Chilli has spoken out about the hardships faced by women of colour, recalling how her group TLC lost out on the opportunity to cover Rolling Stone magazine.
While speaking at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon on Tuesday, the 52-year-old singer, real name Rozonda Thomas, recounted some of the group’s hardest moments as women of colour in the music industry.
Chilli attended the luncheon to accept the Legacy Award on behalf of the group, also made up of Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and formerly late singer Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes.
“When you are a woman of colour, it’s real hard – it’s a huge struggle,” she said, via Variety. “I’ll always remember when No Scrubs came out and it was actually our first number one… I always wanted to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
“We didn’t get the cover. I won’t say who (got the cover); it’s okay because he deserved it too but we also did. The message was, ‘The last time we had someone Black on the cover, it didn’t really sell well.'”
TLC released No Scrubs on 23 March 1999. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 for four consecutive weeks.
Eminem covered Rolling Stone on its 29 April edition that year, though Chilli did not confirm who she was referring to.
She said: “I have to say that just because you hear many ‘nos’ does not mean that you don’t have the talent because you do – we never stopped believing in ourselves and each other.”
Elsewhere in her speech, Chilli thanked TLC manager Bill Diggins, who “believed in us when we were on top of the world… And when everything happened – losing our sister (Lisa in 2002) – and no one believing in us anymore, thinking that it was over… he never felt like that.”
– Cover Media