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Chilli Says Usher Was Her First ‘Real Love,’ Details Relationship

Ushe Chilli
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

There’s been plenty of great albums inspired by broken relationships: a good portion of Eminem‘s ‘Marshall Mathers LP,’ Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Here, My Dear’ and Nas‘ ‘Life Is Good.’ For a while, Usher‘s diamond-selling ‘Confessions’ was thought to belong in that line of projects. TLC‘s Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas says that’s not the case.

Many believed that ‘Confessions’ was inspired by Usher’s 2003 breakup with Chilli. The latter singer revealed to US Weekly that there’s no truth to that notion. Usher and Chilli were together when the album was recorded. The LP was actually based off another situation.

“All of those songs on ‘Confessions,’ that was about Jermaine Dupri‘s situation. Usher was just singing it,” Chilli reveals. “But people kind of bought into it, it was just the timing of our breakup when the album came out.”

It’s an understandable confusion given the autobiographical nature of some of the songs on the album, particularly on ‘Confessions (Part II),’ where Usher details the aftermath of an accidental pregnancy as a result of an adulterous relationship. Quite a few believed Usher cheated on Chilli, which led to their breakup. She also denied that rumor, although Usher admitted to infidelity a few years back.

Chilli also says Usher was her first “real adult love” and she’ll “always love him, forever.”

“But we’re cool, we’re really cool. There’s no hard feelings, nothing like that. It’s all good,” she says.

Usher’s inspiration and the publicity surrounding his relationship with Chilli led to the peak of his career. ‘Confessions’ contained monster hits like ‘Yeah,’ ‘Burn‘ and ‘My Boo.’ The album has sold 10 million copies as of 2012.

‘Crazy, Sexy Cool: The TLC Story,’ the biopic of the famed girl group, premieres tonight (Oct. 21) on VH1.

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