Monday, December 10, 2007
Chilli of TLC
Chilli by Stephanie B.
Chilli has always been my favorite TLC singer. She is also the cutest of the TLC girls. I consider her very attractive because of the way she carry herself and that she has an outgoing personality. She resembles the Capri girl, Rosina Ferrara, whom was described by painter John Singer Sargent as a handsome Arab/Greek girl of nut brown complexion. She was painted so many times by various 19th Century artists, most notably, John Singer Sargent. I can see why Chilli was named the 50 most beautiful people of the world in May 1996 issue of People magazine. She is amazingly beautiful. She has been on the covers of major magazines (Young and Modern, Vibe, Esquire, Mademoiselle, Sister 2 Sister). She was also in the editorial section of the May 2000 issue of Allure magazine, was on the cover of February 2001 Ebony magazine and is currently the subject in the October issue of Maxim.
Chilli has a melodic voice. You can hear her on songs such as "No Scrubs," "Come Down," "Unpretty", "Good at Being Bad," "His Story," "Miss You," and "Hat to the Back." Chilli was the main singer on TLC's "Fanmail . " She had collaborated with the now defunct Detroit group, Vega, with the song, "Spread My Wings." Her upcoming album is mainly R&B, with collaborations from various artists and producers such as her former beau, Dallas Austin. 98 Degrees contributed a tract to her album in the late 2000. Unfortunately, her project is still on hold . My hope still is for her to finish her upcoming album. She, T-Boz, and Left Eye worked on their fourth album that was released in 2002, the year Left Eye died in a car accident. Around that time, Chilli had a relationship with Usher and has appeared in his two videos. Her relationship with Dallas didn't worked out. They are still friends however. Chilli has a lovely son named Tron, who is eight years old. She's raising him by herself without nannies and that she doesn't want her son to grow up in public view.
All her life her own face had been a mystery. The almond eyes, straight ebony hair and voluptuous lips were a striking, but mysterious, mosaic: neither black nor white, neither Asian nor Hispanic. It made for a tough childhood for Rozonda Thomas, better known as Chilli, the melodic voice of the Grammy-winning R&B group TLC. Miss Rozanda Ocelean Thomas was born on February 27, 1971 in Atlanta to a 17 year old girl named Ava Thomas. Ava had an fling with a soldier stationed in Fort Benning,GA. His name is Abdul Ali. He's of East Indian and Middle Eastern descent. He left Ava without noticing that she was pregnant with Rozanda.This reminds me of a romantic story written by a French author, Alphonse de Lamartine. Lamartine's was about a Neapolitan fisher girl named Graziella, who had fallen in love with a sophisticated Frenchman who eventually abandons her in order to marry someone of his class. Chilli's mother didn't want to raise her lovely child on welfare, so she had her mother and extended family members to raise her daugther so she could finish high school on time. Her family lived in the projects in Atlanta. Her mother eventually married. Chilli's first words to her mother were "I love you." Later on, she credited her mother for keeping her out of trouble. Speaking of her mother, she told an interviewer: "Mom had me when she was 17. She could have easily said, 'Let me get on welfare.'" Her proudest accomplishments were to be levelheaded and successful. Again, she credited her mother for helping her toughen up because, according to Chilli: "I'm extremely sensitive and would cry at the drop of the hat."
While growing up, Chilli had experienced racism first hand. She had fights with her fellow students, was harassed by neighbors at the housing project while growing up, and was discriminated against by strangers because of her multiracial heritage. She had a hard time telling them because she never knew her father. She said, "When you look different, it's a big deal." She didn't allow racism to affect her while she was attending school. She graduated from high school in 1989. She enrolled in college soon after.
Originally, she wanted to become a fashion designer. Instead, she became a dancer for the late hip hop/rapper, Damian Dame. In less than two years, she joined Pebbles' up and coming hip hop group, TLC after Crystal dropped out . Pebbles had an obstacle. Chilli's first name is Rozonda. Pebbles nicknamed her Chilli so it would sound right for her first girl group. It would have been a total disaster had she not come up with new nickname for Rozonda. Pebbles also said the Chilli adds all the hot sauce and she did delivered it to her devoted fans.
