Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins: A Sick Life

Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins | A Sick Life: TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage

A candid memoir of fame, strength, family, and friendship from the lead singer of TLC

As the lead singer of Grammy-winning supergroup TLC, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins has seen phenomenal fame, success, and critical acclaim. But backstage, she has lived a dual life. In addition to the balancing act of juggling an all-consuming music career and her family, Tionne has struggled since she was a young girl with sickle-cell disease―a debilitating and incurable condition that can render her unable to perform, walk, or even breathe.

A Sick Life chronicles Tionne’s journey from a sickly young girl from Des Moines who was told she wouldn’t live to see 30 through her teen years in Atlanta, how she broke into the music scene, and became the superstar musician and sickle-cell disease advocate she is today. Through Tionne’s tough, funny, tell-it-like-it-is voice, she shares how she found the inner strength, grit, and determination to live her dream, despite her often unpredictable and debilitating health issues. She dives deep into never-before-told TLC stories, including accounts of her friendship with Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes and her tragic death. Tionne’s unvarnished discussion of her remarkable life, disease, unending strength, and ability to power through the odds offers a story like no other.

Appearances

September 25, 2017 at 7:00pm 189 The Grove Drive Suite K 30 Los Angeles, CA 90036

October 9, 2017 at 7:00 PMRich Auditorium 1280 Peachtree St NE, ATL GA 30309 This is a ticketed event.

 

 

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In the Midnight Hour: the Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

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He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included “In the Midnight Hour,” “634-5789,” “Land of 1000 Dances,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You.” Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul.

More than that, Wilson Pickett’s journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century. From the gospel-rich cotton fields of Alabama to the pre-Motown metropolis of Detroit, and throughout his career at Atlantic Records–he was the first artist on that label to record at Stax in Memphis, Fame in Muscle Shoals, and Sigma in Philadelphia, and rehabilitated an exiled Bobby Womack and introduced Duane Allman along the way–Wilson Pickett led the shifts in Rhythm and Blues and soul music.

Pickett’s downfall, precipitated by the move towards softer soul and then disco in the 1970s, proved equally dramatic, leading to a heavy alcohol and drug addiction, a reputation for violence and gun use, a no-show for his induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and two jail terms later in the decade. Nonetheless, the “Wicked” Pickett climbed out of these depths to end his career with a Grammy-nominated album before his death in 2006.

For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett’s life, biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer’s family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett’s personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

 

Appearances

Wednesday January 18, 7pm, the STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL, 926 E. McLemore, Memphis, TN

Tuesday January 31, 7pmBOOK SOUP, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

Gabourey Sidibe Signing Copies of “This is Just My Face”

The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read.

Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris.

 

Appearances

May 4, 2017| 7:30 PM| 1901 Vine Street| Philadelphia, PA

Ticketed Event: $15 General Admission, $7 Students
Buy Tickets Online | Ticket and Subscription Packages

I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory by Ray Lewis

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Appearances

October 20, 2015| 12:00 PM| 160 E 54th Street NY, NY 10022

October 20, 2015| 6:00 PM| 211 E. Ridgewood Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

October 22, 2015| 12:00 PM| 601 E. Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21202

October 22, 2015| 6:00 PM| 620 Marketplace Dr. Bel Air, MD 21014

Ray Lewis, legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker and one of the greatest defensive players of his generation, holds nothing back on the state of football as well as his troubled childhood, his rise to athletic greatness, the storm that threatened to ruin his NFL career, and the devastating injury that nearly cost him a final moment of glory.

A lot of folks, they know my game, but they don’t know my deal. This book right here, it tells the story of my seventeen-year NFL career. It tells of my two Super Bowls, the mark I was blessed to be able to make on the game, on the city of Baltimore. But it also tells the story of how I grew up—abandoned by my no-account father, raised with my siblings by our God-fearing, hardworking single mother. It tells how I sometimes struggled off the field. It tells of the anguish and controversy that found me away from the game.

Mostly, it tells how heartbreak can sometimes lift you to greatness and glory—if you find a way to put your focus in faith, and faith in your focus.

When I left the game, confetti raining down on me and my teammates after winning the Super Bowl, I made a promise to myself to show how the game is really played at the highest level. That’s what you’ll find in these pages—a raw, honest look at the business of football and a look behind the scenes at some of the most torturous aspects of the game. The grind of the NFL—that’s what shines through.

My deal? That grind is a given. Every player who wears an NFL uniform has to slog through the same battles just to get to the league. But it’s how you prepare for those battles that defines you—and here I hope to show how an unwavering trust in God and an unbreakable sense of purpose can lift you from tragedy to triumph. From strength to strength, man—that’s the deal.