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Biography

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.

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