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On April 4, Variety hosted its 2023 Power of Women luncheon in New York City and honored a handful of leading women in the entertainment industry, including a bunch of ’90s music legends: TLC. On Tuesday, Variety presented the group with a Legacy Award. The four-time Grammy winner, accepting the award on behalf of TLC Chilly Let’s take a moment to reflect on the group’s greatest achievements and most notable struggles as women of color in the recording industry.
“When you’re a woman of color, it’s really tough—it’s a big struggle.”
“When you’re a woman of color, it’s real tough — it’s a huge struggle,” Chili said about her 32 years in the music industry, according to Variety. Even at the height of TLC’s fame in 1999, following the release of their chart-topping hit “No Scrubs”, Chilli was being overlooked for the career-changing opportunities that non-black artists were getting. was given to
“I’ll always remember when ‘No Scrubs’ came out and it was actually our first number one,” she said. “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 so did we. The message was, ‘The last time we had someone black on the cover, it didn’t sell really well.'”
While these baseless instances of rejection were painful and frustrating, Chiles said the group never lost hope. “I have to say that just because you hear many ‘no’s’ doesn’t mean you don’t have talent because you do – we never stopped believing in ourselves and each other.”
Chilli continued his speech by thanking fellow bandmate T-Boz; He also praised longtime manager Bill Diggins for his unwavering support, especially after the loss of bandmate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in a car accident in 2002. “Bill Diggins believed in us when we were on top of the world,” she said. “And when everything happened – losing our sister – and no one believed us anymore, thinking it was over. It never felt like this.”