Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas is the embodiment of the term triple threat. The singer/actress/dancer is best known as Chilli, one third of the iconic R&B group TLC. Comprised of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes and Chilli, TLC is one of the greatest musical groups of all time, having several #1 singles, selling over 45 million albums worldwide and winning countless awards including four Grammy's and three American Music Awards.
Originally a dancer, Chilli joined TLC in 1991 after an original member left the group. Also known as the "sexy" third of the "Crazy¬-Sexy-Cool" defined group, Chilli was easily recognized by her smooth R&B vocals and natural beauty. The group topped the charts throughout the 90's, producing four studio albums and establishing their place as pop icons, with continuous television appearances and feature film cameos. In 1996 Chilli was listed as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1999, on TLC's 3rd album; "Fanmail," Chilli had her first lead single; "No Scrubs," which went #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and won an MTV Music Award for Best Group Video, two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo/Group as well as various other awards. "No Scrubs" is what fueled the album to debut at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums. TLC's last studio album "3D," was released in November 2002, seven months after the tragic death of band mate "Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.
Chilli and T-Boz went on to star in the reality show "R U the Girl" which aired on UPN. In addition to the reality show, Chilli continued to make television cameos including "That 70's Show," "The Parkers" and "Strong Medicine." She was later featured in Maxim Magazine's October 2006 issue as one of Maxim's Hot 100 Women of the Year.
Never one to rely on her beauty alone, Chilli flexed her entrepreneurial muscle in 2005, creating a line of handbags as an ode to her love and dedication to her son Tron. The line, Bags by Chilli, combined sophisticated style with the simplicity of an invaluable keepsake. She also became a proactive child advocate participating in a number of charities geared towards children and eventually formed her own non-profit entitled "Chilli's Crew." The organization's mission is to assist in fostering a healthy sense of self in young women from the inside out.
In the spring of 2008, Chilli released her first single from her upcoming solo project entitled, "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb." The track remained true to her dance roots but also gave fans a glimpse of Chilli as a solo artist. The song was in instant hit across the internet, before forcing its way to radio, proving it was the vehicle needed to solidify her return to the top of the music charts. Also that spring, Chilli was tapped to be the face of an exclusive skincare line entitled Chamonix. Her undeniable beauty, strength and grace made her the perfect spokesperson for the line which focuses on a healthy skin regime.
Now Chilli is back in the spotlight with a brand new reality series on VH1. "What Chilli Wants" is a 30 minute, eight episode series that explores the life of one of pop-music's biggest stars. Chilli has everything she has ever wanted including fame, fortune, looks and a wonderful son. But she hasn't been able to find a man to settle down with. Enlisting the help of relationship expert Tionna Smalls, viewers will get an in-depth look at what Chilli really wants in a man and out of life. Tionna will coach Chilli on dating as well as set her up on various dates with eligible bachelors in hopes of finding her a man that fits her "checklist."
Tionna Smalls calls herself a relationship expert today, but it did not come easily. After ending a six-year relationship, Tionna began her career by re-evaluating her past mistakes and triumphs. She used the closure that came with her relationship as inspiration in writing the book titled, "Girl, Get Your Mind Right!" It was from here that her career unexpectedly took an upward turn.
Tionna began simply with a letter written in the third person to the editors of Gawker.com, a popular New York City-based blog, in hopes of them promoting her book. After a few postings, a letter from one of the editors asking for advice changed her relationship with the site from fan to columnist.
Her column, Ask Tionna received over 20,000 unique views daily during its run on Gawker.com With her tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and catchphrases such as "catbag," Ask Tionna became one of the sites most visited sections, receiving over 100 comments a day. Reaching Internet celebrity status, Tionna's book saw a rapid increase in sales and her blog maintained a steady fan base of daily viewers. Tionna then went on to pursue developmental opportunities with television networks, host her own Internet Radio Show "Talk Dat Ish" on BlogTalkRadio and was quoted in various publications including The New York Post. Her pursuit also led to freelance writing opportunities with other websites such as Global Grind and Radar Magazine Online. Although Tionna's schedule had become somewhat overwhelming, she was still able to remain heavily active in her community, serving as an advocate for at-risk youth within her neighborhood.
In April of 2009, VH1 approached Tionna with an opportunity to turn years of hard work and past heartache into a position as relationship expert to Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. In Chilli's new series, "What Chilli Wants," Tionna will guide Chilli on her journey to find true love in her life post-girl band TLC. With Tionna's no-nonsense attitude and experience giving relationship advice to tens of thousands, she is sure to help Chilli find a man. The series premieres on VH1 Sunday, April 11 at 10:30 PM ET/PT.