When we talk about Tameka Cottle, most people today would think of the popular 90s group Xscape, while others would be amazed at the bright colors of her eyes. Was she born with light gray eyes? And who is her famous husband?
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Early life and education
Tameka Diane “Tiny” Cottle was born on July 14, 1975 in College Park, Georgia, USA. She grew up in Jonesboro, Georgia, with her mother of European descent, Dianne Cottle, and her father of African American descent, Charles “Speedy” Pope, who co-created the R&B film with his brother, Joseph. The Tams band. Cottle was nicknamed “Tiny” at Tri-Cities Performing Arts High School in East Point, Georgia, because of her short height. It was there that in 1992 she made the choice to join the all-female R&B quartet Xscape.
She had shot her first commercial when she was 12 and for a while she wanted to pursue an acting career, before taking up music, thanks to her father’s suggestions.
Not long after its formation, Cottle’s band performed at a birthday ceremony for producer Jermaine Dupri’s party, and Dupri was captivated by the group’s sound. Almost the same day, he signed the girls to So So Def Recordings, his newly opened record label.
The group’s debut album, “Hummin’ Commin’ at ‘Cha”, was released in 1993 and went platinum the following year, bringing with it some of their biggest hits, including “Understanding” and “Just Kickin’ It”. It was followed by their second and third platinum albums, “The Hook” and “Traces of My Lipstick”. Cottle was the lead vocalist on several of Xscape’s hit singles, such as the aforementioned “Understanding”, as well as “All I Need”, “My Little Secret” and “Am I Dreaming”.
She also won two Soul Train Music Awards, one for Best New R&B Artist and the second for Best R&B Album. As a member of Xscape, she also won the A-Town Music Award for Best Duo/Group. Despite their great success, the band fell apart after they released their third album in 1998 and the girls split up.
Career after the 00s
Cottle, along with her former Xscape bandmate Kandi Burruss, was honored with a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 2000, TLC’s “No Scrubs.” Cottle also won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award in the Pop and R&B music category for the same song. Her performance for the Sporty Thievz hit “No Pigeons” earned her the ASCAP Rap Award. During the same period, she had also collaborated with 8Ball & MJG, Bow Wow, Lil’ Kim and her future husband TI. In 2005, Xscape former members LaTocha and Tamika Scott announced their reunion with Cottle to release the band’s fourth album, “Unleashed”.
They were joined by a newly added member, Kiesha Miles, and released a new single titled “What’s Up”. However, the record label failed to promote the album and the band was disbanded again. Despite this, Cottle maintained a good relationship with Kiesha Miles and together they formed a teen group called “OMG Girlz”.
In 2009, Cottle, along with rapper Lil Wayne’s ex-wife Antonia “Toya” Wright, starred in BET’s reality TV series “Tiny and Toya”, which ended after its second season in 2010. Cottle created her own label – Pretty Hustle – in 2014, and at 22nd July released her first solo song “What the Fuck You Gon Do?” which quickly reached the top spot on the Soul/R&B charts on iTunes. She was also one of the authors of Ed Sheeran’s hit single “Shape of You”. Cottle rejoined the original Xscape group members in 2017, for their first appearance in 18 years at the BET Awards.
A few months later, Xscape was signed to their own record label, XSCAP3 Entertainment, and in 2018 they released their EP called “Here for It”.
Relationship with Zebu
In 1992, Cottle was in a long-term relationship with musician Zonnie “Zebu” Pullins, and at 20e In March 1996 they gave birth to their daughter Zonnique Pullins. The couple split two years later in 1998, after Zebu ended up in prison. Zonnique was also one of the members of Cottle’s teenage girl band OMG Girlz which was active from 2009 to 2015.
In 2000, Cottle began dating rapper TI On 25e In August 2004, they had their first child, King Harris, and in 2007, after six months of a complicated pregnancy, Cottle gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Leyah Amore Harris. Their second son, Major Philant Harris, was born at 16′e May 2008.
Two years later, at 30e July 2010 the duo finally tied the knot, and on 26e In March 2016, the couple welcomed their daughter, heiress Diana Harris. By the end of the same year, however, Cottle had filed for divorce, but several months later she dropped the divorce file, and some say the couple is happier than ever, and as early as 2020 they are still married.
The family bustle
In late 2011, Cottle and her husband premiered their own VH1 reality series called “TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle”. The show ran for six seasons and ended in May 2017 due to the couple’s temporary separation.
Cottle had a very close relationship with her father before his passing in 2013. She had stated multiple times that he was the one responsible for her singing career and that he always pushed her forward. In her own words‘(…) he wouldn’t let me rest when he found out I had a present.’
Before her relationship with Zeboe and marriage to TI, Cottle was in a relationship with another famous rapper, Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996. Just a few months after their marriage, she and her husband were arrested in September 2010 for driving under the influence of drugs. The couple was fined $10,000 and the scandal was briefly in the media. In addition to her music and reality TV career, Cottle also had her own drink line called “Tiny Tequila”.
Through her husband, she is a stepmother of three children named Messiah, Domani and Deyjah who has TI from previous relationships. She is very active on Instagram and has 6.3 million followers as of March 2020.
In 2014, Cottle made headlines after going to Africa to undergo a controversial and potentially dangerous surgery to change her eye color from brown to gray. “They go into the eye and they make a little slit.
They take an implant and it’s folded. They open it [and] spread it over your eye,” she told of the procedure during a interview for ABC news. This surgery is illegal in the US and many medical professionals have reported problems with people, mainly celebrities and Instagram models, traveling to third world countries like India as the potential risks are huge and include glaucoma and cataracts. The company that conducted its procedure, BrightOcular, has had its own controversies, so many people have spoken openly about Cottle’s decision.
The outrage only got worse when her daughter Zonnique traveled to Tunisia the following year and underwent the same eye color change; however, she had her eye color implants removed in 2018 for unknown reasons. Perhaps the stories of people with damaged irises touched her and she no longer wanted to risk developing eye defects.
Cottle still didn’t regret her own “new” eyes.
Cottle’s net worth is estimated at around $8 million, mainly derived from her music and reality TV career. Having a wealthy husband certainly helped, and in 2004 the couple bought a house in Los Angeles, California for nearly $1.5 million.
Cottle has a short build and is only 1.50 m tall, for which she was nicknamed “Tiny”. She always proudly shows off her curves and sexy body. Her hair is black and although her natural eye color is dark brown, she has permanently changed them to light gray, which has become her new signature look.