The story of TLC’s 20-plus year career and friendship will be played out in their new biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story next week on VH1.
On a recent afternoon in New York City, remaining bandmembers Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins were in a playful mood, laughing heartily as they shared memories of their friend and third TLC member, the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes’ pranks, their worst fan moments, and what they did when they finally got some “real” money after years of being “the brokest” multi-platinum album selling artists.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller is the album that most influenced them musically:
T-Boz: I was like there’s nobody greater than this. I would do those dances with my penny loafers [she starts screaming hee-hee like Michael Jackson]. I already grew up in a musical family but seeing him made me want it so bad. He sparked it for us.
MC Hammer was their favorite person to go on tour with:
Chilli: That was like the best tour ever! It was TLC, Boyz II Men and Jodeci. I watched Hammer’s show every night on that tour and I was studying how he was up there with all those dancers and yet he stood out from all of them. I was paying attention to how he worked the crowd. He gave us a lot of tips and advice.
T-Boz: That boy danced like there was no tomorrow. His production was phenomenal.
Their favorite memory of Left-Eye:
Chilli: The best thing for me was how much she loved to cook. I’ll never forget once we were at a hotel and I had recently stopped eating chicken because of a bad experience. We were in the kitchen and she was frying chicken with only salt and pepper because that’s all they had. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know how good this is gonna be.’ I took a bite of that chicken and I was like, ‘Damn! Just salt and pepper?’ I just cherish those times because we would just talk and laugh, eat good food and just have fun.
T-Boz: We’re all pranksters, but I think she was the president of it. I used to love the way she would come up with the craziest things, like, she would buy plastic ants and line them up near a restaurant salad bar. People would scream and she’d be in the corner chuckling. We’d get like fake roaches and put them in people’s rice. She just was who she was. She didn’t care what people thought about her and I loved that about her.
T-Boz once had a stalker who would cut out her boyfriend’s face in pictures and put himself in them
T-Boz: I’ve had stalkers come to my home more than once. The last one was really crazy because he had this love and hate relationship with me. He used to write me these letters—he knew I was T-Boz but he would say things like I’m the first girl he ever got engaged to. Then it would be ‘I love you’ and then ‘I hate you.’ You know, that stalker TV mess. We went to court and the judge gave banned him from ever so much as mentioning my name.
They both bought their mothers houses the moment they made “real money.”
Chili: It was more important for us to get our moms houses before ourselves because they’re just outstanding mothers.
CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story airs on VH1 this Monday, October 21 at 9pm ET.