This is why Usher and Chilli from TLC broke it off

Step aside, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears! The former popstar couple and their matching ensembles had nothing on singers Usher and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas’ relationship. With the TLC singer hanging on Usher’s shoulder, the couple were Hollywood’s “it” couple of the early 2000s. Fortunately, we have the “U Remind Me” video to thank for being the reason these two ended up together — however, this was not the first time they met. Usher and Chilli first met in 1993 when Usher first signed his deal at the age of 14, and Chilli was 21 at the time, as Zimbio reported. Those ages sound unsettling at first, but the former R&B duo wouldn’t begin dating until 2001, eight years later.

Many of their fans had super heart eyes for Usher and Chilli’s relationship. If you couldn’t tell from their red carpet appearances together and their steamy music videos throughout the years, the chemistry between the couple was through the roof! Sadly, their relationship couldn’t withstand the hardships. The pair called it quits in 2003 in a sudden split, per Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Rumors swirled back then that Usher cheated on Chilli, but Chilli seems to claim otherwise.

Usher never technically cheated on Chilli, but there was someone in the picture

Usher and Chilli’s split in 2003 was quite misleading for fans who believed Usher stepped out on the TLC singer during their relationship. In 2010, Chilli admitted what went down between her and the “U Got It Bad” singer. According to her, there was another woman in the picture while the couple took a break, as per Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Still, the former couple kinda seemed to acknowledge that infidelity played a part in the demise of their relationship. 

Chilli sat down with VH1’s Behind The Music and recalled how she found out about Usher’s side chick. “I never thought of him cheating, I don’t know… I didn’t expect anything like that from him because of how much we loved each other,” Chilli said (via The Boombox). “But I kept hearing about it, then I went to him and I asked him and he… admitted it.” (For his part, Usher said, “I cheated and it didn’t work from there.”)

Chilli later explained her reasoning for leaving Usher in a 2013 Us Weekly tell-all interview. The magazine reported that the singer didn’t actually cheat on her.

“I don’t care how much my heart was hurting, sometimes you’re just supposed to be with people for a reason and it’s not always a lifetime. Even if you want it to be, it just doesn’t work out that way.” Chilli also noted that Usher’s 2004 Confessions album was not about her; instead, the songs on the album pertained to Jermaine Dupri’s personal situation at the time.

Regardless of their relationship’s end, Chilli says that everything is “all good” between her and Usher almost two decades after their split. “But I’ll always love him, forever, because he was my first adult love, a real love,” Chilli added. “But we’re cool, we’re really cool. There’s no hard feelings, nothing like that.”

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