INTERVIEWS

Exclusive: Recounting the “Crazy, Sexy, Cool” of TLC’s Classic Diamond-Selling Album, 20-Years Later (with Commentary from Chilli!)

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Nov. 15, 1994 there was a musical explosion. One of the greatest R&B albums of all time was released. That album, was the legendary TLC‘s sophomore effort, CrazySexyCool.

The album was a collaborative work by some of the most profound writers and producers of the time, including Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and more.  The LP’s title delivered a relatable identity for fans as Left Eye represented the “Crazy,” Chilli the “Sexy,” and T-Boz the “Cool.”  Laced with sexy and sultry ballads, and some up-tempo flava, the album will live on forever as a staple in the R&B genre. TLC’s pioneering blend of R&B, Hip Hop and Pop music resonated extremely well with mainstream audiences as fans rushed out to buy the Atlanta trio’s sophomore project.

The album stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for more than two years and simultaneously went diamond, making TLC the first girl group to achieve this success. To date, CrazySexyCool has sold over 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group, and the second best selling album worldwide behind the Spices Girls’ Spice. All four singles from the album reached the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, two of them reaching number one.

As the double-diamond certified album turns 20 this month, it’s only right that we reflect on the amazing Crazy, Sexy, Cool of TLC’s second album!

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Mary J. Blige Shares Her World In New ‘Billboard’ Cover Story

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Mary J. Blige has become one of the most legendary singers in the R&B genre to date. From her relevancy over the last 20 years to overcoming her own personal battles, the life and times of MJB has been an incredible story to watch. And, if you’re as lucky as some of us, you’ve been able to watch it from her arrival on the scene in the early ’90s, up until where she is now in 2014.

Covering this month’s issue of Billboard magazine, The Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul took some time to discuss her 13th album, The London Sessions, as well as her expansive and interesting journey through the music industry. Opening up about her tremulous past, the icon stated: “I was ready to just check out. It was a moment — I can’t get into it — but I saw my life going and I was grabbing for it. I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ That’s when I realized that I don’t want to die. And I switched, and I started praying and crying, and my life shifted right there.”

Now, two years sober, Mary told the famed outlet, “Sometimes I go to dinner with my sister and my friends, but it’s very light now because I don’t drink and hang out anymore,” she says. “So you know I can’t be in a club. If I ever felt like going out and dancing, I could do it. I could sit around everybody while they’re drinking, but I just don’t want to.”

In addition to touching on her past, MJB the MVP, talked receiving advice from her go-to man Elton John, her budding friendship with Sam Smith, what she keeps in rotation, Amy Winehouse, and much more. Perhaps one of the best interviews she’s given recently, you can’t help but love Mary even more after reading this.

Take a look at the pics and behind the scenes footage of the shoot shoot below! And, if you’re looking to read the full interview, click here!

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Hot 97 Presents: 97 Seconds With Usher (Video)

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Hot 97 was graced by Usher as the next guest to appear on their “97 Seconds” series. Opening up with his feelings on what makes a real R&B artist, the veteran singer spoke about his childhood days in Atlanta, moving to New York to work with Puff, working with Jermaine Dupri, his favorite performance, and more.

“R&B is not something that anybody can do,” said Usher. “Writing a great record is something that a lot of people have been able to do. But, to be a R&B artist is far more than just being a great singer or having a hit record. You gotta really have the soul, you gotta feel it and hear it in the music.”

Usher is currently traveling North America on his “UR Experience” tour, which will make its next stop tomorrow in Los Angeles, where fans should definitely expect some surprise guests.

Check out the interview below:

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Timbaland Talks Aaliyah Biopic, New Projects on ‘The Breakfast Club’

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The travesty that Lifetime released this past weekend as Aaliyah’s biopic received heavy criticism, however the interest in the movie and all the social media attention led to it being one of the networks most successful releases with huge ratings.

Adding to the slander was legendary producer Timbaland, who was a huge character in the movie, but was never even contacted to offer any suggestions or details about the late singer. While visiting NYC this week Timbo stopped by Power 105.1 to talk with ‘The Breakfast Club’ about the film, his feelings on not being contacted, relationship with Aaliyah and details about her life and career, posthumous music and more.

Tim also spoke about his new artist, Chicago rapper/singer Tink, who he has been working with heavily and is really, really excited about.

Check out the full interview below:

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Faith Evans Says She is Working on a Duets Album with Biggie!

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Sayyyy Whaaat??!!!

Yea, you read that right… We had the same reaction. While promoting the release of her new album Incomparable, Faith Evans has spilled the beans on a very special project, she just got approved to work on. Speaking with HipHollywood, the R&B veteran has revealed that her next LP could very well be a duets album with her late ex-husband The Notorious B.I.G!

Although she is only in the very early stages of the process, Faith said her inspiration for the tone of the album was Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole.

The album is expected to be titled “The King and I,” and it could be released as early as next year!

Peep the interview clip below:

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Chris Brown, Trey Songz & Tyga Talk “Between the Sheets” Tour

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Chris Brown and Trey Songz made an actual event out of the announcement for their highly anticipated joint tour “Between The Sheets” this past Monday at Hollywood’s House of Blues. Following their performance and on-stage interview with the live crowd, the R&B superstars and their supporting act Tyga sat down with Billboard backstage to discuss it a little more.

Explaining how they arrived at the title for the North American trek, they also spoke about why they feel this is an important collaboration to show unity not only amongst artists, but also young black men.

“I think it just shows an example of brotherhood, an example of young black men finding a way to work together versus against one another,” explained Trey.

Check out the interview below, and peep the tour dates here.

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Alicia Keys Gushes About Pregnancy, New Children’s Book, Marriage & More on ‘Wendy’

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Alicia Keys is just glowing these days. With her second child on the way and a new album to follow, the R&B superstar took a moment to visit ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ in promotion for her brand new children’s book Blue Moon: From the Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee on Wednesday.

The book is based on the relationship between Alicia and her grandmother. “It’s such an important thing, the relationship between child, mother and grandparent, and this [book] really shows that,” she explained.

In addition Alicia opened up about motherhood, baby #2, her marriage to Swizz Beatz and how she makes her blended family work.

“It’s about the kids, and so when everybody is able to be an adult, which we all are able to be, there’s actually a beautiful value about the way we can influence each other’s lives and the lives of the kids,” she said.

Wendy also presented the singer with a special onesie for her baby, who may arrive on New Year’s Eve.

Watch the full interview below:

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Watch: Trey Songz Performs “What’s Best For You” on ‘Queen Latifah’

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On the heels of announcing the highly anticipated “Between The Sheets Tour” with Chris Brown, R&B heartthrob Trey Songz paid a visit to ‘The Queen Latifah Show’ for a special performance and interview.

Trey, who released his sixth album Trigga this past summer, performed his single “What’s Best For You” for the live audience. Decked out in a dark suit the singer serenaded the crowd as he gave them what was best for them, with the smooth love song.

During his chat with Queen he spoke about his special 30/30 Acts of Kindness campaign leading up to his 30th birthday, where he is doing at least one act of kindness per day and is encouraging all his fans to do the same. He also talked about teaming up with Chris Brown for their joint tour.

Check out Trey’s performance and interview below!

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