TAMELA MANN | BEST DAYS
Few entertainers today can match the unbridled energy and creative passion that Tamela Mann brings to her multi-faceted career. An acclaimed actress, 2014 NAACP Image Award and 7x Stellar Gospel Music Award winning vocalist, as well as wife and mother, Mann’s talent has helped anchor one of the industry’s most successful film, TV and theatrical franchises, she has soared to the top of the radio and Billboard sales charts with her amazing vocal gift, whch is at the top of her impressive resume.
Tamela seems to effortlessly juggle a variety of notable projects. Mann and her husband, NAACP Image award-winning actor and comedian, David Mann, co-host top-rated television projects including their family reality TV show on BET, “It’s A Mann’s World,” which has been renewed for the second season, and their Bounce TV #1 comedy, “Mann & Wife.” Mann’s “Best Days Deluxe Edition” album release set records and garnered a list of accolades adding to Mann’s musical profile.
The Best Days Deluxe Edition, produced by Myron Butler and Kirk Franklin, showcases Mann’s powerful voice and her gift for wringing every ounce of emotion from a great lyric. The CD remained at no. 1 on the Billboard Gospel chart for a record 29 weeks. One of the most powerful tracks on the album is the Grammy-nominated, Stellar Award winning single “Take Me to the King,” produced by long-time friend and Gospel icon, Kirk Franklin. The song earned Mann her first Grammy Award nomination in 2013 for Best Gospel Music Performance and remained at no. 1 on the Gospel radio chart for a record 24 weeks. It was certified RIAA Platinum with more than 1,000,000 copies sold. The lyric acknowledges how heartbreakingly challenging life can be and how respite can be found in the presence of the King. Tamela turns in a soul-stirring performance with her voice conveying every ounce of vulnerability in the well crafted lyric as well as the hope that is within grasp.
The positive, life-affirming attitude is not only the focal point of Tamela’s albums, it’s at the heart of everything she does. Whether she’s starring in a film, a play or on television with her husband David in the successful shows that premiered in 2015, or recording an award-winning album, the singer continually touches people with her impressive talent and her kind spirit.
Faith has always been the foundation of Tamela’s life. “It was all about faith and all about God in my mom’s house,” She recalls of growing up in Fort Worth, Texas as the youngest of 14 kids. “We couldn’t listen to like R&B or blues. My mom would say, ‘You can’t listen to those blues in my house.’ She was really strict, but we listened to a lot of gospel music---The Clark Sisters, Andrae’ Crouch, Walter Hawkins, The Williams Brothers and Inez Andrews.”
Tamela knew at an early age that she was called to music. “When I was eight-years-old, I was going to youth choir rehearsals with my older siblings, and I would start learning the songs that they were singing. I noticed myself scooting up closer and closer to the choir stand, singing with the choir. I jumped in there and started singing soprano right off.”
Though she was young, her voice caught the attention of the choir director and her uncle, who was the pastor. “I had an opportunity to sing the lead and the song was James Cleveland’s ‘I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired.’ It went over so well and I got so moved while I was singing the song, I started crying. I didn’t know what it was at the time, being so young, but I got so inspired every time that I would sing. I found out that singing was my passion.”
By the time she was 12, she was in the singing choir at the Holy Tabernacle church. Shortly after high school, she met two young men that would change her life forever. David Mann became her husband and pal Kirk Franklin, who helped launch Tamela’s singing career when he recruited her to be part of his groundbreaking group, The Family. Tamela sang on five of Franklin’s albums and has fond memories of those days. “I look at all of us. We’re going on and doing our own things. Working with Kirk again after all these years has been so special.”
After her stint with The Family, doors continued to open for Mann in the arts. She landed a role in the play “He Say. . .She Say. . .But What Does God Say?” Her stage skills were noticed by actor/writer/producer Tyler Perry who chose her to appear in his play, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” From there her acting career escalated as she developed the role of Cora Simmons in Perry’s plays and such films as “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea Goes to Jail” and 2011’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” The Madea films have become one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises and Mann’s portrayal of ‘Cora Simmons’ has become a cornerstone of the series.
Tamela has also taken ‘Cora’ and ‘Toni’ into America’s living rooms via the television screen, co-starring with her husband David in the #1 TBS series, “Meet the Browns” and top-rated Bounce comedy series, “Mann and Wife.” Yet even as she’s become increasingly successful as an actress, Mann’s passion for music has never diminished. She’s recorded four highly acclaimed albums, including “The Master Plan,” and the versatile entertainer has been nominated for an NAACP Image award.
2012 was a memorable year in film for Mann as she joined Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the film “Sparkle.” Mann acted alongside Houston as her character’s best friend. It was a memorable experience, punctuated with private moments between Tamela and Whitney, sharing about faith and family in the ladies’ trailers while they waited on set for their scenes.
Tamela Mann has been blessed with a busy life filled with faith, family and a rewarding career. She and David have been happily married for 27 years and have four children and eight grandchildren. They revel in the opportunity to work together on different projects. “We started out as best friends and we tell each other everything,” she says of what keeps her marriage strong. “Everything that we have accomplished has been together and it’s just really a blessing.”
Mann loves touring and inspiring people all over the world through her music. “That’s where I find my joy, when I can sing to people,” she says, “because I see the hope and encouragement that it gives. It’s something that I will do until I die. I will do this until the Lord calls me home. I’ll never stop because I love it so much.”
Connect with Tamela Mann: