Last week a rift formed between TLC and Rihanna, after Australia's Sunrise morning show aired an interview with TLC's Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas in which they complained about entertainers who use sex to sell their music.
But over the weekend while conducting a new interview with a Sydney radio station — seen exclusively in the clip above — T-Boz and Chilli set the record straight, claiming that Sunrise "singled out" Rihanna and took their comments out of context.
"You heard me say something like, 'Every time we see you, you don't have to be naked,' and then [Sunrise] put [Rihanna's] picture up," T-Boz explained. T-Boz noted that when they were asked by Sunrise if they had seen the nude, see-through dress that Rihanna wore to the recent CDFA Awards, she replied, "No."
After the Sunrise interview aired, the story made headlines, prompting a response from Rihanna, who changed the header graphic on her Twitter page to a topless photo of TLC, covering their breasts with their hands. Clearly she was trying to point out the group's supposed hypocrisy.
Rihanna fans chimed in, dissing TLC on Twitter; T-Boz said Rihanna's fans crossed the line. "The thing that is saddening to me, our youth today when they're riding for an artist... and you're threatening lives and threatening our kids, y'all taking it too far," she said.
Chilli wishes Rihanna had contacted them instead of responding publicly. "It does not bother me at all," Chilli said. "I understand that the job that we have that comes with it. But what is not cool is when we have a problem with an artist or if an artist has a problem with us, directly talk to us. Don't start a Twitter war. That's silly."
T-Boz said she and Chilli were encouraging aspiring pop stars to not feel pressured to adopt such racy personas. "I've worked in the studio with a lot of young girls, and they'll go, 'Well, the label is telling me to take off my clothes, and I don't feel comfortable.' Well, if you don't feel comfortable, then don't do it.'"
Chilli added that if artists want to dress provocatively, it should be their choice, "if that's their thing and they're comfortable doing it."
Ironically, the topless TLC photo that Rihanna vengefully posted on her Twitter page was actually taken for a charitable cause. "The one picture of us in 22 years of our career, and it was for breast cancer awareness," T-Boz stressed. "If we do something like that, there's a good reason behind it," Chilli added.
Watch Rihanna's duet with Eminem, "The Monster":