Tionne Watkins

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Tionne Watkins
Tionne Watkins 2016.jpg
Watkins performing in 2016
Background information
Birth name Tionne Tenese Watkins
Also known as T-Boz
Born (1970-04-26) April 26, 1970 (age 47)
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres Pop, R&B, hip hop, soul
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • actress
  • author
  • radio personality
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1990–present
Labels Epic
Associated acts TLC

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.

Early life[edit]

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]

Career[edit]

TLC[edit]

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 TLC to air in 2013.[7] Watkins and Thomas signed on as producers. The role of Watkins was portrayed by actress/singer Drew Sidora in CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. Watkins' daughter, Chase, portrayed a younger Tionne in the film.

Solo work[edit]

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.

Television and film[edit]

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] In 2017, she lent her voice to a character in Trolland, also known as Trollz, a direct-to-DVD CGI-animated movie.

Other work[edit]

Watkins published a book of semi-autobiographical poetry called Thoughts on November 3, 1999.[12] 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).[13][14] It was shut down years later.[citation needed]

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

During 2013, alongside group-mate Chilli they executive produced the VH1 biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story which aired on October 21, 2013, actress Drew Sidora portrayed Watkins.[15] Her daughter Chase portrayed a younger Tionne in the film. They 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]

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

Personal life[edit]

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 has stated that her faith in God and her optimism have helped her stay free from the more serious effects of sickle-cell disease.[18]

On August 19, 2000, Watkins married rapper Mack 10.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25][26] In March 2006, she was diagnosed as having a strawberry-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.[27]

Watkins filed for bankruptcy in February 2011 and again in October 2011.[28] According to entertainment reporter Viviana Vigil, a commentator in an episode of the Reelz TV series Broke & Famous, Watkins spent $9,000 a month and owed $770,000 on her home despite a reported income of $11,000 a month.[28] Entertainment reporter Nina Parker, another commentator in said Broke & Famous episode, cited Watkins's medical bills and brain tumor.[28] A Nicki Swift video cited an ex who owed Watkins $250,000 in child support payments at the time of her Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in October 2011.[29] Due to failure to complete proper paperwork, Watkins's bankruptcy claim was rejected in February 2012, enabling creditors and bill collectors to pursue her assets and repossess one of her vehicles.[29]

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

Publication[edit]

Discography[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

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 songs[edit]

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 videos[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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. 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. ^ Gardner, Elysa (November 15, 1999). "Poetic 'thoughts' and observations". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 2, 2000. Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Vibe calendar". Vibe. 13 (8): 81. Jul 2005. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ Sewing, Joy (March 31, 2005). "TLC star's new store is a closetful". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  15. ^ Krishnamurthy, Sowmya (October 22, 2013). "Five Crazy Moments From TLC's 'CrazySexyCool' Biopic". Rolling Stone. 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 c 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. ^ Manning, Kara (June 20, 2000). "Chilli: I'm Not Leaving TLC". MTV News. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  24. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Ray Charles, 50 Cent, Fantasia Barrino, T-Boz, Incubas & More". MTV.com. June 15, 2004. 
  25. ^ "The Early Show Video – T-Boz's Brain Tumor Battle". CBS.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  26. ^ Herndon, Jessica. "Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins Fighting to Stay Alive". People.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ Atlanta Entertainment News. "Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC Discusses Brain Tumor & Sickle Cell". StraightFromTheA.com. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c "TLC: Broke & Famous." Broke & Famous. Exec. Prod. Joe Houlihan and Simon Lloyd. Reelz, 6 Oct. 2017. Television.
  29. ^ a b https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz46iqJu4aY&t=
  30. ^ T-Boz has a 10-month-old baby boy named Chance

External links[edit]