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Chilli on sisterhood, Drake and telling the TLC story

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Story by Stereo Williams

Photography by DeWayne Rogers

It’s been a little over 20 years since Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas first crashed into the spotlight as the spunky pop, R&B and hip-hop trio TLC. In the years that followed the Atlanta-based group’s first single (“Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg”), they’ve endured immeasurable highs and devastating lows, from the platinum-selling albums and blockbuster tours, to in-fighting, bankruptcy and the tragic death of one of their own. Today, Chilli can look back on the events of the last two decades with the benefit of hindsight, and as she prepares for the release of VH1’s “Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story,” she sounds like a woman who’s learned of the power that comes from perseverance. And she’s excited to see TLC’s story being told to a new generation.

“I’m very proud of [the film]” she says. “It was something that I’ve always wanted for my group. The right time presented itself, and so that’s why it’s happening. I just watched one of the last edits this past weekend and it was exactly the way I wanted it.”

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