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Tionne Tenese Watkins (born April 26, 1970),[1] better known by her stage name T-Boz, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and executive producer. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Watkins rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of the girl-group TLC. She has won four Grammy Awards for her work with TLC.

Tionne Watkins
Tionne Watkins 2016.jpg
Watkins performing in 2016
Background information
Birth nameTionne Tenese Watkins
Also known asT-Boz
Born (1970-04-26) April 26, 1970 (age 48)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
GenresPop, R&B, hip hop, soul
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • actress
  • author
  • radio personality
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1990–present
LabelsEpic
Associated actsTLC

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Tionne Watkins was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 26, 1970, to James and Gayle Watkins. She is of African American, Native American and Irish descent.[2][3] Watkins' family moved from Des Moines to Atlanta, Georgia, when she was nine years old.[4]

CareerEdit

TLCEdit

Crystal Jones held auditions for a singing group and chose Watkins, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. The group eventually attracted the attention of Perri "Pebbles" Reid and her husband, Antonio "L.A." Reid, head of LaFace Records. Jones was replaced with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and the group was signed in 1991 as TLC. The successful group sold more than 65 million records.[5] T-Boz has won four Grammy Awards as a member of TLC.[6]

In late 2011, VH1 announced plans to produce a biopic on the group.[7] Watkins and Thomas signed on as producers. The film, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, premiered October 21, 2013. The role of Watkins was portrayed by actress/singer Drew Sidora. Watkins' daughter, Chase, portrayed a younger Tionne in the film.

Solo workEdit

In addition to her work with TLC, Watkins recorded solo singles, including: "Touch Myself" (For the soundtrack of the 1996 film Fled) and "My Getaway" (for the soundtrack to the 2000 film Rugrats in Paris: The Movie). In addition, she has been a featured vocalist on such songs as: "Ghetto Love" with Da Brat, "Changes" with Society of Soul, "He Say She Say" with Keith Sweat, "Different Times" with Raphael Saadiq and "Be Somebody" with Paula Cole. On January 22, 2013, Watkins released her first solo single in over 15 years titled "Champion". The song was released digitally, and proceeds went to help raise awareness for people suffering from blood conditions such as Sickle Cell. September 6, 2017, Watkins released her latest single digitally from her audiobook "A Sick Life" titled "Dreams."

Television and filmEdit

Watkins has worked as an actress, appearing in Hype Williams' 1998 film Belly.[8] She also appeared in an episode of Living Single, the first time guest-starring along with her bandmates and another time without them. Watkins also served as one of the executive producers for the 2006 movie ATL featuring the rapper, T.I..[9] She was also featured in the music video for "It's Good" with YoungBloodZ,[citation needed] and appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta as a friend of Kandi Burruss.[10] In November 2016, she began a two-month acting stint as Sheila, a hardened prison inmate, on Days of Our Lives.[11] Watkins would later return to Days of Our Lives as recurring character, the zany ex-con Sheila, in both 2017 and 2018. In 2017, she lent her voice to a character in Trolland, also known as Trollz, a direct-to-DVD CGI-animated movie.

Watkins has made a guest appearance as Pam Grier in one episode of the Adult Swim series Black Dynamite.

Watkins' reality TV show Totally T-Boz, premiered January 1, 2013, on the TLC network, and ran four episodes.[5] The show chronicled Watkins' quest to create a solo album, reunite with bandmember, Chilli, and her life with her daughter Chase.

In 2016, Watkins and Chili joined actress Zoe Saldana onstage for her second round performance of "No Scrubs" on Spike's Lip Sync Battle against actor Zachary Quinto.[12]

Other workEdit

Watkins published a book of semi-autobiographical poetry called Thoughts on November 3, 1999.[13] In 2005, Watkins and stylist Tara Brivic (who would later appear regularly on Totally T-Boz) opened a children's boutique called Chase's Closet (named after her daughter).[14][15] It was shut down years later.[citation needed]

TLC also released a soundtrack album 20 marking both the band's 20-plus year legacy in entertainment business and the release of their biopic, this album included a new track written by singer Ne-Yo, "Meant to Be". They also had guest vocals on J. Cole's track "Crooked Smile".[16] TLC celebrated their return with a series of highly publicized performances which included 2 dates: VH1's Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on July 27, 2013, and Drake's OVO Fest in Toronto on August 5, 2013. They released an album, TLC, on June 30, 2017.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

As a child, Watkins was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.[18] Since the age of seven, she has been in and out of hospital due to her condition.[18] T-Boz opened up to the public about the disease in 1996;[19] she later became one of the spokespersons for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.[20][21] In 2002, she was hospitalized for four months due to a flare-up of sickle-cell anemia.[22] She is a national co-chair of the progressive organization Health Care Voter.[23]

On August 19, 2000, Watkins married rapper Mack 10.[24] The couple's daughter, Chase Anela Rolison, was "prematurely" born a few months later on October 20, 2000.[4] In June 2004, she filed for divorce, and requested a restraining order against Mack 10.[25] In 2012, Watkins moved with Chase from Atlanta to Los Angeles, California, in order for Chase to be closer to her father.

