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T-Boz on Sexual Harassment: “It Happened To Me Too”

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Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins took a moment to talk to Celeste Headlee about her brand new book of memoirs “A Sick Life: Stories From On and Off the Stage“, and opens up about her greatest life accomplishments, as well as her many experiences in the music industry!

T-Boz vs Tionne

“I’m the same person, ultimately. It’s just another alter ego of mine. But, at the end of the day I’m always Tionne, I was born that way and I’ll die that way. T-Boz is just my performance person. You just basically put on more. I wouldn’t walk around being like that.”

Celebrities who act as their celebrity personas in real life

“I don’t like a lot of celebs, because they walk around like they are on stage all day, it’s annoying. I know people who don’t want to be called by their birth name, they only want to be called by their stage name or they just act like they’re on all the time. If you’re behind closed doors and we’re real people, leave that alone. Why are you still going on? It makes no sense to me.”

Problems with Aretha Franklin

“Difficult sometimes? Everytime I met her! Everybody in the industry was like ‘she is so mean’. She was difficult, but hey, I take it with a grain of salt. She doesn’t hinder my career, so I guess we just won’t be cool and I’ll just like her from afar. It’s just sad when you look up to someone as a child then meet them and they are just not how you wish they were.”

Keeping her children grounded

“I don’t give my kids the celeb life. I don’t care how rich my kid was at 17, my child wouldn’t be buying a mansion, because that’s not normal parenting. My 17 year old is not buying a house even if she could afford it, that’s just crazy.”

Sexual harassment in the entertainment business

“It happened to me too, but I just didn’t take it serious. Some are deeper than others. I think it shouldn’t have taken one person to say something for everybody to come out of the woodwork. Then you have to weed out the people who have legitimate issues and then those who just want a check and make up stories. It’s sad because people really do get raped and it’s horrible for you to do stuff like that. Maybe it’s the jolt people need to speak up. If you’re really violated and you’re not looking for a check, speak up. Especially if the person can’t get to you, harm you, make you lose your money or whatever, say something.”

Body enhancements

“In the day of social media for this album I wrote “Perfect Girls”, because it seems like kids are striving to be perfect, and no one is perfect. We all have flaws, we all have insecurities. I’m not knocking anyone who has plastic surgery but let’s be real, the reason we get it is because we wanted to enhance something we didn’t like about ourselves. I hate when people lie about stuff like that. Some of these doctors need to be slapped! These girls overdo their butts, it looks crazy! They look out of proportion!”

 

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Tanner Shea shares TLC slumber party stories and discusses their best videos

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Tanner Shea is fresh from his incredible slumber party with T-Boz and Chilli to join Kevin Aeh and Graham Nolan at Talk This Way podcast to discuss all things TLC!

In this episode the guys are debating about what the greatest TLC music video is of all time! Their opinions differ which make this a great show! Complete with plenty of trivia behind the videos!

And Tanner gets into how his sleepover with TLC went down!

How Tanner got the sleepover?

I was on my way to Antarctica, and right before I got on the boat I get a text from my little sister saying check out the article on this link! So, I look at the Kickstarter and there was a description of the prizes that one gets, ‘$10 for this CD etc’. I won’t name the amount that I spent, but there was a prize for a sleepover at T-Boz’s house. I knew I wasn’t going to get service for like 2 weeks, so I was just like ‘click’, and I did it!

How it went down

I thought it was going to be super regimented, two hours, three hours tops, get out, thanks for your contribution. We ended up spending like 7 hours and a half together, it was incredible, it was a night. Katy Perry infamously bought one of the 5 slots, she did not show, she had a concert that night. So, I was thinking, who are these other freaks [going to be]! I know my level of craziness. The only other person that showed up was someone from Fader magazine. She was a millennial girl who kinda liked them. Everyone else was a celebrity or a company who were like we can’t be there for whatever reason, so I was literally the only private donor. So, I’m the freak show of the night, hands down! I wore blue silk pyjamas, with Creep on the back.

What happened?

