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.
A: (Laughs) I spilled the beans too soon on that! I thought I could talk about it, but I really can’t yet. It’s definitely something we’re currently working on, and it’s a process. But we’re very happy that we’re putting together a team and will be able to check that off the bucket list…The only people who know our story is us. I can sit down and share things with my friends, but it’s still not Tionne telling them, too. Only we can tell our story 100 percent.
A: It was actually a very pleasant experience. I would not have signed on to do something like that if it was going to be ratchet. We all love some ratchet TV sometimes, but I don’t want to be a part of anything like that! I spoke to Kim prior to agreeing to do it and I’ve always been in that family with Viacom, so it was nice to reconnect. There were some challenging moments, of course – it’s TV. But I think that the show is definitely something refreshing. You’re still getting reality TV, but it’s positive. We’re not cussing each other out, none of that stuff is going on. I would have jumped off that boat otherwise! I’d be like, I’m done. But it’s just positivity between women; you’ll see that exists, because what you usually see on TV is the complete opposite. We shot it in February. It was a gorgeous yacht. We had a whole team of people helping on the ship. It’s crazy! I was trying to help them!
Q: When did you make the life changes to be celibate and become so spiritual?
A: Honestly, I have gone back and forth through the years. When you know what’s right with the truth and you go against that…maturity can come at any age, and when you really get it, you say this important to me and my faith to God. It’s not easy. I’m a human being. But I put forth every effort to try to do the right thing. I feel really good when I do the right thing. It’s a great feeling. It gives you a different kind of strength that you didn’t know you had. We’re so used to getting into whatever that weakness is and then you give that temptation so much more power. I love sharing the knowledge, especially when it’s something healthy for you. I ultimately want everybody to become their best self. I’m not one of those Christians who’s like, you better read the Bible. It’s a different approach because people are in different places in their lives. The last thing I want to do is push someone away from the truth.
Sisters are doing it for themselves, and in style! VH1’s latest television show ‘Girls Cruise‘ starring music royalty Lil’ Kim, Mya and Chilli of TLC, has proven to be a ratings success!
The show premiered on the network on Monday July 15, 2019 at 9/8c, and managed to draw in 1.2 million viewers, and ranked as the 7th most watched programme on cable television that night, according to The Nielsen Company.
Reviews have mostly been in favor of the new show, too. Many fans are feeling the new, positive approach to reality television, which doesn’t focus on women fighting, but uniting and cherishing their friendship with each other.
Three strong, independent 90’s girls Chilli, Mya and Lil’ Kim are gearing up for the cruise of a lifetime — welcome to VH1‘s Girls Cruise!
“I’ve travelled the world, seen it all. But the music industry is tough. Especially for women”, Lil’ Kim narrates in the show’s opening. “We never have the time to just stop, and enjoy the view”.
“So I’m bringing some of the baddest females and some of my besties to set sail on a 10-day trip to make up for lost time!”, Kim continues.
This trip is about bond, breakthrough and turn up! We’re gonna sea, slay and love across 3 of the most beautiful Caribbean islands — Barbados, Tobago and Trinidad. Ending in the most epic street party in the world!
Mya and Lil’ Kim have been ‘bonded for life’, as they shared their first Grammy together for their 2001 collaboration for the Moulin Rouge smash, “Lady Marmalade“, but Kim had yet to form a real bond with Chilli.
“I’m like the 4th member of TLC!”, Lil’ Kim exclaims. “Chilli, T-Boz and Left Eye were always my sisters. I have so many memories with Left Eye, and so many memories with T-Boz. But, I don’t have any memories really with Chilli, because we never really got to bond”.
“I do need a vacation like, yesterday!”, Chilli confesses. “But, I’m a planner… You know what, I’m gonna do it! I need a break, a little break!”
The girls touch down in Barbados and meet up on a multi-million dollar yacht! Chilli and Mya meet Lil’ Kim’s friends joining them on the cruise — B. Simone, Pretty Vee, Tiffany Panhilason and Char Defranseco.
“This right here is my baby hair motivation!”, Mya states about Chilli’s famous baby hair. “Everybody, study the baby hairs! Baby hair queen!”, B. Simone adds.
The girls and Char all toast the moment with champagne — except Chilli, who has a bottle of water! “Hold on, hold on, why do you have water?”, B. Simone questions Chilli.
“I don’t drink the devil’s juice”, Chilli replies. “Ooh, seriously you’re keeping me focused!”, B. Simone says. Chilli explains, “I don’t drink the devil’s juice, I don’t do any drugs whatsoever. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to turn up!”.
Tune in to VH1 every Monday to keep up with these iconic ladies to find out what they get up to on their once in a lifetime journey!
Our thoughts are completely with Chilli right now! The TLC superstar has been forced to cancel a string of TLC performances in California this week, due to her losing her voice!
Regarding the Sacramento engagement, TLC’s concert management team released the following statement: “Unfortunately due to Chilli losing her voice, TLC must cancel their appearance tonight at the California State Fair. They were very much looking forward to performing at the State Fair this year and hope to see everyone soon.”
On her Twitter feed today (July 14), Chilli stated that she has had to follow doctor’s orders to rest, which results in the unfortunate cancellation of some of their upcoming shows, including the California State Fair, Sacramento (July 14) and the Stanislaus County Fair, Turlock (July 16).
It breaks my heart to tell our fans that we have to cancel our performance tonight at Sacramento because I lost my voice and my dr has me on strict voice rest. We want the fans at Sacramento to know we love them and thank them for their support.
“It breaks my heart to tell our fans that we have to cancel our performance tonight at Sacramento because I lost my voice and my dr has me on strict voice rest”, Chilli said in her statement. “We want the fans at Sacramento to know we love them and thank them for their support.”
Yes it breaks my heart too… And #Sacramento We’ll Come There Again 💋 I’m sure at some point… We love you all and thank u for all your support…but we need her to heal 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/AQEjDAe9ce
Stanislaus County Fair also released a statement, announcing En Vogue as the replacement for TLC.
“We are very disappointed TLC cancelled, especially because the community was extremely excited for the show. We know this is always a possibility in our line of business,” said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. “We are still very excited to have En Vogue replacing them. We wish Chilli from TLC a fast recovery from losing her voice.”
We all wish Chilli a very speedy recovery. With lot’s of rest and TLC, she’ll be back on top form in no time!
TLC kick off their Amphitheater tour with Nelly & Flo Rida on July 23, starting in Tuscaloosa, AL.
STILL on voice rest😫 getting better but not at a 100% just yet. Sadly we will miss seeing the fans in Turlock. Thank u so much for ur prayers n well wishes. I'll be back on stage soon. 💪🏾