TLC has a busy 2013 ahead, though Chili tells Billboard that contrary to reports, a Left-Eye hologram is not in the works: "It's definitely something we thought about, like years ago. But I think it's very creepy"
The announcement of TLC's performance at this year's MixTape Festival was just a harbinger of things to come, according to the group's Rozonda "Chili" Thomas -- with a near-future that includes a TV biopic, re-recorded hits, new music and more live dates.
"This is just the beginning," Chili tells Billboard. "This is going to be a great year for TLC. It's just time. It's time for us to do everything."
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But one thing not to necessarily expect, Chili adds, is for her and partner Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins to be joined on stage by some kind of 3D image of the late Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes ala the Tupac Shakur rebirth at last year's Coachella festival.
"I don't even know how that got out. We never said that was something we're gonna do," Chili says. "It's definitely something we thought about, like years ago. But I think it's very creepy. We're still in the creative process in figuring out how we're going to involve Lisa and stuff like that."
In addition to the MixTape on July 27 in Hershey, Pa., Chili says she and T-Boz are planning to perform in Japan, where they'll also receive a Legends Award from that country's MTV. She also predicts that "there's going to be many more" shows. "We are going to tour. We just really want to get out there and perform and do shows, and thank God people want to see us."
Driving this spate of activity is the upcoming biopic for VH1, which was executive produced by Chili and T-Boz and directed by Charles Stone III ("Drumline," "Mr. 3000," "Paid in Full"), which a cast that includes Keke Palmer (Chili), Drew Sidora (T-Boz), rapper Lil Mama (Left-Eye) and Evan Ross as TLC producer Dallas Austin. It's slated to debut this year, and Chili promises that "it's gonna be juicy...good juicy! It's totally about the three of us and all the trials and tribulations that we've gone through and all the way up to where we are today. We're gonna touch on a lot of things people did not know about, things we were going through and help people understand some of the things they heard about. They're gonna get the back story."
Chili and T-Boz, who now reside on opposite coasts, have re-recorded some of TLC's best-known material for the film's soundtrack, and they've also been working on brand new music with Austin and J. Cole, among others, for the first new TLC album since 2003's "3D." Release dates for both projects have yet to be determined.