TLC’s Chilli is in love again and seems to have found the one this time around. In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the 52-year-old gushed about her relationship with actor Matthew Lawrence of Boy Meets World fame. The two are in an interracial relationship, and she talked to the publication about the role race plays in it.
“If people of different races hadn’t gotten together, I wouldn’t be here — that’s how I see it,” said the star, daughter of a Black mother and Arab and Bangladeshi father. “We are American,” she said. This also isn’t the first time the “Waterfalls” singer has dated outside of her race.
“I had a white boyfriend in high school,” she says, “an Indian one, too. No big deal.”
Chilli and Lawrence began dating around August of 2022 and by November, were spending Thanksgiving together. In terms of who the singer has been linked to in the past, she dated music producer Dallas Austin who she had her son Tron with in the 90s. She’s also dated Usher, actor Brad James, and Floyd Mayweather although they only went on two dates before deciding to be friends.
During her interview with PEOPLE, she was asked whether she and Lawrence ever discuss race, and she responded, “No… we have so much in common.”
She then went on to highlight their shared values, one being family.
“I love how close he is to his family. He was very close to his grandmother,” says Chilli, who was partially raised by her grandmother. “It’s something about when a grandparent had a hand in raising you. You are different. They instill things in you that Mom and Dad can’t.”
It also happens that the couple’s moms have forged a strong bond too as they speak on the phone.
“Matthew and I are both like, ‘Boy when they get together, we’re going to have to have security ’cause they’re going to be out of control.’ They’re foxy hot girls,” she said.
Chilli isn’t shy about her faith and shares her Christian and Seventh-day Adventist beliefs on social media often. Lawrence, 43, also happens to be a man of faith.
“It was the Sabbath and I said ‘I’m gonna pray — do you want me to pray for you?’ And I was so nervous because if he came back with he’s not religious or this or that, I was gonna cut him off,” she recalled. Instead, she said, “He gave me a little list of things to pray for. I was like, ‘Thank you Lord!'”
It seems the couple is fast-approaching their one-year anniversary and have a love that’s getting stronger by the day.
“When you’re seasoned, like we both are, it doesn’t take that long to figure out a person,” says Chilli. “We want to protect [our love], nurture it and grow it.”