Announcement, Interview, News, Rumor

T-Boz Has Respect For Drake, T.I. and Nelly, But Confirms L.A. Reid Indeed Turned His Back On TLC

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”.

Announcement, Music, News

RIAA Update Sales of TLC’s “No Scrubs” Confirming 5x Platinum Status

The RIAA have officially confirmed that the sales of TLC‘s anthem “No Scrubs” have significantly boosted since it’s release back in March 1999. On October 13, 2020 the RIAA stated that the iconic hit was 5x platinum, a major increase since it’s previous gold certification on April 27, 1999.

This serves as great news for the girls and for the fans, who have been eagerly waiting for the RIAA to update the certifications of TLC’s record and album sales, most of which have not been updated since their original time of release.

Last year, we revealed that the ‘CrazySexyCool‘ album was re-certified by the RIAA to reflect the additional sales of the masterpiece, which is now 12x platinum. It’s previous certification was two decades ago on July 2, 1999 when it was officially 11x platinum. A large portion of the album sales increased as a result of the hit VH1 movie, ‘CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story’, which both T-Boz and Chilli served as executive producers.

Other TLC releases hoping for updated RIAA certifications include the ‘FanMail’ album, (which the girls claim is very close to going diamond) was certified 6x platinum on June 26, 2000; ‘3D‘, last certified x1 platinum on December 10, 2002; ‘Ooooooohhh on the TLC tip‘, last certified as 4x platinum on May 1, 1996.

And the singles, “Waterfalls“, certified 1x platinum on July 31, 1995; “Creep“, certified x1 platinum on January 6, 1995; “What About Your Friends“, certified gold on November 19, 1992; “Unpretty“, certified gold on September 20, 1999; “Hands Up/Girl Talk“, certified gold on May 15, 2003; “Baby-Baby-Baby“, certified 1x platinum on September 29, 1992; “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, certified as 1x platinum on May 15, 1992; “Diggin’ On You“, certified as gold on January 3, 1996; “Red Light Special“, certified gold on April 17, 1995.

Sony Music Entertainment celebrates some of the biggest hits of the 90’s with the premiere of My 90s Playlist, a new podcast exploring some of the decade’s most iconic songs and groundbreaking artists. The show’s first episode features a deep dive into the history of hit R&B group TLC and the making of their chart-topping single “No Scrubs.” Listen to the podcast here.

In the meantime, give “No Scrubs” a listen on a streaming service of your choice to celebrate it’s milestone!

Announcement, Appearance, Concert, Music, News

TLC, SWV, En Vogue & Boyz II Men Perform Virtually For DJ Cassidy’s ‘Pass The Mic’ Special

TLC perform for DJ Cassidy

The first two “Pass the Mic” shows from DJ Cassidy counted as veritable mic-drops for fans of vintage R&B and hip-hop, bringing epic medleys that brought stars from Earth, Wind and Fire to Doug E. Fresh back to reprise a verse or two of their classic hits in a dance-music collage. “Volume Three” is premiered Tuesday night, zeroing in on the late ’80s/early ’90s nexus of R&B history.

In additon to the legendary TLC, other great artists taking part in the exclusively virtual performance include Boyz II Men, Joi of Jade, K-Ci of Jodeci, En Vogue, SWV, Keith Sweat, BBD and Shanice, to name but a few.

En Vogue perform for DJ Cassidy

DJ Cassidy points to the number of women who were triumphing, separately and collectively, in the late ’80s and beyond as proof of the health and wealth of R&B at that time.

“I haven’t left my house in over four weeks, since I’ve been working on ‘Volume Three’,” Cassidy says to Variety. “It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever assembled in my DJ career.”

The DJ mentions that 15 No. 1 Billboard hits from that time frame will be included, as newly sung on camera by the original artists, with a total of 23 well-remembered songs covered in one 37-minute swoop. The fact that he has 43 individuals showing up to do those 23 songs suggests that there are a good deal of groups involved in this one — not all of them female — so you can take from that whatever lineup clues you might.

SWV perform for DJ Cassidy

“‘Weak,’ my favorite SWV song, you just feel it down your spine. I know everyone’s going to go, “Oh s—, Coko.” She’s singing. And then right before the chorus, I bring on Taj and I bring on Lelee, and then each one is singing their harmony note and they’re all in their own box. And it shows you how great they are, because literally it sounds like they were doing it together. With these groups, I raised the volume of the harmonies, which you might not hear so prevalent in the mix of a final song, but I made them so you can hear everyone.

With TLC, T-Boz comes on first and then I go ‘Chilli, take them to the bridge’ — just those moments of when you’re not sure if you’re getting the whole group and then you get ‘em are amazing.”

Boyz II Men perform for DJ Cassidy

“The great thing about this, unlike an awards show or an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ is that it only gets better with time. The live event is a fun way to get people in the chat room and talking about it and people going crazy about ‘Oh my God, who’s coming next.’ But once you put it up then it really starts to be to passed around, it takes on a life of its own.”

You catch watch the full episode of ‘Pass The Mic Volume Three’ on DJ Cassidy’s Instagram.

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Thank you @keithsweat @kcihailey @officialswv @therealcokoswv @tajgeorge @therealleleeswv @shaniceonline @stevenrussellhartss @chuckiibooker @after7music @therealkevonedmonds7 @hakimabdulsamad @envoguemusic @cindyherronbraggs @terryellis @officialmissrnb @iamdireed @aquilaphil @therealmangelo1 @kirkland_ek @free_dadreamer @bigbubtoday @fullforceworld @thebowlegged1 @therealpaulanthony @beeisbad @geeniusmusic @therealfathermc @officialchristopherwilliams @realjohnnygill22 @officialbellbivdevoe @mrrickybell @617mikebiv @bigrondevoe kingbobbybrown @therealralphtresvant @teddyriley1 @boyziimen @wanyamorris1 @shawnstockmanofficial and @nathanmorrisphd. You are all my heroes. 👑🎙👑 #PassTheMic

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Announcement, Interview, News

T-Boz: “The Industry Turned On Us When Left Eye Passed, But We Proved TLC Is Forever!”

The legendary Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins stopped by for a chat with Jason Lee and DJ Damage at Hollywood Unlocked: Uncensored for a catch up with the guys about her monumental career so far, as well as an update on what she’s doing now to build on her ever-growing legacy.

Tionne didn’t hold back and spoke her mind, which is what we love about her! Some people may not be aware, but despite the super success of TLC, when they tragically lost Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in 2002, the industry lost faith in the girls’ ability to continue successfully as a group, including their very own record label boss, L.A. Reid, who signed them to LaFace Records in 1991.

“When Lisa died, the whole industry turned on us. Everybody. They were like, ‘it’s over for them, they’re never gonna do it again'”, Tionne admits. “I kept saying, nah bro, that still doesn’t hinder my talent and my passion to sing and dance — it’s in my soul. You just have to find that one person to say yes, and find your new normal. We all know that it’s never going to be the same again, but you find your new normal and that’s what Lisa would have wanted us to do. And I have kids to feed, so why would I stop? It’s TLC forever, whether she’s physically here or not”.

TLC also had to prove themselves to tour promoters to show them that they can still put on a ground-breaking, energetic live show. Tionne gives props to VH1, who gave them a shot and hired them for the VH1 Superbowl Blitz in 2014, which was a televised concert that allowed the world to see exactly what a TLC show looks like. Little did we know that acts like Drake, Nelly and T.I. pulled out on the girls before the show, but they proved that they could rock a complete concert on their own.

“Doug E. Fresh came through and Misty Copeland”, Tionne says. “I was like, maybe God wanted it this way, so that we can prove to people that we don’t need nobody else to rock a show”. Tionne has her suspicions that other artists possibly doubted them too. “I sometimes wonder was it because you don’t know if you’re gonna look sucker free Sunday standing next to us if it may be over, or you just don’t wanna be a part of that. But it’s all good, because it turned out exactly the way it was supposed to be — that was one of the best concerts, and we got the highest ratings, and that’s what put us on the map, again. Everyone and their mama started calling us to perform again after that, when they saw that we can still do it”.

When times got tough in her career, Tionne quickly found out who was truly there for her, and who was only there to take advantage when things are going good. “If you ever got really sick in the hospital, or had a death in the family, there’s certain times in life when you see who really has your back and who does not — we’re basically a dollar sign, and you never really cared in the first place”, Tionne explains. The only industry figures that really cared are her friends Leslie Braithwaite, Shanti Das and Kawan “KP” Prather.

Tionne touched on how she is coping with managing her TLC career during the current Covid-19 crisis. “They want me to do a virtual show. TLC is supposed to shoot something too, but I’m like, ain’t nobody coming up in here”, Tionne reveals. “We did a show with CW and the iHeart network [Iconic: TLC]. They sent me a big trunk, because I was like, no, the sound guy can’t come, you label it [jokingly sings the alphabet]. I put it together — I did good though!”.

