (mostly) and show the chemistry that 25 years as America’s biggest girl band dictates.

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Initially a trio with Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, just how big TLC became in the 90s is difficult to quantify. There are the bare statistics – £65m record sales worldwide, second in girl group terms only to the Spice Girls, alongside 56 different awards, including four Grammys and one Brit – but their influence sprawls to the present day.

TLC’s message of female empowerment couldn’t be more relevant in 2018, while their blend of sultry R’n’B and hip-hop still impacts the charts: Ed Sheeran had to pay royalties to the writers of “No Scrubs” for the similarities between the track and his song “Shape of You”.

Their first-ever UK show at London’s Koko last year sold out in two minutes; a Kickstarter campaign to fund last year’s self-titled comeback album doubled its target in two days, with Katy Perry among the financial contributors. And, seriously, who doesn’t like TLC?

Afterwards when I mention the interview to my Uber driver, he starts singing their biggest hit “Waterfalls” and even mentions Thomas by name. It was juggernaut-level success that the band was initially too busy to recognise.

“It was only when we started seeing people faint or cry and saying they didn’t commit suicide because of something we wrote or sang or said,” says Watkins. “That’s kind of deep.”

Yet success was blighted every step of the way: they had to fight record company LaFace to get “Waterfalls”, which catapulted their 1994 album CrazySexyCool to 14 million sales, to even get heard. “[LaFace founder] Clive Davis didn’t believe in it,” Watkins says.

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“It’s funny how after you do something the person who didn’t believe in you is like: ‘I knew it was going to be great’.” Personal problems constantly threatened to derail them. TLC were declared bankrupt in 1995; at one point, relations between the three were so bad that Lopes, feeling underused and underappreciated, challenged Watkins and Thomas to make solo albums, with a $1m prize for the winner.

When Lopes died in a car crash in 2002, seven months before underwhelming fourth album 3D, TLC’s reign at the top was over. “That was the hardest time,” recalls Watkins. “We were still in a zombie state because we were still in mourning.

The record company were like: ‘You have to put the album out,’ so that was the first realisation she wasn’t there. “That was a hard time. It was real awkward. Because we weren’t ready. And that whole album just looks sad to me now I look back.” Thomas nods in agreement.

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It makes TLC’s comeback nearly 20 years after their heyday somewhat unlikely. Watkins seems affronted when I suggest that, until a packaged 90s nostalgia tour with New Kids on the Block in 2015, they’d apparently disappeared – “It seems that’s out there a lot, because we hear that a lot, but I don’t know why, because we never stopped” – but aside from bits of American TV and the odd gig abroad, they’d slipped from public view.

There is some toing and froing between the pair as to why the timing was right to record again. “I was probably the hold-up,” Watkins says. “She stayed ready.” “You know what,” Thomas says, “even when Lisa was alive, all three us were totally dedicated to the group regardless of what you heard. But each person has their own thing in the group.

“I feel like,” she adds, lowering her voice and stretching out an arm towards Watkins, “and I know you’re going to agree, that I’m the heart of the group. I am always ready. I am Team TLC all day long. Not that they’re not…” Watkins shoots her an OTT unimpressed look. “But it’s on another level. You know it is! Come on, sister! You know I’m right.”

Recording went smoothly, even without Lopes, who wasn’t missed in the studio because, Thomas says, after 1992 debut Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, they never recorded together anyway. “After the first album, it was: ‘OK, call me when it’s time for me to do my part’.”

“But you know the hard part?” Watkins interjects. “Coming up with songs that people will like. That’s nerve-racking. When you have songs like “No Scrubs”, “Unpretty” and “Waterfalls”, those are not easy to come by. Then they’re sitting there saying: ‘Well, you better come up with something good like that’. Like, what is this? That’s a lot of pressure.”

