Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins was a special guest on Fox Soul’s ‘On The 7 with Dr. Sean‘ on November 19 to promote the launch of her new health care range, ‘TLCBD‘.
T-Boz truly opened up to Dr. Sean in one of the most open, laid-back and honest interviews she has done in a while. During the interview T-Boz hits out at critics who constantly highlight the fact she adopted her son, Chance.
She also reveals that her mother Gayle Watkins is currently battling Cancer and her daughter Chase Rolison was recently diagnosed with Lupus. This remarkable woman is the epitome of a Champion!
Where the ‘CrazySexyCool’ title came from
Left Eye actually came up with this. It’s funny, because they would always call her crazy, I would be cool, and Chilli is supposed to be sexy. But Chilli always thought she was cool! And Lisa was like, ‘well T-Boz always be crazy!’. So, it’s kinda like the modern version of I’m Every Woman. So everybody has a crazy, sexy and a cool side. So, we just put the names to who dominated that name. So that became the album cover. I’m Every Woman, we all have those sides to us.
Left Eye’s memory
She’s my sister, so it’s just like losing a family member, but they’re always with you. Because even when I work, we’re still TLC. We built this together. Even if she’s not here physically, we keep her spirit alive through every show and everything that we do.
I’m supposed to be excited, because that’s like the Superbowl of Thanksgiving! But I have never worked on Thanksgiving. My family comes first. So me and Chilli saying yes to this was like pulling teeth, I’m telling you. I’m still dreading the hours, because if you think about it, because with my sickle and flying thins your blood, and usually I fly a day ahead of time to give my blood time to settle down and my blood. But I’m flying 6 hours there, in the cold, which is a no no, to be up and ready at 4am my time and 6 hours back. So, the things that we do for this industry to be standing in the cold waving at everybody, to sing only a minute and a half is as long as I’m gonna be on stage. But because it’s 50 million viewers, it’s still an honor. But it’s a lot. And I’m missing my family, so I don’t like that part.
Family comes first
If you’re a family person like I am, those are the memories and the things that you can’t get back. And I’m not willing to sacrifice those things. I’m not sacrificing raising my child for this industry. If, God-willing, those things will come back again, or I can say I was blessed to do them. I will never work on my kid’s birthday’s and stuff like that. This year was the first time that they messed up on this last tour, they booked a tour on my child’s birthday and I was hot! So, you know me, ‘I’m cancelling, that’s it!’. But they made it worth my while, and they made it up to my son and they did this whole day, so I was like okay, as long as my little one says it’s okay. The whole crowd sang happy birthday to Chance, so he had two birthday parties. He was hot stuff on tour.
How AIDs rumors forced her to open up about her sickle cell
It really kinda happened by accident. Now we have social media, right? Back then, if a rumor got around it really had some staying power, period, because we didn’t have all the avenues that we have now to get the rumor out. So, they started saying that I had AIDs and when I would go to the hospital, instead of helping me people would be nosey, ‘does she have lesions’, just doing everything else but taking care of me. My thing was, I don’t care what I have, I’m sick, it just became a Circus, put it that way, and I wasn’t getting the attention that was needed. One day, I got this call from Linda Anderson, and she worked for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, and she was like, do you want to be the spokesperson, and I said no, because I used to hate talking in front of people. But I figured I had a bigger purpose, so I had to face my fears. What’s bigger? Helping to change lives with your story or you being afraid to talk? It’s bigger than my fear. That’s really small on the Richter scale.
I kept wondering why did God allow me to do the things that other people that have the same thing — I made it, they didn’t. My cousin’s dead, I’m not. Like, why am I still here? I have to have a purpose. Because I would not talk about my disease, I would just deal with what I had to deal with and move forward and not look back. It’s with growth you start learning about yourself and why you’re here, you start questioning things. I was never a ‘why me?’ type of person. I’ve never been a woe is me kinda person. I don’t feel bad because I always feel that there is someone else worse off than me. At least I have good days, there are some that don’t have none at all.
Stressed by her mother and daughter’s recent health conditions
I’ve been stressed out to no end lately. My mom says you can’t change how people act, but you can change how you react. My mom has cancer right now, and she just had surgery. My daughter just got diagnosed with Lupus and Sjogren’s and she was in the hospital. They thought she had a blood clot, like when it rains, it pours! And I’ve got a slumlord at the same time! And I’ve got to move while all this stuff happening. So that’ll make you angry. Especially with people being ignorant at times like that, when you’re dealing with life and death and here comes this idiot talking about nonsense or getting lawyers, like wait a minute, what? When the devil tries to mess with you boy, me. So I had to sit down and woo sah, and look at the bigger picture and what’s most important. Sometimes things get hard, but I’ve been through worse things than this. So just chuck it up and do what you gotta do. So one day I’ll be like, ‘arrgh!’, and then the second day and there on I fight back.
