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Tionne Tenese Watkins

Background information
Birth name Tionne Tenese Watkins
Also known as T-Boz, Cool, T
Born April 26, 1970 (1970-04-26) (age 39)
Des Moines, Iowa
United States
Origin Atlanta, Georgia,
United States
Genres R&B, hip hop, pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter/Actress
Years active 1991–present
Labels LaFace Records (1992-2000)
Arista Records (1998-2005)
SRC Records (2007-present)
Universal Records (2007-present)

Tionne Tenese Watkins (born April 26, 1970)[1] better known by her stage name T-Boz, is an American, song-writer, and a member of the group TLC. Watkins is also an occasional actress.



Early life

Watkins was born in Des Moines, Iowa. She is of both African American and Native American descent.[2] As a child, she was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia; her parents both have the homozygous recessive trait which one in 12 people of African American descent have.[3] Since the age of seven, Watkins has been in and out of hospitals due to her condition.[3] Watkins' family moved from Des Moines to Atlanta, Georgia, when she was nine years old. She was not expected to live past her 20s, but has done so.

Personal life

Initially hiding details of her ailment from others, she went public with the disease in 1996 and is today one of the spokespeople for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.[3] In 2002, Watkins was in the hospital for four months due to a flare-up of sickle-cell anemia. She has stated that her faith in God and her optimism has helped her stay free from the more serious effects of sickle cell disease.[3]

In August 2000, she married rapper Mack 10. The couple's daughter, Chase Anela Rolison, was born on October 20, 2000. In June 2004, Watkins filed for divorce and requested a restraining order against Mack 10.[4] Tionne has been dating Takeo Spikes of the San Francisco 49ers for three years according to Essence magazine.[5]

On October 2009, she had revealed to the media (on CBS "The Early Show"[6] and People Magazine[7]) that she had secretly battled with a brain tumor for nearly three years that had put her life at risk. She hid her struggle especially during "The Celebrity Apprentice" in March 2006, when at that year she was tolerant of constant headaches but she decided to get an MRI when her vision became blurry. She was diagnosed having a grapefruit-size acoustic neuroma (which are noncancerous) on her vestibular nerve, which affected her balance, hearing, sight and facial movement. Many physicians refused to remove the tumor due to her sickle-cell-related complications and her alternatives were grim, so she finally was able to reach doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital at Los Angeles that were willing to perform surgery. After the surgery she reveals many difficult struggles to regain her speech, balance, and facial movements including how some fans questioned if she had a stroke because of struggling performance at the June 2008 BET Awards. In fact she wanted to stop her singing career because of the overwhelming stress of "Left Eye" passing away, her divorce, and then currently her brain cancer diagnosis, but her family and friends convinced her to continue singing and her inspiration of defeating the odds created the song "Stronger Than You Know". She states that after a year or so of therapy and rehabilitation, she feels ready to perform again.

Career history

After a career as a hair stylist, Watkins auditioned for Atlanta teenager Crystal Jones' music group 2nd Nature. Jones, Watkins, and Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes eventually attracted the attention of Perri "Pebbles" Reid and her husband, LaFace Records chief Antonio "L.A." Reid. L.A. Reid replaced Jones with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, and the group was signed in 1991 as TLC, which would go on to become one of the most successful girl groups in history and sell 57 million records worldwide. She is one of the founders of the group TLC and also the lead singer along with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas who is usually the lead singer in the more pop-oriented songs done by the group, like "No Scrubs"and "Come on Down"

In addition to her work in TLC, Watkins has done some solo recording, including the singles "Touch Myself" (1996) for the Fled soundtrack, and "My Getaway" (2000) from the Rugrats in Paris: The Movie soundtrack. T-boz has also collaborated with other artists over the years. This include singles such as "Ghetto Love" (1996) by Da Brat, "Changes" (1996) by Society of Soul, "He Say She Say" (2000) by Keith Sweat, "Different Times" (2002) by Raphael Saadiq, and "Be Somebody" by Paula Cole.

Watkins has also worked as an actress, appearing in Hype Williams' 1998 film Belly. She also made a couple of appearances in TV's Living Single (in one episode, TLC appeared as themselves in Overton's dream sequences). More recently, Watkins also served as one of the executive producers for the 2006 movie ATL featuring the rapper, T.I.[8]. She recently did a video for "It's Good" with YoungBloodZ, which appears at the end of their Chop Chop video.

