Earlier this year TLC fans across the country, including Katy Perry, NKOTB and many others raised almost half a million dollars for TLC’s upcoming album, which is slated to be their last. As a part of their donation packages, fans had the opportunity to get up close and personal with T-Boz and Chilli on scheduled events such as movie dates, workout dates and Skype phone calls.
Kacey Murphy is a die-hard TLC fan and her Kickstarter donation offered the opportunity to fly to Atlanta and see Matt Damon’s The Martian with Chilli.
Below is Kacey’s detailed experience of her movie date with Chilli.
“As captivating as The Martian was, much of my experience during the movie consisted of every 20 minutes or so all these TLC moments that I’ve seen and heard dozens of times — songs, videos, performances, interviews — replaying in my mind and each time it continued to be surprising that as I turned to my right Chilli, who was crucially responsible for those moments existing, is 5 inches away …
“I was looking forward to having a good time Sunday and a memorable experience, what I didn’t expect was to be continually restruck with these moments of awe throughout the evening because of a celebrity. But Chilli isn’t a just a celebrity.
“What TLC has done isn’t great, it’s transcendent. They changed the game. How many artists can actually say that? The songs, content, videos, outfits, performances, visual effects — yes, they were all popular and enjoyable and successful, but beyond that they were dynamic and years ahead of what has now become the norm. There have been a ton of successful and great artists, yet few who have been so creative in what they did and so far ahead of time that they broke molds and impacted the industry to new standards that would become commonplace. TLC has always been playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. ‘Waterfalls’ isn’t just a great video, its iconic; the thing should’ve won an Oscar! But want to know what my favorite thing about TLC is? So many groups are carried by one or two people with others going for the ride. But TLC has three unique pieces that brought totally different things and weren’t at all similar, but when blended together it was perfect. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. And they wouldn’t have reached the heights they did without all three. Great as individuals, unstoppable together. Call it a perfect storm, fate, or whatever — often imitated but never duplicated. Then a bevy of obstacles that should have stopped them turned into blips on the radar because they literally were too good, too talented, and too special to be held down. Is there an artist in history that has shown more fortitude than TLC? There isn’t. You don’t luck into what they accomplished, that’s skill, resiliency, and heart.
“TLC was generation-defining … I know, I grew up in that generation. They impacted a stream of artists who have followed. They set new standards. And then our paths cross and there I am with Chilli at the movies. Renowned songs – she was a part of creating those. Historic videos — she was a piece in building those. Remarkable performances — she was a portion of what everybody was watching. I’m sitting next to a person who wasn’t just present for these notorious events, she’s part of the reason those things happened; none of these extraordinary moments exist without her. That was surreal.
“TLC is legendary. Chilli is not a celebrity; she is an icon. And she could not have been nicer. From an outside, public perception I have a ton of respect for Chilli because she seems kind, honest and resilient. For somebody who — as far as I’ve seen — has never shied away from being honest and authentic publicly, having the opportunity to spend time with her on a personal level reinforced all of my opinions more than I ever expected. There was nothing more refreshing than finding out that a person you have been a fan of and revered publicly is more admirable as a human being than she ever could be as an artist.”