The album’s best track “Way Back”, a classy west side groove featuring Snoop Dogg, boasts that the pair “picked up where we left off”. Impervious to current pop trends, like the album itself, it sounds like no time whatsoever has passed in TLC’s world.

“What’s smart about us,” says Thomas, “is we’re smart enough to understand what people love about us. And they love the authenticity: the things we talk about, how we dress, how we perform. We just stick to that formula. The outcome is always going to be a TLC song because of the sound, her voice and my voice.”

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I ask if they’ve considered what Lopes might have made of the album. It’s the only time the pair hesitates to speak. “I think that when she was alive…” Thomas says. “It’s that TLC thing. She understood that was us. I think she would have loved the songs.”

Though they will continue to perform – they fancy a Vegas-style residency somewhere – the pair is adamant that it will be their final album. How can they be so sure? “Never say never” says Watkins.

“We might do soundtracks or Christmas songs. We ain’t going anywhere. But a studio album? It’s just not the same. The industry is so different. And some of it is kind of a joke now,” she says, gearing up for a rant.

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“Like the superstars and stuff? They are few and far between, the real big legends. Because I think today people use that word ‘legend’ real, real, real, loose. How the hell you been here two years and you’re a legend? I don’t care how popular you are. Reality stars are popular. Who cares? If Instagram went away tomorrow, a lot of people wouldn’t be working. What you going to fall back on, huh?”

The subtext of which seems to be: TLC, against all odds, are still here a quarter of a century on. “And we’re just as strong as before,” Watkins says. “We’ve been through all kinds of life stuff, had kids, marriage, divorce, death. You go through all of that, you can’t help but be stronger.”

The album ‘TLC’ is out now on 852 Musiq

Fashion, Review

TLC Were Physically Painted Silver For The ‘FanMail’ Album!

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It has almost been 20 years since the release of TLC‘s 3rd masterpiece, ‘FanMail‘, in February 1999.

The first thing that stood out about the album before hearing any of the music was the eye-catching, stunning, futuristic visuals, which features T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli each shown with a metallic silver skin tone.

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Fans can be forgiven for thinking the silver-skinned effects were digitally enhanced and created with computer trickery on the album cover.

But the reality is, the girls were actually physically painted silver on the Seb Janiak photoshoot in 1998!

Music executive Shanti Das shared an insightful throwback photo on her Instagram of herself onset with TLC, whilst they were in the process of being painted silver for the futuristic look, which set the tone for the album’s pre-millenium feels.

The girls have touched on how the silver painted photoshoot went down in the past, with T-Boz even admitting that the paint made her skin break out!

We were sprayed silver, I wanted us to look like robots“, T-Boz explains to a fan on Twitter. “It sure was itchy“.

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Chilli also gave an insight on her own experiences with being painted silver for the Grammy winning project, stating that ‘FanMail’ is her favorite album cover!

We we’re covered in silver paint that took months to get all out!” Chilli exclaims. “I was in the shower for 2 hours and still didn’t get it all off“.

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The photoshoot remains a fan favorite, so we can only hope the girls felt it was worth the sacrifice for such an iconic and groud breaking visual moment in music history!

FanMail‘ ensured TLC continued to be the trendsetters that they always have been in their career. The first to try out new ideas and the results were a success!

Concert, Review

TLC Graced London’s Mighty Hoopla Stage In Class and Style

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By Leon Smythe

June 3, 2018: the date that became one of the most important dates of the year for most British fans of the biggest selling US girl group of all time, TLC.

Not only was it the second time TLC had performed in the UK in their 26-year career (the first show being as recent as 2017 at KOKO in London on May 9th), but this date served as the first time the ladies had performed at a UK festival, ever!

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TLC had the pleasure of being chosen as the headline act at this years Mighty Hoopla festival, held at Brockwell Park in South London, which serves exclusively as TLC’s only show in the UK in 2018.

This is one of a very few occasions where a female act has been selected to headline a major music festival. Times are changing, for the better. Kudos to Mighty Hoopla for giving the girls the opportunity.

