Singer Tionne Watkins was born on April 26, 1970 in Des Moines, Iowa. Of African-American and Native American descent, she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at an early age. Her childhood was marked with frequent visits to the hospital, and at one point was thought to not survive beyond 20 years of age.
After working as a hairstylist, Watkins began pursuing a music career. She joined the Atlanta-based music group 2nd Nature, where she met Lisa Lopes. The two were later joined by Rozonda Thomas, and the three formed TLC, which would soon become one of the highest-selling female music groups in history. Going under the stage name “T-Boz”, Watkins helped release the group’s debut album in 1992, and released three more albums before the death of Lopes, and the eventually split of the group in 2005.
Watkins also dabbled in solo projects during and after her time with TLC. Most of her solo work has appeared in soundtracks for films such as Fled and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, as well as through collaborations with other urban artists.
Watkins was also an actress, debuting in the 1998 flick Belly, and eventually appearing in episodes of the sitcom Living Single. She released a book, named Thoughts, in 1999, containing essays about her life, as well as her poetry. She was twice included in People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People of the World list, in 1994 and 2000. She later took a slot in the second season of The Celebrity Apprentice, playing for the benefit of those who suffer from sickle cell anemia, like her. Unfortunately, she was fired in the sixth episode of the show.
- She married Mack 10 on August 19, 2000. They have one child together, but she filed for divorce.
- As an activist of sickle cell anemia, she is the spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
- She released a book of semi-autobiographical poetry called Thoughts.
- In 2005, she opened a children's boutique known as Chase's Closet.
2010: What Chilli Wants (TV series) - Herself
2009: The Apprentice (TV series) - Herself - R&B Star: TLC
2006: Class of 3000 (TV series)
1998: Belly - Tionne
1998: One World Music Beat (TV series) - Host
1997: Living Single (TV series) - Camille Harris
1994: House Party 3 - Sex as a Weapon
1992: CBS Schoolbreak Special (TV series) - 3rd Rapper