When it comes to TLC, Chilli considers herself the “momma of the group,” but she almost didn’t make it this far with her bandmates. In an interview with People, the singer recalled that auditions were held to replace her once her manager, Perri “Pebbles” Reid, found out she was dating Dallas Austin, now father to her son, Tron.
“They were holding auditions to replace me but never saw anybody that they liked. I don’t think anybody cared about the Dallas thing but Pebbles,” Chilli said of TLC’s former manager, then wife to L.A. Reid.
She revealed that Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes had also been on the chopping block, specifically for burning down her boyfriend Andre Rison‘s $1.3 million home.
“Tionne (T-Boz) called and said, ‘Turn on channel 5!’” recalled Chilli. “I was like Tionne, we’re just gonna have to find another group member. I told Lisa I said that. I was mad.”
Lisa was killed in a car accident in Honduras in 2002.
“I miss her every day. I often wonder what things would have been like if she was still here,” Chilli said, adding Left Eye would probably be entertaining, with “more followers than Selena Gomez!”
In her absence, she and T-Boz continue the group’s legacy via the Hot Summer Nights Tour with Shaggy, ending July 14 at the Cowboys Music Festival. They’re also opening up about their girl group in the Lifetime documentary TLC Forever, due out June 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
“We’ve already lost one sister. We have to grow old together,” Chilli says in a scene from the documentary. “That’s my family. We’re for life.”
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