As one-third of the hit R&B group TLC, Chilli has accomplished it all. And while accolades have included an awesome amount of awards, achievements, and recognition, Chilli knows that having a successful start in life can make all the difference for at-risk youth. That’s why the four-time Grammy winner has teamed up with A Place Called Home, an organization that helps both children, adults, and their families with a variety of services and programs designed to improve their lives. We spoke with Chilli about her involvement with A Place Called Home, her reality show, and what parenting a teenager is really like.
Let’s talk about your involvement with the non-profit, A Place Called Home.
When I heard about A Place Called Home, it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Even before I became a parent, I knew I was born to be a mommy. I love kids and the name of it is just perfect. All the things that A Place Called Home offers young kids are the things that you should get at home. I wish there were more places like this for kids everywhere; even if you get what they offer from home, you would get a double dose of it. It’s never too much when you’re talking about love and taking care of children.
How did the event go?
I had fun at the event. I was using some hair products on people and flat-ironing hair. I was a little nervous about doing that! I can sing, dance, act, and perform, but doing hair was something new!
We’ll add that to your list of credentials.
I can also do very, very natural light makeup, too!
Let’s talk about your show, What Chilli Wants. What did you learn about reality TV?
I think in everything that we do, whether a ton of people see it or five people see it, I think we have to do good things and lead by example. That’s what God wants us to do. I feel that’s what I did. People have their opinions about my standards and what I have gone through, but I have learned from my past mistakes. I am very happy with who I am as a woman, but I do hope that I did encourage women to know their self-worth along with giving greatness back to the man who deserves it.
We’re all human and some of us make the same mistakes. People can see that you’re relatable, and I’m no different from the next female. Unless she has low standards, in which case that ain’t me! [laughs] That used to be me in my 20s. You’re dumb in your early 20s; you don’t know who you are. But the day you turn 30, you’re like, “Come on, now!” [laughs]
What is it like being a mom of a teenager?
It’s awesome. I have a really great son. We have a wonderful relationship. When you really do your part and go far beyond that part, it pays off. And that makes me feel so good. When we were shooting, a lot of the crew would say that I was doing a great job with him, and that he was so respectful. It’s wonderful, but it’s sad that it’s surprising to people. Many kids of celebrity parents are not that way.
When my son was 9, I cried a little bit because I knew the double digits were coming. To be honest, I have cried every year, so I know when he’s 18, I know I will be on the floor! [laughs] I wish he could stay a little kid forever. You never stop being a mommy but your role changes as they get older. I liked being extra needed when he was younger; he couldn’t drive or cook. The good thing is that no matter how old your child gets, he never stops needing you.
What can we look forward to from you?
I’m working on a bunch of things. This year is TLC’s 20th anniversary and we’re working to put together shows for the fans. I am very, very, very excited about that!
Twenty years. Wow, I feel so old!
I can’t either, woo! Time flies, it really does.
It does, but it’s when you’re doing something you love.
That’s totally true. And I’m loving my life right now.