Tionne Watkins, better known by her stage name T-Boz, is one-third of the iconic girl group TLC and is celebrating her 53rd birthday today. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia as a child, where she eventually met Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. The trio formed TLC in 1991 and went on to become one of the most successful girl groups of all time, selling over 65 million records worldwide.
Over the years, T-Boz has proven to be a survivor with a heart of gold, but with a touch of fire. Despite facing numerous health challenges and personal setbacks, she has continued to inspire fans with her music and her incredible resilience. T-Boz remains an influential figure and her contributions to TLC's success have made her a beloved icon of 1990s pop culture. In honor of T-Boz, we are looking back on five moments that remind us the singer-songwriter was born under the sign of Taurus.
In 1996, T-Boz dropped her first solo single "Touch Myself," which was on the soundtrack album for the Laurence Fishburne film Fled. But this wasn't just any song -- the track was about masturbation, which was not a topic often heard in R&B songs from the 1990s. T-Boz was unapologetic about the sex-positive lyrics. Written and produced by Dallas Austin, music critic Damien Mendis from Music Week's RM Dance Update wrote in 1996 that T-Boz took a "controversial dip into hot waters with a cool slice of mid-tempo R&B."
Clearly ahead of its time, the song hit the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. See the vintage video above, directed by the legendary Bille Woodruff.
No Shame About Bankruptcy
Millions of people file bankruptcy from former presidents to major corporations, however, when T-Boz filed bankruptcy in 2011, she received some bad press. That same year, she gave no apologies and had no shame. She told The Breakfast Club, "When white people do it, it's reorganizing, just because I'm Black don't mean I was broke."
T-Boz Claps Back At Former Manager Pebbles
Back in 2013, TLC dropped their critically acclaimed biopic on VH1, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. Pebbles, their former manager, was unhappy with how she was portrayed and slammed the biopic in the press. T-Boz was not here for it. When asked about Pebbles' reaction, T-Boz pointedly responded with, "That's not slander, that's called telling the truth, boo." Watch above.
No Issues Being Single
While T-Boz is usually quiet about her dating life, she has no issue being single. She said in 2013, "A lot of men aren't men, their little boys and they can't deal with my personality. Hey, I say I got balls too, mine's are just at the top. At the end, if I'm more man than you, then that's a f**king problem."
She also added it is always "my choice" to be single.
Full Taurus energy!
Defying All The Odds
More than anything, T-Boz is a survivor. She was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder in which your red blood cells contain too much hemoglobin S, when she was a child. A doctor predicted she wouldn't live past 30 years old and would never have children. Her reaction? She told CNN, "I don’t know who he’s talking to 'cause that’s not my story.” T-Boz has proved them all wrong. Her daughter, Chase Anela Rolison, is now 22 years old and she turns 53 today.
Also, in October 2009, Watkins revealed that she had secretly battled a potentially fatal brain tumor for three years, but thankfully recovered.
T-Boz is a true warrior -- you can't keep a Taurus woman down!