Birth Name: Tionne Tenese Watkins
Place of Birth: Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Date of Birth: April 26, 1970
Ethnicity: African-American, possibly smaller amounts of Native American and Irish
Tionne Watkins, also known as T-Boz, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and executive producer. She is a member of the R&B/hip hop girl-group TLC, with Lisa Lopes and Rozonda Thomas (Chilli). The group was created by Perri “Pebbles” Reid.
Tionne is the daughter of Gayle Coleman and James Watkins. Tionne and her bandmate Lisa Lopes were cousins through marriage. Tionne’s uncle married Lisa’s mother, Wanda Lopes Coleman. Tionne has two children, including a daughter with her former husband, rapper Mack 10.
Both of Tionne’s parents are black. Tionne has stated that aside from being African-American, she has Native American and Irish ancestry. In her 1999 book, Thoughts, on page 97, Tionne refers to “Dad’s Native American mother, Annie Watkins.” It is not clear if Tionne’s Native American and/or Irish ancestry have been verified/documented.
A picture of Tionne’s paternal grandmother Annie can be seen here. Annie was from Tennessee. Tionne’s middle name, Tenese, is the Chickasaw Native American version of Tennessee.
Tionne’s maternal grandfather likely was William H. Ashby.
Tionne’s maternal grandmother was Velma Lucille Turner (the daughter of Floyd Turner and Bessie Winn). A picture of Velma can be seen here.