Watkins was born in Des Moines, Iowa on April 26th, 1970. She is of both African American and Native American descent. As a child, she was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia; her parents both have the homozygous recessive trait which one in 12 people of African American descent have. Since the age of seven, Watkins has been in and out of hospitals due to her condition. Watkins' family moved from Des Moines to Atlanta, Georgia, when she was nine years old. She was not expected to live past her 20s.
Initially hiding details of her ailment from others, she went public with the disease in 1996 and is today one of the spokespeople for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. In August 2000, she married rapper Mack 10. The couple's daughter, Chase Anela Rolison, was born on October 20, 2000. In 2002, Watkins was in the hospital for four months making it one of her longest stays due to her sickle-cell anemia.
In June 2004, Watkins filed for divorce and requested a restraining order against Mack 10. She has stated that her faith in God and her optimism has helped her stay free from the more serious effects of sickle cell disease. She is currently dating Takeo Spikes of the San Francisco 49ers.
After a career as a hair stylist, Watkins auditioned for Atlanta teenager Crystal Jones' music group 2nd Nature. Jones, Watkins, and Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes eventually attracted the attention of Perri "Pebbles" Reid and her husband, LaFace Records chief Antonio "L.A." Reid. L.A. Reid replaced Jones with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, and the group was signed in 1991 as TLC, which would go on to become one of the most successful girl groups in history and sell over 45 million records worldwide. She is one of the founders of the group TLC and also the lead singer along with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas who is usually the lead singer in the more pop-oriented songs done by the group, like "No Scrubs".
In addition to her work in TLC, Watkins has done some solo recording, including the singles "Touch Myself" (1996) for the Fled soundtrack, and "My Getaway" (2000) from the Rugrats in Paris: The Movie soundtrack. T-boz has also collaborated with other artists over the years. This include singles such as "Ghetto Love" (1996) by Da Brat, "Changes" (1996) by Society of Soul, "He Say She Say" (2000) by Keith Sweat, "Different Times" (2002) by Raphael Saadiq, and "Be Somebody" by Paula Cole.
Watkins has also worked as an actress, appearing in Hype Williams' 1998 film Belly. She also made a couple of appearances in TV's Living Single (in one episode, TLC appeared as themselves in Overton's dream sequences). More recently, Watkins also served as one of the executive producers for the 2006 movie ATL featuring the rapper, T.I.. She recently did a video for "It's Good" with YoungBloodZ, which appears at the end of their Chop Chop video.
As an author, Watkins released the book Thoughts in November 3, 1999. The book is collection of poems as well as essays discussing her life experiences.
In 2005, Watkins opened a children's boutique called Chase's Closet (named for her daughter). The boutique is located in the exclusive River Oaks area. She opened it with girlfriend celebrity stylist Tara Brivic Rowntree. Chase's Closet has won best kids store 4 years in a row and T-Boz will be putting out her own line named after her store.
She was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People of the World" by People Magazine twice in 1994 and 2000.
On August 14, 2007, she spoke with fan website CyberTLC World about upcoming plans which included her solo album, which she had started recording three weeks previously. At that time she had 17 tracks completed and was planning on recording at least 30 songs before she selects the final track listing. Watkins also spoke about a possible TLC movie, which bandmember Rozonda Thomas, is interested in making. At the moment there is no word whether or not Watkins and Thomas would play themselves. An upcoming TLC-related television program is also in the works, as well as a book that Watkins is currently in the midst of writing.
During the interview, she also spoke about TLC's future as a band, stating it was not likely that there will ever be another album from the group but that there will possibly be a farewell tour sometime before she releases her solo project. Watkins has also put in an appearance on Thomas' song "Gameproof".
On September 17, 2008, T-Boz gave everyone an update on her solo album and said that she has 2 tracks with Lil' Wayne and would be going into the studio in October with Dallas Austin. She also will be working with Polow Da Don, and has hopes that the album will be released in 2009. T-Boz also spoke about two upcoming singles in Japan (one solo single, and one with Chilli and Lil' Kim). For a complete audio interview visit http://www.cybertlcforums.com