They are silly. When they are silly in their videos they’re not acting. T-Boz is legit cool and sweet. She is not too cool for school. Chilli likes playing ding dong ditch. She kinda set it up and said ‘back in the day me, Lisa and Tionne would just run around and knock on doors all night in the hotel!’. We did that for about an hour! It was great! There was a moment we were watching a scary movie, the new Amityville Horror movie, T-Boz loves horror movies. I feel a movement in my hand and it’s Chilli eating chips out of my hand with her eyes locked on the screen! It was super cute and really great. We had a special moment in time and we got real big hugs at the end!

What About Your Friends?

What About Your Friends is like Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg to the next level! It’s like a New Jack Swing choreography. There’s two versions of the video, one with a fashion show and the regular version. The version on YouTube is like girls that take over a fashion show – and it’s trash. If your shit is good you don’t need to make fun of the status quo. If you want to see 90’s fashion, watch that video. At the end of the video they dress up as Hillbilly’s like they do at the end of Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.

Creep

They fired the first director, it was bad lighting and their style hadn’t evolved very much. They see a Salt N Pepa video on MTV and ask why no one is trying to do it better than them and call the director, Matthew Rolston. It opens with them in silk pyjamas, they have glamour shots, dual toned backdrops. There’s a floating blue trumpet that we see every now and again, very Crystal Waters. There’s scenes with them rehearsing. Then we see T-Boz in a sepia toned Jazz club with Omar Lopez playing the trumpet behind her, Janet Jackson’s love interest in the “If” video! TLC had their own choreographer and Matthew had his! T-Boz said there were other choreographers but she was TLC’s choreographer. She created most of the dance moves for them, she said okay we’ll take a little bit of this move and that move. She did the down movements. The other creative difference they had with the director was what to wear. They didn’t want to wear sexy 90’s outfits, they like baggy clothes. So they agreed on the iconic silk pyjamas. $1000 a pair! It’s athletic sexy with the abs. And we get to see T-Boz’s new bangs! 

Listen to the full podcast for more hilarious topical commentary about the legendary TLC!

Be sure to check the guys out at TalkThisWayPodcast.com for more fun episodes!

And check Tanner Shea out at TannerShea.com

 

 

 

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[Listen] TLC “No Scrubs” with Left Eye (Acoustic Version)

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Check out this amazing acoustic version of the R&B classic TLC‘s No Scrubs, introduced by and featuring the one and only Left Eye!

It’s a unique example of how awesome a TLC Unplugged LP would have sounded!

You can hear more songs like this on the new Ministry Of Sound Stripped album, out now.

Credit to Andy Hastings @andyetc

 

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Remy Ma Uses TLC Sample on “Always”

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The super talented female rapper Remy Ma dropped her mixtape “I’m Around” back in 2014, her first release since being freed from prison after 6 years.

One of the stand out tracks on the project is the ode to her husband, rapper Papoose, on the song “Always”. The track heavily features the mega TLC smash “No Scrubs”, and it fits perfectly!

Remy stays winning, recently signing a new multi-million dollar major record deal with Columbia Records and keeping positivity amongst her peers, frequently collaborating with Lil Kim, who features on her latest single “Wake Me Up“!

Check out the TLC-sampled “Always” and let us know your thoughts!

Announcement, Uncategorized

T-Boz Puts American Airlines On Blast For Inappropriate Service

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Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins of the supergroup TLC took to her social media on November 5 to vent about her feelings towards American Airlines, following a very unsatisfactory experience flying with the company.

What happened? Tionne and her children, daughter Chase and her 2 year old son, Chance, were boarding a first class flight to head back to their home in LA.

First class entitled them to board with two bags per person on the flight. They were stopped and accused of having one bag too many, so Chase put her laptop into one of the bags, leaving them with the right amount of bags on the flight within the rules.

However, the manager decided to be difficult after hearing Tionne tell Chase she could get her laptop out of the bag later on. Another lady intervened and told them it was against the rules to take it out the bag.

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Tionne vents on Twitter about the incident

Tionne reminded them it was fine for people to get things out their bags whilst on the flight, but the manager got an attitude and demanded they check their bags in or they would not be flying that day!

