Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins spoke with TMZ this week to clear up some things that had made the headlines last week, following her interview with ‘Hollywood Unlocked‘ where she had named some of the people that hadn’t fully supported TLC, following the tragic loss of the beloved Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
Tionne says that she was actually referring to the promoters and industry executives in charge that had turned their backs on TLC after the loss of Lisa rather than other artists, most notably their former LaFace Records boss, L.A. Reid. “L.A. didn’t stop rocking with us because he didn’t believe in us anymore, it was something personal which I’ll always keep between us”, Tionne admits. “Whether I agreed with it or not, he out of respect called me, and I’ll just leave it like that”.
“The final decision was to not rock with us, but it wasn’t because he didnt believe in us, so I’ll clear that part up”, Tionne clarifies. “But, he did decide to turn his back and keep on going, and that’s fine, it’s business”.
To recap, TLC had inked a deal with L.A. Reid back in 2013 on Epic Records, the label he was the head of at the time. Fresh after the success of their hit VH1 movie, ‘CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story‘, and the release of it’s soundtrack, ‘20‘, featuring the track “Meant To Be“, TLC were in the studio recording their first studio album since 2002’s ‘3D‘.
However, shortly during the recording process, the deal was mysteriously terminated, leaving fans confused and upset. The girls had said they would reveal what happened but have since decided to keep it personal. L.A. Reid had insisted that he did not drop the girls, saying that they are friends for life.
The following are excerpts from an LA Times article, documenting some of the tracks TLC were working on at the time. ‘TLC recently issued “Meant to Be,” their first single since 2003. The saccharine, Ne-Yo-crafted ballad is the lone new track from the biopic’s soundtrack, “20,” and came from recent sessions that include collaborations with Dallas Austin and Lady Gaga, who penned a track called “P.O.S.H. Life.” They also hope to log studio time with Drake and 2 Chainz.’
‘After another check on Thomas, Watkins slid into a dimly lit booth to take a stab at another song — an angsty, guitar-driven pop-rock ballad called “Breaking Bad.” “If I die before I wake, at least I know I lived for something,” she sang. “If this breath is the last I take, I don’t want it to be for nothing.”’
The media also spun her comments as an attack on fellow musicians Drake, T.I. and Nelly for pulling out on the girls for their 2014 Super Bowl Blitz on VH1. However, Tionne was glad to clear up that misconception and says there are no hard feelings against any of the rappers.
“I was actually saying it in a good way, because [that show] turned out great for us. Because God always makes things go exactly how it’s supposed to, I’m a believer in that”, Tionne says. “I am happy that they actually didn’t show up, because it showed that we had staying power. That we can still rock on stage without the bells and whistles and other people to save us.”
Tionne also admits that she doesn’t blame the artists for not wanting to rock with them at that time, as no one really knew if continuing without Lisa was going to work out or not. “I’ve got respect for Drake, Nelly and T.I., I don’t want it to sound like it was being messy. They made it sound like I said they turned their back on TLC, child, that’s business”, she says.
“To keep it honest, if I was the artist and I didn’t know the state of the group, I’d be scared too! I’d be like, ‘hell naw, I don’t know what y’all doing’. That’s business, y’all, that’s the way the industry goes. I’m not mad”.