TLC, Christina Aguilera Speak Up As Tour Kicks Off

The multi-Grammy Award nominees of TLC kicked off the second leg of their "Fanmail" tour last Friday in Anaheim, California, along with Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes' protegees Blaque and fellow Grammy nominee Christina Aguilera.

The trio's tour last fall suffered from sluggish sales, poor promotion, and intra-group strife. Chilli and T-Boz accused Left Eye of not caring about the group as a whole, and Left Eye fired right back, fueling rumors that the group was on the verge of a breakup.

MTV News' Chris Connelly caught up with TLC in Oakland on the second date of the tour and got the lowdown.

"I have never, ever said that I was leaving this group, you know," Left Eye told MTV News. "So I'd just like to reiterate... and let everyone know that even if we do fight, even if we can't stand each other, it's a good business move just to stay in the group, if anything, you know? But yeah, TLC forever.

I mean, I can do a solo project, ten solo projects, but it doesn't make any sense to leave this group." [RealVideo]

Enjoying the ride on tour with the now-harmonious women of TLC is pop vixen Aguilera, who will also take some time off next month to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 23.

The singer is up for two awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She spoke to Chris Connelly backstage at the tour and talked about how she dreamed about one of these nominations in particular when she was growing up.

"Best New Artist was the category that I would always single out as being, like, my dream nomination," Aguilera told Connelly. "It showed that, 'Oh, you're the newcomer. You're fresh.'... It was the one, you know? I watched Mariah [Carey] win it one year, and I was like [sighing]. I'm a huge Mariah fan, of course. [There's] just that something

about it, and so it's kind of a dream come true." [RealVideo]

In addition to her duties for TLC and the Grammy Awards, Aguilera will perform in a star-studded lineup that includes Enrique Iglesias and Toni Braxton at Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30. Following that, she'll be joining Lou Bega and MTV's own Carson Daly for the 49th Annual Miss USA Pageant on February 4 (see "Christina Aguilera, Lou Bega To Perform At Miss USA Pageant").

You can see more from the TLC tour on this week's edition of "MTV News 1515" airing Friday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET). You can also check out the MTV News Online feature "TLC & Christina Aguilera: Together On Tour," which also debuts Friday evening.

-- Andréa Duncan

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