An uninformed woman tried to give misinformed advice and told the manager to call the police when Tionne caught the lady’s bad attitude and told her to shut up!

The manager continued to make Tionne’s experience difficult, making her measure the bags she wanted on the flight. After consolidating the bags to fit the requirements the manager still refused to comply.

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Tionne’s children Chase and Chance

Tionne stated that the manager threatened her and said “if you don’t check your bags you’re not flying today and I’ll make it to where you can’t ever fly American [Airlines] again”.

She told him he was doing way too much. He lies to her and tells them the flight is full and they can’t take their bags on the flight, despite the air attendants telling her the bags could fit on board!

“So I said to him ‘you just wanna use your LITTLE POWER‘”, Tionne continues. “Little?”, he replies. “Yeah” (with two little fingers), “LITTLE!”

He said there’s 1 minute and 45 seconds left if you want to board. He made us stand there and wouldn’t let us on, I’m like, what do you mean?“, Tionne explains.

Because he didn’t like my comment and his lil’ ego was bruised and he wanted to by all means, even though we adhered to the rules, made me check in my fragile [oxygen] machine just so that he can show his power, which is ridiculous because I wasn’t even talking to him and it’s NOT against the law to get your computer out of a bag”.

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Tionne complied and checked her bags in as requested. As a result, Chase’s make-up was broken and Tionne’s $2800 concentrator for her oxygen machine is also broken, because they were forced to check them in instead of keep them as hand luggage on the flight.

To add insult to injury, Tionne says “then he admitted it and said ‘well, if you didn’t have an attitude you wouldn’t have to check your bags’, like, really? Dude had an attitude with me“.

Terrible customer service. Hopefully Tionne will be fully compensated.

American Airlines have reached out and said they would be investigating the matter.

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Announcement, Review, Uncategorized

TLC Considering Left Eye Hologram For Hopeful Las Vegas Residency

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IN 1992 before No Scrubs, Creep and Unpretty made them the biggest- selling girl-group in US history, TLC were offered a huge opportunity: their first TV performance, singing debut single Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg on phenomenally successful US show In Living Color.

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes were wearing condoms pinned to their clothes as fashion accessories – a deliberate attempt to make it more acceptable for kids to buy them in stores.

When the TV show’s producers told TLC they’d have to remove those accessories, the band refused. “We just said no,” remembers Chilli a quarter of a decade later in a presidential suite of London’s The Landmark hotel, having two days earlier played what was, quite improbably, TLC’s debut UK show.

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“They said if we didn’t take them off, we couldn’t perform. This was our first ever TV performance, and we turned it down. Then we got booked for The Arsenio Hall Show instead, which was bigger.” TLC’s career has been defined by bold moves. When label supremo Clive Davis said he didn’t think a song called Waterfalls should be a single, the band refused to take no for an answer. “We wrote a big poster with a marker – ‘Please believe in us’ – and delivered it to his office,” T-Boz recalls. She pauses for dramatic effect. “Biggest song to date.”

Then there was the time a few years later, when LA Reid played them a demo he’d received from Sweden. “We knew it was a hit sound but it didn’t fit us, and we wanted to own our sound,” T-Boz states. They rejected the song; …Baby One More Time went to another artist. “Nothing about that song sounded like a TLC record,” continues a defiant T-Boz. “You just have to know what kind of artist you are.”

TLC HAVE never been confused about what kind of artists they are. “We were voices for women, period,” is how Chilli puts it today. “Especially in the way we dressed – we’re not a tight clothes type of group, with stilettos. There are so many women out there who don’t feel comfortable dressing like that, and when we came out we represented them. We were their voice too, from the very start.” In the late-’ 80s, Atlanta’s music scene was electrified when LA Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds chose it as the base for LaFace Records.

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“You thought, growing up, that you’d have to live in New York or LA to make it,” Chilli explains. “Not right there in Atlanta, Georgia. When LaFace came they gave so many opportunities. It was BOOMIN’! LaFace Records, that’s where it all started.”

