This week, fans of TV One’s R&B Divas were thrilled when they learned that members of both shows (the original show in Atlanta and the Los Angles spin-off show) were going on tour together. On part two of the reunion show, Kelly Price announced that some of the cast members (Kelly Price, Nicci Gilbert, Brownstone, Faith Evans, KeKe Wyatt and Chante Moore) were taking their talents on tour, performing for fans of R&B music.
And while folk have been buzzing since the news hit, Chante Moore paints a different story. In an exclusive interview, the San Francisco native says that she isn’t touring. She also shares her thoughts on Dawn Robinson’s absence (from the reunion), comments on Kelly Price making peace at the end of the reunion show and why she has no interest in seeing Dawn and Kelly’s monologue. Check out our conversation below.
On reports that she’s touring with Kelly Price and other members of the R&B Divas franchise:
Well it was a premature announcement that was made by Kelly. I didn’t know that she’s going to make that announcement on the show but I thought that I should let it go at that time because the reunion was taped a couple of weeks ago; because I thought by now, it would be cleared up or settled – that it would happen or would be for sure, or either way I thought something would be settled and at this moment, nothing is happening. They postponed or cancelled – definitely postponed – I don’t know if it’s ever going to get picked up. Period. But she made an announcement that we’re going and I was like “Okay…?” because there weren’t conversations so I thought “Well, maybe she has a scoop on something that I’m unaware of or maybe just trying to surprise us and I thought that it was just something that really positive which was going to happen but again, it seems like she’s talking prematurely and it actually isn’t happening. That tour was cancelled so I was a little uneasy by that.
If the tour is actually cancelled:
Yes, at this moment. I mean it’s a possibility I guess, at some point, that they could say, “Okay, let’s figure out how to make this happen.” These young ladies and what to have – I did get the list of people and I was ready to do it, absolutely ready to do it and I still would do it. What I didn’t like is that it was made before paperwork was done because sometimes if you announce that you’re going to do something – and this has happened before in my career, there’s time where someone has said, “Oh, we’re going to do this!” and they block out a certain amount of time and then you say “No” to the other offers because you don’t want to double book your word and commitment to what you’re going to do is your reputation and put it online. So I’m a little worried because I don’t want someone to think I’m going to be on tour with them and I’m not going to be – that means that’s going to go out of my pocket – I have to take care of my children and my life and my reputation is at the utmost importance, it’s all I have – this is my career.
On how the other divas were selected for the tour:
I don’t know. It isn’t my tour specifically, you know, I’m not the head of R&B Divas L.A or Atlanta. Faith Evans is one of the creators and she would be the one that would have put us together – she and whatever the promoter will be. So when they asked, I thought, “Wow, this would be a really fun tour!” regardless whether or not Kelly or I are friends have nothing to do with that; it really is about a body of work and going out there and performing for the audience. That’s really what it’s about and so when they asked about it – they asked me and I was like, “Oh! Yeah! I would love to!”. I’m a fan of all of these ladies so I said Yes when they offered it. And the details have to be worked out, you can’t just say, “Uh, I think I’m going to go on tour.” And then, you have to have money figured out, you got to have the routing – and that was what my manager Cheryl asked them – “Well, if this is the plan, can you tell me what’s your routing?” and they said they didn’t want to tell her what the routing was. And she was like, “Well this is touring 101. You have to know where you’re going, you have to have the venues held and you have to know where you’re going because from one city to the next, either you’re flying or driving on a tour bus. And if you’re flying, that’s really expensive but if it’s on a tour bus, you do have to get it routed from the one place to the next. You know you do all the Carolinas, and you go up this way or Mississippi that way that rules down to Florida – you route it!” And they would not and could not give us a routing so she’s like, “This is looking a little suspect.”
