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‘He Had to be a Certain Way with Me and He Couldn’t’: Chilli Admits She and Usher Had Undeniable ‘Chemistry, ‘Says They Both Had a Hard Time Moving on After the Breakup

Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas is currently living in love with her Prince Charming, Matthew Lawrence. But once upon a time, many who’ve been following her love life were certain her happily ever after would come with R&B singer Usher

The former beloved couple met in 1993, after Usher signed with LaFace Records, the same label as Chilli, but they didn’t begin dating until 2001. 

Chilli dishes on why she and Usher didn’t last as a couple. (Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

“We definitely had some chemistry,” the TLC group member told People Magazine in an interview. 

While sparks were undeniably flying between the two singers, their chaotic personal lives didn’t seem to align with what they felt was right romantically. 

“But working chemistry does not mean it works in your personal life. If we were working, it was great,” Chilli said. “But outside of that, we’re different.”

Related: TLC’s Chilli Slams Rumor She May Still Have Feelings For Usher

Without deepening her explanation, the “No Scrubs” artist shared her belief that they had different values. “It looked great, but in real life … he knew he had to be a certain way with me and he couldn’t,” she said.

Neither has ever shared an exact reason for their split. But over the years, fans and critics have suggested that their relationship ended due to infidelity on Usher’s part. However, in a 2013 interview with US Weekly, Chilli stated that he never stepped out on her. 

Many also speculated that Usher’s Grammy Award-winning album “Confessions” was inspired by her. But she has repeatedly denied the long-running rumor, saying, “I was with him at the studio that whole time.”

Though Chilli and Usher’s morals didn’t quite align, that certainly did not stop them from being on and off again for years. “I love hard,” she told the outlet. 

Chilli also found it difficult to close the chapter on their romantic story. The two appeared to be madly in love, which made it more difficult for both parties to move on.

“I was like ‘God, why can’t I get over this?,’ ” she said. “He couldn’t either.”

After relying on her faith in God, Chilli said she was finally able to cut off contact with Usher for good in 2019 so she could “focus on myself.” 

“I even stopped dating,” the 52-year-old said. “Because before that I thought if I met the right guy during that time that I wasn’t over [Usher] it wouldn’t work. I would never want to straddle the fence.” 

Nevertheless, she said there is no bad blood between the two today, and even credited their relationship as something that prepared her to be loved by Lawrence. 

“He wants to be the best guy he can be and who God wants him to be,” she said. “God-willing, one day we’ll get married.” 

Chilli and Lawrence have been an item for quite some time. In March, her TLC group member Tionne “T-Boz ” Watkins dished on their infectious love, claiming that she was “living vicariously through” her music sister. 

“It’s been great ‘cause I’ve never seen her like this, and I’ve been there 31 years,” Watkins said. 

Chilli and the “Boy Meets World” actor may be an unexpected pairing, but she previously encouraged other women to also explore dating men outside of their race.

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