Tweet Reveals How Missy Elliot Stopped Her From Contemplating Suicide
“If It Wasn’t For Missy, Tweet Might Not Be Alive Today.”
Tweet, who was born Charlene Keys, once found herself at rock bottom. Struggling to survive in the music game, she found refuge in her friend and musical collaborator, Missy Elliot. At this year’s Essence Festival (2017), Tweet performed and she also opened about how Missy saved her life.
Tweet On What Missy Did For Her After Depression Drover Her To Alcoholism
In an interview with Sirius XM’s ‘Heart and Soul,’ Tweet sat down and shared how she met Missy Elliot. She started her career as a member of the girl group, Sugah – a trio that never released an album, but was a part of the Devante Swing’s (of Jodeci), Swing Mob clique. Remember when Devante had the a helluva musical empire with Swing Mob? His label birthed stars such as Ginuwine, Timbaland, and Missy Elliott.
“I met Missy in ’94. We both were in a crew with DeVante from Jodeci. He had this whole crew with Timbaland, Missy, Playa, Ginuwine, myself,” Tweet told Heart and Soul.
It was later revealed that working for the the mega producer, Devante, was not easy and it came with many challenges. In Timbaland’s memoir, The Emperor of Sound, he shared how working with DeVante was like being in prison. They were made to work long hours without proper compensation, nor rest.
“We would go for days without eating,” Timbaland recalled in his memoir. “We would be woken up in the middle of the night to run crazy errands. We were knocked around, kicked around, and beat down.”
Eventually, Missy had enough and she split. Tweet was heartbroken over that and wondered where her career would take her. Feeling discouraged, Tweet shared how she felt after learning Missy said ‘Peace out’ to Swing Mob back then:
“So, she left to become who she is. Around 1999, she left the group and I was contemplating taking my life,” Tweet admitted to the Essence Fest’ audience during her ‘Heart and Soul’ interview.
Believing that her musical career would not happen, Tweet got a call that would change her life. Missy contacted Tweet with an amazing opportunity:
“Just at that moment, Missy called. We had lost contact for like five years. She called me and said, ‘I need you to be on this record.’ I’m like ‘whatever,’ Tweet admitted. She sent a car and I went to L.A. and then that same visit, I got my deal. Then ‘Oops‘ came out the next year. … When I tell you, ‘Put your trust in God,’ he’ll turn things around for you,’ I’m a witness.”
Tweet’s debut album, Southern Hummingbird, which was produced by Elliott and Timbaland, was a hit, landing No. 3 on the Billboard 200. However, her musical success was short lived because her follow-up album unfortunately bombed. Fans originally were really diggin’ Tweet’s soulful sound on her first album, whereas her second album was more hip hop and that could have been too much for her fans to adjust to from her at that time. That’s when Tweet found herself in a deep depression again:
“I was at my wits’ end. I was drinking every day, smoking three packs of cigarettes. It was like, ‘Come on, this can’t be life,’” Tweet admitted to Los Angeles Times while sharing the spiritual journey that led her back to recording and yielded her third album.
This time, it wasn’t Missy who saved her life, but her fans. Wanting to give up, Tweet’s fans consistently contacted her to let her know that she was loved and missed in the music industry. Tweet was encouraged that she touched the lives of others and she was ready to come back:
“I wanted to give up. People sending me tweets, saying they wanted me back, that kept me. It inspired me. It told me maybe I made a difference in someone’s life and I shouldn’t stop. I was inspired by that.”
Unsure if she wanted to perform again, Tweet released her long-awaited third studio album, Charlene, in 2015 to rave reviews from fans, reminding us all why she’s one of the most talented artists to pick up a mic.