Tamara Johnson-George

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Tamara Johnson-George
George performing in 2005
George performing in 2005
Background information
Birth nameTamara Antrice Johnson
Also known as
  • T-Roni
  • Taj Tamara Johnson-George
Born (1971-04-29) April 29, 1971 (age 52)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • rapper
Years active1988–present
Member ofSWV

Tamara Antrice Johnson-George (née Johnson; born April 29, 1971), best known by her stage/nickname Taj, is an American singer and rapper. She is best known as one-third of the R&B singing group Sisters with Voices (SWV). She also competed on the eighteenth season of Survivor, Survivor: Tocantins.


The youngest of six children, George was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Tamara Antrice Johnson. Her father died of pancreatic cancer when she was nine. George grew up in an abusive household; her mother, who was sick with bone cancer, was beaten regularly by her drug-addicted stepfather.[1] When George would intervene on her mother's behalf, she was also beaten.

When George was 14 years old, her mother died, which caused George and her siblings to be parceled amongst several relatives; George wound up with a cousin who molested her,[2] adding to the sexual abuse she had experienced over the years with other male relatives.[1] George graduated from high school and attended Baruch College to study accounting, but left college because of a physically abusive boyfriend,[3] as well as to join singing group Sisters With Voices, better known as SWV.


George was recruited into SWV (then known as Female Edition) by Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, who would become SWV's lead singer.[4] She was so shy that she auditioned with the lights turned off.[5] George was known as the background dancer/model in the music video for Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin" and had a bubbly, upbeat personality. This caused friction between George and Gamble, who felt that Taj's recognizable face and cheerful demeanor shielded her from criticism from the press.[6][7]

Originally, George was both a singer and an emcee; she can be heard rapping the bridge over the original version of Right Here and I'm So Into You, and is the primary female performer on the song Blak Pudd'n. She co-wrote a number of SWV songs, including Right Here from their debut album, It's About Time, and You're the One, which also features Gamble as a co-writer.[8] George ceased rapping when New Beginning was released in 1996, shortly after the end of the new jack swing era, and began to sing leads (It's All About U, Give It Up) and co-leads (Lose My Cool, Use Your Heart). The group went on to sell more than 20 million albums, making them one of the best selling girl groups of all time. Taj can be seen on the upcoming January issue of STS Entertainment And Fashion magazine.


After SWV officially disbanded in 1998, George was signed to a two-year contract with the Ford Modeling Agency. Shortly after this contract ended, George began dating Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George, whom she'd met at a shopping mall in 1994.[9] George contributed to the anthology Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break Their Silence, Tell Their Stories and Heal Their Spirits, which was published in 2000.

In 2002, George enrolled in Belmont University in Nashville, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in May 2004.[10] The following month, Johnson married Eddie George in Rockleigh, New Jersey, thus adding his name to hers. Their son, Eriq Michael George, was born in 2005[11] after a difficult pregnancy that left George bedridden for the first five months of her pregnancy.[12] George is stepmother to Eddie's son, Jaire David, whom she refers to as her oldest son,[13] and the godmother of Coko's oldest son, Jazz.[14][15]

Along with Katrina Chambers, George wrote the book Player hateHER: How to Avoid the Beat Down and Live in a Drama-Free World in 2007. That same year, George and husband Eddie George starred in the reality TV show I Married a Baller, which depicted five weeks in the George household over a course of nine shows. The show focused on George and her marriage to Eddie George, her struggle to lose her "baby weight,"[16] and performing with SWV, who came together to perform the theme song of the show. Baller also highlighted Visions with Infinite Possibilities, the Georges' not-for-profit charity for survivors of domestic violence and their children.[citation needed]


George was recruited to Survivor after answering a casting call specifically looking for an NFL wife.[17] Prior to casting, George had never watched Survivor and could neither swim nor fish. However, she turned out to be one of the strongest competitors of the season, and came in second to J.T. Thomas in the fan favorite vote.[18][19][20] Despite letting it be known that she was married to Eddie George, blowing up at her tribe mates and locking horns with Survivor host Jeff Probst, George was one of only four Jalapao members (out of eight), as well as the only woman from her tribe, to make it to the merge. In the final episode, George was blindsided by her tribe, coming in fourth and becoming the sixth member of the jury. In the end she voted for J.T., who won in a unanimous 7–0 vote, against Stephen Fishbach.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Tamara's Story". Visions with Infinite Possibilities. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "episode #3 ("Road Trippin'")". I Married a Baller. I was molested as a child. There was a cousin in the family, who would ... who would make me do things. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Story: Taj". SoulTracks.com. August 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "Lelee's MySpace page". After several members and name changes, Cheryl knew a girl from Brooklyn named Tamara. Tamara was a cute Chinky eyed chocolate girl who was a background dancer/model in Big Daddy Kane's video for "Ain't No Half Steppin" and we all just grew to love. After a few rehearsals Tamara was in.
  5. ^ "The WTF Comeback of SWV". Rolling Stone. February 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Player hateHER": 69. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Melody Charles interview with SWV's Taj". August 7, 2008. ... Coko really loved [Player hateHER]; at the end, she actually apologized to me because she didn't realize how mean she was being in the early days that we would sing together. I was always considered 'the nice one', and the girls felt resentful toward me because they felt like 'no one ever complains about Taj and the things she does, she's not perfect!
  8. ^ "SWV's Music". SWV Online. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Eddie & Taj George". TCA INTV. 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "SWV's Tamara "Taj" Johnson". HHNLive.com. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012.
  11. ^ "Taj Gives Birth!". SWV Online. Archived from the original on July 1, 2003.
  12. ^ "The Longest Yard". The Nashville News. March 17, 2005.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "episode #3 ("Road Trippin'")". I Married a Baller. I got my sons with me ... my youngest is hyped. He's ready and excited, and my oldest is just excited to be on a bus. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "Coko Talks About SWV Breakup". Yahoo! Music. July 21, 1999.
  15. ^ "episode #4 ("So High or Solo")". SWV Reunited. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "episode #7 ("California Dreamin'")". I Married a Baller. I'm still trying to get my little 17-month-old son's weight off! {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ Andy Dehnart (February 6, 2009). "Taj Johnson-George: "I'll [be nurturing] while I stab them all in the back; they'll love me for it"". Reality Blurred.
  18. ^ "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 5". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2009. Word on the street: People like Taj and I can see why. She's coming across as a likable, hard working, and industrious player.
  19. ^ "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 7". Entertainment Weekly. By the way – so many people got upset last week because I said Taj was 'second tier' smart. It had nothing to do with her being a woman, it had to do with the way she is playing the game.
  20. ^ "Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Tocantins': episode 11". Entertainment Weekly. Okay, I'll admit it. I had no idea Taj would be this well liked, even by me! ... Taj is also smarter than I realized. She has mastered the art of staying out of the way.
  21. ^ Feinberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'Survivor: Tocantins' Finale – And the winner is..." Hitfix. Hitfix, Inc. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2015.

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