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The weather held out beautifully the whole day, bringing out the best of the festival, maintaining the high spirits and eclectic atmosphere amongst the attendees.

The festival line-up boasted a female-majority roster of established artists with varied music genres, including Nadine Coyle (Girls Aloud), Louise (Eternal), Lily Allen, Belinda Carlisle and Spice GirlsMelanie C, who paid a loving tribute to Left Eye before performing their UK #1 duet, 2000’s “Never Be The Same Again“.

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Melanie C with TLC 

8:30PM dawned shortly after Lily Allen’s hour long set, blessing us with the main attraction: T-Boz and Chilli, with Left Eye laced effortlessly throughout the performance, in the form of photo collages and her original raps, left to play out in her memory.

From the start, the girls, both donned in beautiful golden toned outfits, set the tone of what to expect; a powerful, high energized trip down memory lane, opening with their debut 1992 hits, “What About Your Friends?” and “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“.

They took it down a notch with the smooth “Diggin’ On You“, before upping the anté with the club anthem “Silly Ho“, slightly revamped to feature a modern beat sample from the Kendrick Lamar 2017 hit “Humble“. It went down a treat. The crowd went wild .

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Rather than giving a male audience member the usual “Red Light Special” lap dance on stage, Chilli opted to invite rapper Q-Boy to dance with her during her bridge.

They took it back to 1992 with “Baby-Baby-Baby“, before diving straight back into 2017, with the anti-bully track “Haters” from their latest album.

The self-love anthem “Unpretty” came next, with the audience singing their hearts out in unison, before the girls took a short break to allow the dancers and band to show and highlight their talents.

The set features a new set of vibrant visuals, produced by the hip-hop choreography duo Nappytabs (Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo), the team behind the Jennifer Lopez Las Vegas residency and television show So You Think You Can Dance?

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The opening trumpets in the Grammy winning #1 single “Creep” lit up the stage and set the tone for the excellence that followed. New track “It’s Sunny” was next, with it’s infectious chorus and Earth, Wind & Fire sample.

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TLC gave their 2017 hit “Way Back” a 2018 remix, with a catchy ‘TLC’ chant and a sample of the 2001 hit “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, the latter of whom features on the song with the girls.

Chilli asked the audience if she could talk for a minute. As soon as she mentioned her frustration at guys who try to talk to her from the passengers side, the whole crowd was sent into a frenzy, as they knew it was time for “No Scrubs“!

Factors beyond their control meant their set time was delayed, therefore they couldn’t perform beyond the venues curfew, omitting the ode to the fans “Joy Ride” and “Fan Mail“.

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That didn’t dent the flow of the night, as they launched into the show finalé, and Left Eye’s favorite song, “Waterfalls“, with the audience singing along loud and proud with the girls.

They bowed and thanked us all for being there, while Chilli hung around a little longer throwing love heart shapes with her hands even when the music had stopped.

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Credit: Victoria Ling

One thing is for sure, after this much love from across the pond, this will not be the last time TLC will be touching down on British soils. They love us, as much as we love them.

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Enjoy the full set below:

Click here for TLC x Mighty Hoopla Photo Gallery

Announcement, Concert

TLC Announce Their First Ever Tour In South Africa!

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Back in April we teased about the possibilities of TLC touring Africa!

Now, fans in South Africa have had their dreams answered today (May 29), when tour promoters Glen 21 announced to the world that TLC are heading to their part of the world this September!

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The girls will be performing as part of this years Soul Fest 2018, and will feature exclusive sets by fellow 90s musicians Dru Hill and SWV.

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The dates will take the ladies on a 3 city tour through Johannesburg (Sept 1), Durban (Sept 2) and Cape Town (Sept 4).

Prices range from as little as 490 ZAR up to 1500 ZAR for the VIP treatment!

Tickets available now via TicketPro!

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