As an author, Watkins released the book Thoughts in November 3, 1999. The book is collection of poems as well as essays discussing her life experiences.[9].[10]

In 2005, Watkins opened a children's boutique called Chase's Closet (named for her daughter). The boutique is located in the exclusive River Oaks area.[4] She opened it with girlfriend celebrity stylist Tara Brivic Rowntree. Chase's Closet has won best kids store 4 years in a row and T-Boz will be putting out her own line named after her store.

She was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People of the World" by People Magazine twice in 1994 and 2000.

On August 14, 2007, she spoke with fan website CyberTLC World about upcoming plans which included her solo album, which she had started recording three weeks previously.[11] She currently has 17 tracks completed and is planning on recording at least 30 songs before she selects the final track listing. Watkins also spoke about a possible TLC movie, which bandmember Rozonda Thomas, is interested in making. At the moment there is no word whether or not Watkins and Thomas would play themselves. An upcoming TLC-related television program is also in the works, as well as a book that Watkins is currently in the midst of writing.

During the interview, she also spoke about TLC's future as a band, stating it was not likely that there will ever be another album from the group but that there will possibly be a farewell tour sometime before she releases her solo project. Watkins has also put in an appearance on Thomas' song "Gameproof".[citation needed]

In December 2007, Watkins signed a deal with Universal Records via SRC.[12] She also followed up by signing a deal with a music marketing firm, FYI Public Relations[13]

On September 17, 2008, T-Boz again gave a candid interview to Chris Wilson at CyberTLC World. She gave everyone an update on her solo album and said that she has 2 tracks with Lil' Wayne and would be going into the studio in October with Dallas Austin, and would also be working with Polow Da Don. She said she had around 30 tracks recorded for her solo album, and hopefully it will be out in 2009. T-Boz also spoke about two upcoming singles in Japan (one solo single, and one with Chilli and Lil' Kim), a new book she's writing, and the TLC movie that's still in the works.

T-Boz is featured on "Someday" by DJ Deckstream, a Japanese producer. The song is included in his 2nd album called Soundtracks 2, which will be released on 11th Feb. 2009 in Japan. T-Boz & Chilli will appear Springroove 2009, a Japanese music festival, as TLC.[14]

T-Boz was a contestant in The Celebrity Apprentice. On the April 5th airing of Apprentice, T-Boz was fired for volunteering to come back into the boardroom. After referencing a previous contestant who was fired from the show for the same action, Donald Trump uttered the words "Never Volunteer For an Execution!".

She appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta as a friend of Kandi Burruss.

On November 25, 2009 a new track called Get It Get It featuring rappers Young Joc & Too Short was leaked.

On February 28, 2010 a new track called 'Are You The One was leaked.


  • Watkins, Tionne (1999). Thoughts. HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0061051838. 


Solo album

  • T-Boz first studio album (2010)

Solo singles

Year Title Chart Positions Album
Hot 100
1996 "Touch Myself" 40 23 48 33 Fled
2000 "My Getaway" - 79 44 - Rugrats in Paris: The Movie Soundtrack

Featured singles

Year Title Chart Positions Album
Hot 100
1996 "Touch Myself" (Remix) (Richie Rich featuring T-Boz) - - - Seasoned Veteran
"Ghetto Love" (Da Brat featuring T-Boz) 18 16 - Anuthatantrum
2000 "Tight To Def" (Mack 10 with T-Boz) - - - The Paper Route
2008 "[Wanna Take Me Back]" (T-Boz with DJ Clue) - - - Backstage...A Hard Knock Life
2009 "Let's Just Do It"(Lisa Lopes featuring Missy Elliott & TLC) - - - Eye Legacy
"Someday" (DJ Deckstream with T-Boz) - - 7 Sound Tracks 2


  1. ^  nndb biography of Tionne Watkins Accessed Dec 6, 2006
  2. ^ biography of Tionne Watkins Accessed Dec 6, 2006
  3. ^  North Carolina divorce law July 2004 Accessed Dec 6, 2006
  4. ^  H Texas Online Accessed Dec 6, 2006

External links

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