Misconceptions of being healthy with sickle cell because she’s got money
I hate when people say — it’s such a misconception, and I wish that people would educate themselves before they start talking. Social media has given a platform for all the crazy people to talk. They’ll say, ‘the reason that your healthy with sickle is because you got money’. What? Money can’t buy a cure right now, because there is none. Even if they got the best people in the world — there’s no cure. You can’t buy knowledge. You can’t buy someone to not be ignorant. Money can’t buy anything like that. I’m healthy now, because I work my behind off to get this way. I educated myself, I became my own advocate. I stood up for what I believe in. I don’t let doctors practice medicine on me anymore and almost kill me. I started learning, my body myself, if you wanna live, that’s the best thing to do because you’ll die up in the hospital these days. The medical field — don’t get me started. I will argue a doctor down in a minute. My doctor will be laughing because I’ll be like, ‘you can leave’. He’ll be like, ‘T, you kicked out four people!’. I’m like, ‘yeah, because they were pretending to know what they were talking about’. Let’s just keep it a buck — you don’t know! And I’m fine with that. But the God-like complex and the pride won’t let them say they don’t know. Shut up, get out my room.
Her son Chance is her dream come true
I always cry when I talk about this because I love my son more than anything. I said my whole life that I was going to have a son. And that boy is my son. I had a box of clothes — and this is how I meant it — and I saved all these clothes for when my son was going to wear them. I’m telling you, this boy looks like us, he acts like me, this is my son. God gave me that boy. He is four years old. I know that’s my son, he was meant to be my son. And that’s why I hate people now, why I told it, because the press wouldn’t leave me alone. They just kept being nosey, like ‘well we didn’t see you pregnant, we know you gained some weight but we don’t know about your’ — it’s just too much. So I felt forced to have to say something, and I’m such a private person. I hate now on social media they’ll be like, ‘oh that’s her adopted son’. Do you say that’s her c-section daughter? Do you say that’s my vaginal canal son? No you don’t. That’s my damn son. I named him Chance because he gave me a second chance, too.
Future biopic plans on her own life journey
We’re working on a movie about my life, now. I did a book (‘A Sick Life‘). I want this movie moreso to be about a girl with sickle cell, just to show all of the things that we go through and what I go through now. I just want it to be a good movie without it just being my story, but it being my story will be the cherry on top. Because it will be a triumph and a sucess story of how you can do this. Because I don’t care what kind of disease you have in life, you have something foreign inside your body that you don’t want to have. You don’t want to deal with it but you’re made to deal with it. People with Lupus, Cancer, HIV — whatever it is. So we all agree on one common chord — we don’t want this disease. So I want this to be about all of us, whoever is sick, whoever is going through anything. So they’ll be able to relate to it.
Appreciating fan support over the years
It feels like my work wasn’t in vain. Like all the times — when my grandmother was dying and you feel like crap and don’t want to get up there. I had just gotten out of the hospital. I remember the HBO special (FanMail Tour 2000), I was literally rolled in a wheelchair out of the hospital bed. They had me on a lot of Demerol, so when I got up on the stage I was like, ‘oh my God [woozy)’, but it’s like 30-40,000 people, and I had to pretend I wasn’t sick. So, those are the times that make me say I didn’t do all this for nothing. Those times that I pushed through, it really mattered.
Her CBD business, ‘TLCBD‘
What is CBD? It’s not weed, that is such a misconception. The one’s that I sell don’t have any THC in them. It comes from the cannabis plant, and anybody who hears that will think, ‘they’re over there smoking them tweeds’. It’s not like that. It’s about 48% of the plant extract that comes from it, and it’s the organic part of the plant. The THC is what makes you high, so it doesn’t contain THC. It helps with a lot of things. For people with anxiety, for pain, some mental issues — it’s a lot of things that it can help with.
I never tell anybody anything that I haven’t tried on myself. I took this 2-3 years on myself. My partner is a chemist, because a lot of brands that are out there are synthetic — it’s fake, if it has any CBD at all. Think about money and medicine, everybody wants to try the hottest thing, ‘everybody’s talking CBD, let’s do it’, but it’s not right. I was watching on the news station that did a special, out of 13 CBD lines only 3 were real. And out of those 3, only 2 had the amount of CBD that was said. Some didn’t have any CBD at all, some were totally unhealthy and would make you sick over a certain amount of time, and some just had lesser amounts than what was promised.
My brand is called TLCBD. Usually I hate stuff like that, but this one made sense. Tender loving CBD. A play on words, TL-CBD! I used to ruin every tour. They’d be like, ‘T-Boz is sick again, she done messed up the tour’. I remember Beyonce with Destiny’s Child saying, ‘T-Boz is sick, ya’ll’, everybody would say it and it was true. I would be weak, sick — the next thing you know the tour is over. Tours with Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera, Bobby Brown, MC Hammer were ruined — until I got on CBD.
CBD helps to build my immune system and it protects my spleen — I grew two baby spleens on my dead spleen, so the doctor didn’t remove it. I take CBD daily under my tongue 3 times a day, it’s like oil. We have different things, because some people don’t like putting drops [in their mouth]. We’ve got gummies, for people who like candy. We’ve got sour gummies, sugar-based gummies. For me, the sour gummies have a little aftertaste, but it’s medicated so of course. I have to be careful as I want to eat the whole thing, then I remind myself this is medicine. When I did get sick, it wouldn’t be for as long, and it doesn’t hurt as bad. I use our pain balm and rub it on my knee, because I have a torn meniscus. The sickle cell pain goes to the weakest part of my body. So I rub the balm on, and use the tincture under my tongue, and the next day I feel good.
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Watch the full interview: