'I was told I would never live past 30': T-Boz opens up about her battle with sickle-cell disease

The singer from the girl group TLC opens up about her health battle in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.
4:58 | 09/12/17

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Transcript for 'I was told I would never live past 30': T-Boz opens up about her battle with sickle-cell disease
But you were speaking about this one-on-one that I had wi withwith tionne Watkins. T-boz and her struggle with sickle cell in her new book "A sick life." I sat down with her to talk about her amazing career and how she's not letting her illness stop her one bit. She's the "T" in America's highest selling girl group, tlc. ??? Stand your ground ??? Reporter: Tionne t-boz Watkins' raspy voice dominated in the '90s and rose to stardom with Lisa left eye Lopez and rosario Thomas and tackled gang violence and the AIDS epidemic in "Waterfalls." How would you describe the music of tlc. You talk about things everybody can relate to but we just do it in a fun way that you can dance to and it's not like we're preaching, but it's like you get the message and we're in this together. Reporter: Their unique combination of hip-hop, R & B and pop earned them four grammys and four platinum albums. And the winner is tlc. Reporter: Including the tell it like it is anthem "No scrubs ??? ??? no I don't want no scrub ??? ??? a scrub can't get no love from me." What is a scrub. A guy who can't get no love from me because he's sitting on the passenger side -- He's in the answer side. Hey! Hey. It's like, dude, it's not even your car. Reporter: For tionne the success and accolades were coupled with illness and tragedy. In her new memoir, "A sick life," she opens up about her journey with stardom as she lived with an incurable disease, sickle cell. "A sick life" means so many things. Tell us the meaning behind "A sick life." The title means so much for me. It's a strong word. "A sick life" because I've had it all. I was told I at 7 I would never live past 30 and be disabled and never have kids but I traveled the world with tlc and worked with Michael Jackson. Reporter: Sickle cell disease is an incurable bloos disorder that affects nearly 100,000 Americans. As tlc toured all over the world the rigorous schedule caused her body to go into crisis mode and she spent week, sometimes months in the hospital recovering. You accomplished all of this in and out of the hospital. Just talk about dealing with a chronic disease. The easiest way to describe it is oxygen isn't getting into our vital organs so if it's your legs you can't walk. Your arm, you can't even hold a pencil and write. I went through so much. ??? Rainbow ??? Reporter: In "A sick life" she writes about the tragedy that would change tlc forever. A private wake will be held in Atlanta tonight for pop star Lisa left eye Lopes. Reporter: It was shaken when their third member Lisa left eye Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras. What was that moment like and how did it impact just everything in life for you? That was one of the hardest times in my life. Lisa died three, four days after I got out of the hospital so I was frail and 09 pounds which made me sick again. I'm like, what's going on? Like as soon as something was good it's just all -- everything was just -- it was bad. Reporter: After a 15-year hiatus t-boz and chili have adjusted to what is now the new Normal for tc. We keep her spirit alive through us and our music and you feel her presence on stage and nobody will fill that void. She's up there rocking and we're dancing with her. ??? We go way back ??? Reporter: And just released their fifth and final studio album. ??? Sunday some things don't ever change ??? Reporter: As for tionne she's starting a new chapter recording her first solo project. ??? You got dreams ??? What do you want to be the lasting legacy of tlc. I just want to be remembered for the things that we really did. Like the fun and good stuff, the lyrical content, making a difference and making people feel better. ??? Ever ever know ??? They certainly did all that and not knowing what she was going through to do that but I mean hit after hit after hit. I like the new song "Way back." Good one. Not done yet. Nope. "A sick life" is out today. The book, you've got to read it and tionne's new song "Dreams" is out too and she'll be back in a week or so and singing here on "Gma." Fantastic. And I'll have more of my interview with t-boz tonight on "Nightline."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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