Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas feels blessed for her 30-year career with TLC and its success with “Waterfalls,” “Creep” and “No Scrubs.” The next several decades will be just as successful, she predicts.
“That fire is still in me, naturally,” Thomas says. “When it’s there, it’s there. It’s been such a blessing to be able to do the thing I love to do and make a living and have longevity in such a fickle business. I’m always so thankful.”
TLC has been packing venues throughout the world with Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a car crash in Honduras in 2002. The duo comes to Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on Friday, January 18.
“It’s definitely going to be a super-hype show. We always have little surprises here and there and we change things up. I’m so excited with each show. I just want to give my best performance for everybody and have everybody walking away talking about the TLC show.”
TLC is one of those legacy acts, and Thomas realizes it. She was behind the 2013 VH1 original film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which chronicled the group’s rise. Each time she sees the movie, the year’s highest-rated TV premiere, it makes her emotional.
“That was my baby,” she says. “I always wanted to tell our story. When we got the opportunity to do so, I said I was going to be involved from day one. Once I watched it, it was weird. I was watching a story about my group, but I switched to almost being a fan. I’m happy I’m part of that group.
“At the end, when it shows the real us, it gets me every time. When the flashbacks come on, I cry every time. I’ve seen the movie a few times. I always tell myself I’m not going to cry. I know it’s coming, but I still cry. When our ‘Sleighride’ video comes on and the still shot comes on, oh my God, I lose it every time.”
TLC doesn’t just make Thomas cry. Lady Gaga was choked up when she met Watkins.
“When she first met Tionne, she cried and told her what we meant to her growing up,” she says. “You never know whose lives your songs have touched. What you stand for and what you believe in can have a positive effect on somebody. I love it when some people have the courage to tell those stories.
“Some people see us out and think they don’t want to bother us. I don’t ever look at it like that. I like when people share something with me. It makes me feel just as good to know the good things I’m doing have a positive effect on somebody.”
TLC, Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, Chandler, playatgila.com, 8 p.m. Friday, January 18, tickets start at $45.