In 1992, TLC were on a roll with top 40 hits such as "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Baby Baby Baby," and "What About Your Friends?" They also generated a lot of controversy due to their dress and music. They toured with MC Hammer in '92. In '94, they achieve even more with their second album. "Creep" was in the top 10 as was "Waterfalls" and "Diggin on You". Soon after their second album release, group had to file for bankruptcy in 1995. the In the same year, Chilli had pleaded on Sally Jessy Raphael to locate her absentee father. Ali Abdul of Atlantic City NJ, came on the show to reveal that he was her father . Her father also brough his children to the show. It made her very happy that she found her father. The following year, she was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the annual People magazine issue.
In 1997, she gave birth to her son, Tron. She said that he was her "perfect life." She had always wanted to be a mother since she was nineteen. In recent years, she had been on the modeling scene. In the same year, she started a publishing company called T-Ron, after her son. In 1998, she signed a contract with Coach leather. She has been a model for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.
In 1999, TLC released their third album, Fanmail, with Chilli predominating the vocals . They toured around the world and performed at various award shows, most notably, the 1999 VH-1 Fashion Awards. During the same time period, the group was the focus of VH-1's "Behind the Music" special. Several years ago there were rumors that TLC would break up. Chilli denied those reports, but she said that she is spending less time with the group so she could be with her son, Tron. Recently, she was number two in VH-1's top 25 sexiest people of R&B. In June 2000, she attended the wedding of her bandmate T-Boz. Her other bandmate, Left Eye didn't show up. Later that year, her bandmate, T-Boz, gave birth to her daughter, Chase. During the same year, she has done two made for TV movies. She worked with Vanessa L. Williams in "A Diva's Christmas Carol," a modern update of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol." She played a ghost who constantly haunts Vanessa's character because of her ruthlessness. She told her former bandmate to change her greedy, wicked ways or else. Chilli also played the guidance counselor for troubled black girls on "Love Song,"which featured singer and native Atlantan, Monica. She was also featured in a straight to video movie in late 2001.
Politically, Chilli is a liberal. In the most contested presidential election in the history of the nation, Chilli had criticized the conservatism of George W. Bush.
My hope for Chilli right now is for her to continue to develop her God-given talents. I was very disappointed that Chilli had a cameo role in Love Song. However, she performed well in her role of ghost Marli on A Diva's Christmas Carol last month. Vannesa L. Williams and Chilli have done a duet song for that movie. Last March, she appeared in the Outkast video, "So Fresh, So Clean." At the end of the video, Big Boi kissed Chilli. In her second video apperance, "You Remind Me," she appeared with Usher, wearing a very scanty outfit. She was also in Usher's video, "You've Got it Bad, " in 2001. In the same year, she showed up at the wedding of Toni Braxton with Usher. Their photo was in the June 2001 issue of Ebony Magazine. In April, 2002, TLC lost a very dear bandmate, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras. She would have been 31 years old this year. Ms. Lopes had a lot going for her. She was working at the herbal institute in that country as well as helping out with needy children at a daycare center there. We will always remember her in our hearts. In late 2002, Chilli and T-Boz went ahead and release their forth album. That album is dedicated to the late Lisa Lopes. In that album, it's a sampling of R&B, latin, rap, hip hop, and pop. It's definitely a crowd pleaser album. Chilli and T-Boz were on the cover of December's Honey Magazine. People magazine once again honor Chilli with the 50 Most Beautiful People along with her beau, Usher Raymond in early May of 2003. Unfortunately, the couple broke up in early 2004, citing incompatibility. At the time of his breakup, he released his latest CD entitled "Confessions." Chilli moved on.
In 2005, she and T-Boz starred in a reality show for the UPN network. It was a talent search to find a replacement for the late Lisa Lopes. They were featured in the August 8, 2005 issue of People Magazine. Chilli was also featured in a four-page spread in October 2005 issue of Maxim Magazine and was named one of the Hot 100 women of 2006. She have her own website at Myspace.com and is working to release her first CD.