Tionne Watkins was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to James and Gayle Watkins. She is of African American and Native American descent. As a child, Watkins was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia. Since the age of seven, she has been in and out of hospital due to her condition. Watkins's family moved from Des Moines to Atlanta, Georgia, when she was nine years old. Because of her disease, she was not expected to have children or live past her 30s, but has lived 14 years past her life expectancy and has a 14-year old daughter.
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. They went on to become one of the most successful girl groups in history with over 65 million records sold worldwide. T-Boz has won four Grammy Awards for her work with TLC.
In late 2011, VH1 announced plans to produce a biopic on TLC to air in 2013. 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.
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. Watkins has appeared on a song by her TLC bandmate Rozonda Thomas, entitled "Gameproof".
Watkins published a book of semi-autobiographical poetry called Thoughts on November 3, 1999. 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). It was shut down years later.
On October 1, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Watkins will have her own reality TV show Totally T-Boz on the TLC network. Totally T-Boz premiered January 1, 2013. The show chronicled Watkins' quest to create a solo album, reunite with bandmember, Chilli, and take care of herself and 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 Sidoraportrayed Watkins. 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". TLC celebrated their return with a series of highly publicized performances which included 2 dates: VH1's Mixtape Festival in Hershey, PA on July 27, 2013 and Drake's OVO Fest in Toronto on August 5, 2013. They are expected to release a new studio album in 2015.
Crazy Sexy Cool Album
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