In October 2009, Watkins revealed that she had secretly battled a potentially fatal brain tumor for three years.[26][27] In March 2006, she was diagnosed as having a grape-sized acoustic neuroma on her vestibular nerve that affected her balance, weight, hearing, sight, and facial movement. Many physicians refused to remove the tumor due to her sickle-cell-related complications, leaving her alternatives grim. Ultimately, she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.[28]

Watkins filed for bankruptcy in February 2011 and again in October 2011.[29] In an episode of the Reelz TV series Broke & Famous, entertainment reporter Viviana Vigil stated Watkins spent $9,000 a month and owed $770,000 on her home with a reported monthly income of $11,000, while another reporter Nina Parker cited Watkins's medical bills and brain tumor.[29]

In June 2016, Watkins announced that she had adopted a 10-month-old son named Chance.[30]

PublicationEdit

  • Watkins, Tionne (1999). Thoughts. HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0-06-105183-8.
  • Watkins, Tionne (2017). A Sick Life: TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage. Rodale Books. ISBN 978-1623368609.

DiscographyEdit

As lead artistEdit

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Year Title Chart positions Album
US
Hot 100
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs UK Singles Chart
1996 "Touch Myself" 40 23 48 Fled
2000 "My Getaway" 44 Rugrats in Paris: The Movie: Music from the Motion Picture

Featured songsEdit

Year Title Chart Positions Album
US
Hot 100
US
R&B/Hip-Hop
UK Singles Chart
1991 "Word to the Badd!!" (Jermaine Jackson featuring T-Boz) 78 88 You Said
1996 "Touch Myself" (Remix) (T-Boz featuring Richie Rich) Seasoned Veteran
"Ghetto Love" (Da Brat featuring T-Boz) 16 11 Anuthatantrum
1999 "Be Somebody" (Paula Cole featuring T-Boz) Amen
2000 "Tight To Def" (Mack 10 with T-Boz) The Paper Route
2002 "Different Times" (Raphael Saadiq feat. T-Boz of TLC) Instant Vintage
2005 "It's Good" (YoungBloodZ featuring T-Boz) Ev'rybody Know Me
2009 "Someday" (DJ Deckstream with T-Boz) Sound Tracks 2
2012 "Red Planet" (Little Mix featuring T-Boz) DNA

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
1997 "Ghetto Love" (with Da Brat) Gustavo Garzon

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins Biography". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Thoughts accessed 2008-08-29, Author Tionne Watkins, Published 1999, Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
  3. ^ The reliable source (July 6, 2011). "Celebvocate: T-Boz recruits bone-marrow donors". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Watkins, Tionne (September 12, 2017). A Sick Life: TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage. Rodale. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-62336-861-6. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Hollywood Reporter (October 1, 2012). "TLC's T-Boz Gets Her Own Reality Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "Grammy.com". Retrieved May 16, 2012. Best R&B song is awarded to the songwriter(s) of the winning song, not to the performing artist(s) (except if the songwriter is also the performing artist)
  7. ^ VH1 (2011). "VH1 Announces Plans To Produce A New TLC Movie". VH1. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Scarano, Ross (November 5, 2013). "Rating the Performances in Hype Williams' "Belly"". Complex. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Thomas, Chandra R. (March 2006). "Skating with Celebrities". Atlanta. 45 (11): 34. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Valby, Karen (August 14, 2009). "'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Wig Tugs, T-Boz, and Tania". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Rice, Lynette (November 29, 2016). "'Days of Our Lives' Casts T-Boz as a Prisoner". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (June 10, 2016). "Zoe Saldana Brings Out TLC For Incredible 'No Scrubs' Performance On 'Lip Sync Battle'". HuffPost. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  13. ^ Gardner, Elysa (November 15, 1999). "Poetic 'thoughts' and observations". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 2, 2000. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  14. ^ "Vibe calendar". Vibe. 13 (8): 81. July 2005. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Sewing, Joy (March 31, 2005). "TLC star's new store is a closetful". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  16. ^ James, Nicole (June 3, 2013). "J. Cole Debuts TLC-Assisted Track, "Crooked Smile"". Fuse. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  17. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (June 22, 2017). "TLC's Fierce Comeback: T-Boz and Chilli on Girl-Group Wokeness, L.A. Reid & Instagram Hustle". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Hicks, Tameka L. (2008). "T-Boz: Fighting against the odds". USA Weekend. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
  19. ^ "TLC's T-Boz Goes Public, New Edition Reunite, Ol' Dirty Bastard Is Free: This Week In 1996". MTV News. September 27, 2002. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "T-Boz and R&B group TLC fight sickle cell through their music". Jet. 96 (26): 30. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  21. ^ "T-Boz: Singer". People. May 8, 2000. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  22. ^ Johnson, Billy, Jr. (January 9, 2013). "T-Boz Resolved Differences With Left Eye Before Her Passing, Talks 'Totally T-Boz'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  23. ^ "Vote on Tuesday Like Your Health Depends on It". Ebony. November 5, 2018.
  24. ^ Manning, Kara (June 20, 2000). "Chilli: I'm Not Leaving TLC". MTV News. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Ray Charles, 50 Cent, Fantasia Barrino, T-Boz, Incubas & More". MTV.com. June 15, 2004.
  26. ^ "The Early Show Video – T-Boz's Brain Tumor Battle". CBS.com. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  27. ^ Herndon, Jessica. "Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins Fighting to Stay Alive". People.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  28. ^ Atlanta Entertainment News. "Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC Discusses Brain Tumor & Sickle Cell". StraightFromTheA.com. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  29. ^ a b "TLC: Broke & Famous." Broke & Famous. Exec. Prod. Joe Houlihan and Simon Lloyd. Reelz, 6 Oct. 2017. Television.
  30. ^ T-Boz has a 10-month-old baby boy named Chance

External linksEdit