In theory TLC were a manufactured girl-band formed around the talents of a singer called Crystal Jones but T-Boz and Left Eye staged a typically spirited pop coup: Jones was ejected and in her place came Chilli.

Immediately, there was a spark. “I saw it before those other two little rascals saw it,” Chilli smiles. “It was there in our photoshoots from the very beginning. I’d look at Polaroids during the shoot, and maybe that day I didn’t like her [motions to a sceptical-looking T-Boz] or I didn’t like either one of them, and I didn’t want her shoulder to touch my shoulder. Then I’d look at the Polaroids and I’d just see CHEMISTRY. You can’t create chemistry, it’s either there or it’s NOT. That’s just the truth.”

Chilli first felt like TLC had made it when the band picked up their first MTV Viewers’ Choice Award; for T-Boz the moment came when they received diamond certification representing 10m units sold of 1994’ s CrazySexyCool. They proudly remain the only female group ever to achieve diamond status and when Q suggests that freefalling sales mean no band is ever likely to catch up, T-Boz’s response of “that’s so sad” is impressively close to being convincing.

Both also whoop with delight at the mention of their first live dates supporting MC Hammer and it was Hammer, T-Boz adds, who took time out backstage to tutor TLC in how the music industry worked. “He put us on to how we weren’t getting the right amounts,” she recalls. “We sat in that hallway for three hours one night, and we just learned so much. It was a world we didn’t know existed. It was as if – BING! – the lights came on.” But one day a few years later, the lights literally went out.

“I was sitting at home,” T-Boz begins, “when my lights got cut off. And I couldn’t afford to turn them back on. I just thought: ‘Huh? But we’re the number one best-selling girl-group of all time!’”

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The band had suspected for a while that they’d signed an unfavourable contract through their original management company. But in 1995, at the height of their commercial success, they would find out just how unfavourable it really was. “We knew we had issues and that’s why we kept asking to see it [ the contract], and we were going to correct it,” T-Boz adds. “Then we realised: ‘Woah, we’re really in trouble here. We were about to go bankrupt.’”

Having been paid far less than anyone would reasonably expect a multi-platinum band to have received, TLC were $ 3.5m in debt. “We actually had to borrow money to go broke,” T-Boz exclaims. “We had to borrow $ 45,000 –$ 15,000 a piece – to file for bankruptcy. You have to pay to go bankrupt! Picture that! Ain’t that something else?” That, Q suggests, simply doesn’t make sense. T-Boz: “THAT’S WHAT WE SAID!”

IN APRIL 2002, during the recording of the band’s fourth album, Left Eye was driving in Honduras when she swerved to avoid a truck, crashed her car and was killed. Her last work was posthumously featured on that fourth album, 3D, but it was a year before T-Boz and Chilli would return to the stage at a stadium show near New York. “This was the first time we had to be on a stage, professionally, without our sister,” is Chilli’s recollection. “That was tough. We never looked at the screens that were showing her image. We couldn’t do that.” It was no secret that prior to Left Eye’s death there had been tensions in the band.

The group’s financial difficulties had been compounded by the fallout of Lopes inadvertently burning down her boyfriend’s house; musically, Left Eye felt her contributions to the group’s music were being incrementally sidelined.

At the tail end of 1999, as the band were wrapping up promotion on FanMail, the album that had spawned No Scrubs and Unpretty, Left Eye sent an open letter to Entertainment Weekly. She wrote: “I challenge Tionne “Player” Watkins and Rozonda “Hater” Thomas to an album entitled The Challenge. A 3CD set [consisting of] three solo albums.” “We were surprised,” Chilli remembers. “It didn’t shock us that she’d do something like that, but a lot of our fans got mad at her. Like, ‘Are you trying to divide and conquer?’” T-Boz and Chilli refused the challenge.

“Think about a child when they’re throwing a tantrum,” T-Boz says today. “You pay them no attention, what do they do? Stop. And she did. You can’t fight the world when you’re not unified.”