Tionne has serious reasons for needing to take social distancing seriously, aside from her own health, in which her immune system is already compromised because of her sickle cell disease, but she also has to make sure her mom Gayle and daughter Chase Rolison are kept safe also because of their health conditions. “I’ve got a pre-existing condition, I ain’t trying to die! My mom was dealing with cancer, and my daughter has two diseases — sjogren’s, which is a cousin to Lupus — and Lupus, from which she almost lost her life at the beginning of year. She was in the hospital for almost ten months”, Tionne says. “So, I can’t take any chances on anything, so I’ve been a hermit. I’ve seen so many movies it’s ridiculous”.

Any good TLC fan knows that the girls are mommies first before anything else, and Tionne is having an amazing time raising her kids Chase, 19, and her son, Chance, 5. “It’s amazing — I just turned 50, which I was told I couldn’t, ever. I’m proud to tell people my age, I was told I would die by 30, I would be disabled and I wouldn’t have kids and I’ve superceded all of that”, Tionne says. “I was happy [to reach 50]. Chilli won’t even pick up the phone [on her birthdays] so you can’t wish her happy birthday. She is not happy! She changes her number like hot cakes”.

Tionne has always wanted a son and even kept a box of clothes for a boy, so Chance has truly been a gift in Tionne’s life. “I always said that I wanted a son, and I would have a box of clothes and people would say, ‘girl, you’re so crazy’, and I would say, no, when I have my son, he’s going to wear this”, Tionne reveals. “God made that baby for me, trust me on this. He looks just like me, everything about him is just like us. So, I know that God tailor-made him for me, and I had been asking him for years. I opened that box and my baby put wore those clothes just like I said. So, I believe in words and manifesting things into existence. He keeps me young because he’s fun — he’s a character”.

She is now planning her return to ATL after living in LA for years. “I move back to Atlanta next month [November]. For a lot of reasons — I have more of a support system there”, Tionne admits. “I don’t like the earth moving and swaying, I don’t like running from fires.. I don’t like it. I never liked LA”.

On the ever-popular topic of Verzuz, Tionne reiterates that she would prefer to go up against a male group, as she feels no other girl group could compare to their style. “We always competed with guys — we never looked at women as competition. Apart from maybe Aaliyah, there were no other women out with swag like that”, Tionne admits. “I don’t think there will be another TLC. There will never be another T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. We had a chemistry that was so special, that’s why we would never replace Lisa. No heffa belongs in between us two.”

Tionne praises Destiny’s Child and reveals that she was actually supposed to choreograph for them when they were the Baby Dolls, but she had to go on tour. “I always knew Beyoncé was going to be Beyoncé, though! I could tell Beyoncé was the star”, Tionne admits. She also feels that if TLC were to do Verzuz with another girl group, Destiny’s Child would be a good fit. “I don’t know if Beyoncé would do it, but Kelly might, I don’t know. For some reason, Swizz Beats and Timbaland are not biting on it. The fans started it more, so it’s not like I said ‘hey, can I do one?’. But to me it’s just a friendly competition, it’s just a time to make people happy in a crazy world with covid right now and it makes people feel good”

Tionne also reveals that she has filmed an upcoming epsiode of ‘Drop The Mic‘ with DJ Cassidy. “He did all the old school first and all the rappers like MC Lyte and Doug E. Fresh, Rob Bass. They were rapping over the tracks on Zoom, it was awesome”.

Tionne loves the TLC Army fans! And although she doesn’t always understand why fans like to see TLC shows multiple times, she reveals some of reasons that makes them stick around. “One of them wore [a shirt] ‘this is my 33rd concert’, and I was like, what would make someone see someone 33 times, I don’t understand?”, Tionne says. “So, I asked her she said because our lyrics saved her life or I’ve heard something we said in an interview that stopped them taking their own lives. They said our music makes them feel good at the time that they needed it, and that makes them want to come back”.

She said she gets to connect with fans when they tell her things during meet and greets, although she’s unsure if she will still do meets in the future because of the coronavirus outbreak. “We do meet and greets before the concerts, which probably will never happen again, don’t want nobody touching me and giving me cooties since Covid been out! So, I’m not going to do anymore of those, so just know that!”

Support Tionne’s TLCBD line and check out her online children’s and women’s clothing store, Spoodles.