TLC ain’t too proud to beg.
To fund their fifth and final album, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas — third member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a 2002 car crash — launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. Within a month, the R&B duo, set to headline this summer’s I Love the ’90s tour, racked up more than $430,000 — including $5,000 from Katy Perry!
“We were shocked,” says Chilli, 46. “It made this even more exciting because we knew our fans were invested.”
Now, Chilli, who has son Tron, 20, and 47-year-old T-Boz, mom of daughter Chase, 16, and son Chance, 22 months, rock with Us.
Us Weekly: How has your music evolved over the years?
T-Boz: We have changed, and situations have come about, but the sound is still straight-up us. As time goes on, we have more subject matter.
Chilli: The lyrical content is amazing. Our beats are dope. Tionne’s voice is scratchy, while mine is more angelic and high-pitched. It’s what makes a song TLC.
Us: How will hitting the road be different this time?
T: Well, my kids are coming! My daughter is doing our makeup. Chilli asked her to do it once, and my daughter was so scared because she knows Chilli is picky. But it turned out great, so she’s our makeup artist.
C: You either love tour life or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. We look forward to it. We get to get up there and do what we really love.
Us: Will fans see the iconic TLC choreography?
C: We dance in the up-tempos and the ballads, all of it! It’s like riding a bike. The flow of the show is so good. We get some breaks, which are so needed now.
T: But we always put little changes in to keep it fun. We’ll perform our new material and old stuff. We don’t want people sitting there like, “What is this?” It’s going to be amazing.
Us: How do you honor Left Eye in your music?
C: She’s always incorporated in everything we do, no matter what. We have an interlude on the album that features Lisa, and you feel her energetic vibes. At our shows, the audience can feel her presence.
T: She is always part of our daily life. We are TLC and we will never forget that. She was our sister.
TLC’s self-titled fifth and final album drops Friday, June 30.