It seems unlikely, but the band insist today that had Lisa not died, TLC would have stayed together. She would, they add, have been with them two nights ago, onstage in London, and after having discussed it a few years ago they’re still toying with the idea of bringing her back as a hologram for their live show, and they’re particularly keen on the idea of making that happen during a Las Vegas residency.

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The last decade has seen a Greatest Hits featuring new material, a biopic, a TLC-themed talent search, frequent reappearances in the charts thanks to their songs appearing in shows like Glee, and work with other artists, like the song T-Boz wrote for Little Mix.

TLC have also continued to perform live, but in January 2015 they had an idea for new material. For their fifth and final album, they’d avoid major labels and hit Kickstarter instead. Along with promising copies of the finished album, they offered crowdfunding rewards like a workout class with Chilli (for a $2000 pledge) and TLC slumber parties (for $5000). They smashed their $125,000 goal, pulling in almost half a million dollars. Then everything went quiet.

The proposed September 2015 release date came and went; by 2016 fans thought their money had simply disappeared, and trolled the band with the hashtag #tlcgoingtojailparty. “The mistake was we should never have given a release date,” T-Boz laughs. “But that [reaction] was stupid! All the good we’ve done in this industry, now social media’s here they just want to be messy. Not just quite messy – beyond messy.”

Flash forward to 2017 and the album is here. One of the final steps of the people-powered comeback involved asking fans to help name the album, the spectacular upshot being that the new TLC album has ended up being called… TLC. “We kinda, you know, we knew what we wanted,” Chilli grins, and by this she seems to mean that the band had pretty much decided on the title anyway.

The new album isn’t exactly wall-to-wall No Scrubs but the tunes are perky, those TLC vocals are as spectacular as ever and Perfect Girls stands out as something of an Instagram-era companion piece to Unpretty, which in 1999 saw the band exploring issues of self-worth long before self-worth became just another marketing angle.

“You can never say that stuff enough,” T-Boz shrugs. “It’s a new generation with social media. Girls are chasing a goal that’s just not there. Today – and I hate to say it – but it’s the day of the ho.”

“Hos,” Chilli adds sombrely, “are winning.” “Day of the ho!” T-Boz says again. “‘Woooo! I can’t wait to grow up to be a stripper!’ I’d never want to hear my daughter say that. What you gonna fall back on? Cos even with fake body parts, gravity comes!” At this point, T-Boz and Chilli start wildly gesticulating at various body parts. “It’s comin’ on down!” Chilli exclaims. “Age comes too!” T-Boz shouts. “It’s gonna come oooon down.” Chilli: “All the way down!” T-Boz: “Where the waaater runs deep!” Chilli and T-Boz fall about laughing. They high-five each other, then they high-five Q, then they stamp their feet and high-five each other again. The chemistry Chilli saw in those early Polaroids is here in the room, where, over a quarter of a century later, she and T-Boz are still shoulder-to-shoulder.

“We have a glue that is just authentically there,” Chilli smiles as our time together draws to a close. “We looked at it, and we still do, as a marriage – but there’s no divorce here. We’re stuck together forever, whether we like it or not!”

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Sheila Gets The Help She Needs To Leave Town

Episode # 13201
Sheila argues with Bonnie in the park

Sheila Watkins has had enough of the games with Bonnie Lockhart, so she confronts her in the park, stopping her from leaving Salem and demands that she gets the money she was promised from the start of the deal!

Bonnie’s plan to marry Victor fell through and threw everything into turmoil, as her secret finally become exposed that she was not the real Adrienne Kiriakis!

Hilariously, Sheila almost quotes the mega TLC hit “Waterfalls” in one of her lines, as she tells Bonnie “next time, please don’t go chasing.. well, just don’t bite off more than you can chew“.

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Sheila wants her money

Meanwhile, Eli Grant opens up to Gabi about his past and his true connection with Sheila. Find out if he does the right thing and helps Sheila or leaves her in the past!

T-Boz has revealed that this is her final appearance on the show, unfortunately, so this is goodbye to the role of Sheila, for now!