10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tameka Cottle

Tameka Cottle

T.I.’s been having a rough time of it of late. After publicly announcing he makes his 18-year-old daughter have gynecological tests to make sure she’s still a virgin, he’s come under fire from pretty much everyone with an opinion and a social media account. His wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle has so far stuck by him in the face of the backlash — but with many calling her “oppressed” (an opinion that was lent weight after T.I. told his wife he was “owed” sex as part of their marriage contract during a recent episode of the rapper’s ExpediTIously podcast), you have to wonder how much longer she’ll stick by her man. Find out more about Tiny with these 10 little facts.

1. She joined Xscape at high school

Cottle’s first experience of superstardom came with Xscape, the R+B group she joined in 1992 while still a student at Tri-Cities Performing Arts High School. After producer Jermaine Dupri discovered the group and signed them onto his record label, So Def Recordings, their climb to the top was set. Each of the three albums (Hummin’ Comin’ at ‘Cha, Off the Hook, and Traces of My Lipstick) they released in the 1990s certified platinum, while each of their singles certified either gold or platinum. After the release of their third album in 1998, the group disbanded to pursue solo projects, but have reunited several times since.

2. She’s a Grammy award winner

As well as having numerous gold and platinum-selling singles and albums to her name, Cottle can claim a hefty stash of awards. For her work with Xscape, she won two Soul Train Music Awards for Best New R&B Artist and Best R&B Album and the A-Town Music Award for Best Duo/Group. In 2000, she and Kandi Burruss were awarded a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for writing TLC’s hit single “No Scrubs”. She’s also been honored with an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award in the R&B and Pop Music categories for “No Scrubs”, together with an ASCAP Rap Award for her involvement in the Sporty Thievz track “No Pigeons”.

3. She’s a reality TV star

In 2009, Cottle made the transition from bonafide R+B star to TV sensation when her reality show, Tiny and Toya, debuted on BET. The series, which followed the exploits of Cottle and Lil Wayne’s ex-wife Antonia “Toya” Wright, was an immediate hit, pulling in more than three million viewers on its opening night (and becoming the highest-rated series debut in BET history in the process). The show ran for 2 seasons in total, with the last airing in June 2010. She’s since continued to enjoy success in the genre with T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.

4. She’s worked with some huge names

The list of people Cottle has worked with over the years makes for some seriously impressive reading. As well as her writing co-credits with fellow former Xscape group member Kandi Burruss (which led to the hugely successful No Scrubs, among other hits), she’s also worked with Sport Thievz, T.I., 8Ball & MJG, Lil’ Kim, and Bow Wow.

5. She’s a millionaire

Wondering what the end result of almost 3 decades in the music industry is? In the case of Cottle (and in the opinion of Celebrity Net Worth) ), it’s a pretty sizable $3 million, a sum that would leave most of us green with envy… although probably not her husband, T.I., who according to the same site, is worth a massive $50 million.

6. She’s all about teamwork

Juggling a demanding career and motherhood isn’t always easy, but according to Cottle, she manages to keep all her balls in the air by having a great team around her. “You’ve got to have a great team, great people around you, [have a] positive attitude and [be] a hard worker,” she told Billboard. “You’ve got to be ready to work because it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot to put into this. It looks glamorous but it’s a lot of late nights, no sleep. You’ve got to be prepared and ready for that.”

7. She’s suffered a tragedy

In 2009, Cottle suffered a devastating loss when her daughter, Leyah, was delivered 6 months into the pregnancy stillborn. “After Leyah was born, I kept her in the room with me the whole day,” she opened up to People. They placed her in the little basket and we dressed her in an outfit and had a blanket wrapped around her. Everybody came to visit her and then me and [T.I.] had our time alone with her.”

8. She’s had legal troubles

In 2010, Cottle and T.I. had a brush with the law when they were arrested during a traffic stop on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, LA. After police detected a smell of marijuana coming from the car, the couple were searched and found to be in possession of ecstasy. They were later bailed after posting $10,000.

9. She and T.I. came close to a divorce

Cottle and T.I. began dating in 2001. Nine years after meeting, they finally made their relationship official at a ceremony in Miami Beach. In December 2016, Cottle began divorce proceedings against T.I. after several rocky years in which both parties had been rumored to have been unfaithful (Cottle with the boxer Floyd Mayweather and T.I. with just about every groupie that had passed his way). However, the couple continued to work on their marriage and in 2017, Cottle announced the divorce was off. Rumors of T.I.’s infidelities continued to circulate, however- something the couple recently addressed during Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show, Red Table Talk. According to Cottle, T.I.’s infidelity stemmed from how much she’d changed during his time in prison, and how, disappointed that she was no longer the compliant wife he’d left behind, he tried to find a suitably placid replacement. “He felt like ‘this is not the woman I left,” she said. “‘This is not the woman I wanted. If I tell her this she’s gonna listen and she’s going to do it the way I want her to do it.’ He went and found somebody where he could be like ‘hey, don’t move. Do that,’ and I was not her.”

10. She’s tiny

Cottle was born Tameka Dianne Cottle but adopted the moniker Tiny on account of her diminutive frame. At 44 years old, Cottle stands just 4 foot 11 inches (1.50 m) tall.

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