On what her relationship was like with Kelly before the show:
We’re more social. We did a couple of shows together. When Kenny and I were on the road, we opened up for her a couple of times. I’ve seen her at a couple of venues where – we did one show together, it was her – gosh, who was it, that were the 4 women – like ‘Sisters In Love’ or something like that. It was Tamia and a couple of other women, we were all solo artistes and we did a show together and it was fine – One night and dealing with people, you know you don’t usually have too many issues and problems with having a couple of shows. I didn’t know her-know her personally, we never were like call-you-on-the-phone kind of people, and that was fine! And I don’t have to be your friend, friend. You know what I mean? It really is about business, it’s about respect, it’s about honor, it’s about really being a woman of integrity – that’s what I expected, and what I haven’t liked is the scapegoat of editing that has been put up, and I’ve really been quiet up until now about it because I’m like – Well, whatever you say is okay because the show is the show, is the show, whatever. But I’m getting a little tired, I’m getting a little tired of it all being thrown at – Oh, those dog-on producers, they edit it and edit it – nobody can edit the words and put the words in your mouth if it’s coming out of your mouth on the screen. It really did come out of her mouth, and she was mean on screen, and off-screen; and I didn’t care for that – that wasn’t an act. She wasn’t acting, if she was acting I think that was a really big risk to come off mean as she did – I would never do that because people take it as reality even if it’s fake. You have the, what like – I used to watch ‘The Color Purple” and watching Danny Glover be Mister, you know? And he was like, “God, if I get another hate-mail from being Mister, I’m not Mister – I’m Danny Glover!” So it took a while for him to even get rid of a character that was in a movie, so much less from reality show. I know people connect with that. So it’s really important to make sure that you represent yourself to be who you are and the producers did not tell us to be something different than who we were. They did not.
If it’s true that Kelly requested not to shoot with her anymore:
Yes. And I never saw her again on set, at all. I did not see her again. Her make-up was in a whole other room, all the other girls and I were in the other room we used to be in – hers was somewhere else. I never saw her again, we never filmed together again, ever again; and when I saw her at the reunion that they had the – not the reunion, the premiere thing they had – I literally walked up to her, and I stood in front of her saying, “Okay, are you – was this an act before – now, show’s over! Are you going to say Hello to me? She looked at me, turned her head and said, “I need a drink” and walked away! So you know, I’m not that girl – I have my old-time girls that I’d fight and kill for them because those are my girls. I don’t bring a whole lot of new people into my life so I’m not trying to run around and make friends but, I’m not running around making enemies either. I really try keep peace with all people I deal with so it was a little surprise taken aback from that.
If she has any insight on why Dawn didn’t attend the reunion show:
If she has any insight on why Dawn didn’t attend the reunion show: I don’t know Dawn at all. I saw her very seldom on the show and then when Kelly left, she left.
If she saw Dawn and Kelly’s Monologue:
I really have no desire to see it.
On what else she’d like to clear up that wasn’t addressed on the reunion show:
On what else she’d like to clear up that wasn’t addressed on the reunion show: I guess there’s so much to clear up that I can’t get all in one thing – I just – I want to have the focus put on the Divalogues, because really that’s what the show’s supposed to be about and honestly before the show even started, we knew that it was going to be back in production. This is really weird, but I’ve never done on T.V before, that I’ve never had to deal with before but I’m not a liar. I don’t do that. It was not Kelly’s idea, but if you notice her words, she said, “That idea, I present to the ladies.” If you go back and listen, that she always says, “The idea, I present it to the ladies”. She never says, “My idea” – she never says it. And it was not her idea, otherwise we would get sued, she would have shut everything down because it would have been her idea; because we would have never been able to do it if it was hers. We wouldn’t be able to do the Divalogues. If it was hers, it would have been illegal. I just really want to get it that I wasn’t trying to take over anything – the producers were producing as far as – “Here is the man that’s going to be the director. Here he is!” and we all complied because we weren’t the bosses, we were hired! She was hired, I was hired, and all six ladies were hired by the production company. When we went on there, it wasn’t scripted but we knew the guidelines were, “This is the dude who’s directing”. So we went on there and we made it work; and we all started from a scratch – no one knew who he was. We all had to begin from a place of “Am I going to trust Fred Thomas Jr. to be able to get this out?” And I thought he did an amazing job at really working with us – each one of us; and getting our specific stories out, the way we speak – each one of us has a different way of talking and I just love the way he helped and ushered our stories out for the world to see it. I really appreciated that.
For all things Chante Moore, follow her @IAmChanteMoore.