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I’ve had it all: T-Boz discusses her struggles living with sickle cell anemia, while famous, ahead of memoir release


L-R: Rozonda “Chili” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins of TLC; ABC RadioTionne Watkins, otherwise known as T-Boz of legendary girl group TLC, is writing a new chapter of her life with the forthcoming release of her memoir, A Sick Life: TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage. 

The entertainer tells Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts that the book’s title was inspired by dealing since childhood with the incurable blood disorder sickle cell anemia.  

“The title means so much for me. It’s a strong word, A Sick Life, ’cause I’ve had it all,” says T-Boz.

She continues, “I was told at seven years old I would never live past 30. I would be disabled my whole life and never have kids. But I’ve traveled the world in TLC. I’ve worked with Michael Jackson.”

T-Boz describes sickle cell anemia as a disorder in which “oxygen isn’t getting to our vital organs. …If it’s your legs, you can’t walk. Your arms, you can’t even hold a pencil and write. I went through so much.”

The multi-Grammy-winner also remembers the moment she learned of late TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ death, which happened “three, four days after I got out the hospital.”  

T-Boz recalls, “I was frail and 90 pounds, which made me sick again. I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ Like, soon as something was good, it’s just all, everything was just, it was bad.” 

Even though T-Boz and TLC’s other remaining member, Chili, released the group’s fifth and final album in June, she hopes TLC will “be remembered for the things that we really did,” adding, “Like the fun and good stuff, the lyrical content, making a difference and making people feel better.”  

A Sick Life: TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage is out now. 

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