Tamela Mann stops
in Atlanta to promote CD, "One Way"
Tamela Mann wanted
to hit all the emotional notes on her current CD.
The award-winning gospel singer does just that while stretching vocally
on the 12-track "One Way." The first single, "God Provides"
reached #1 on Billboard's Gospel Music Charts and won a Grammy for Best
Gospel Song. The followup, "Change Me," is currently #7.
And Tamela is also on the new Kirk Franklin hit, "My World Needs You"
with Sarah Reeves and Tasha Cobbs.
"One Way" ranges from the up-tempo title track, which has a bit
of a retro feel to the inspiring "God Provides," which was written
and produced by her longtime friend Kirk Franklin .
"I wanted it to be a stretch for me," said Mann. "My goal this time was
to stretch and show more elements of myself and not put myself in a box. The
world has a way of putting you in a box - like having you do only slow
songs. I didn't want to have everybody crying for 45 minutes to an hour. I
want it to be like a roller coaster ride. When you're with me in concert, I
want to have have an experience, not look at it like a Sunday night
"God Provides," slows you back down and lets you think about all
the ways God has opened doors for you even when you think it's the end."
In some ways it's complements her big hit "Take Me To the King,"
recently performed on NBC's The Voice by Chris Blue. That
performance quickly shot his version to #1 on Billboard's Gospel Music
She said Franklin was a bit worried about following musically so closely
to "Take Me to the King," but she prayed about it and spent time with
Eventually "Mama mode" stepped in and she asked him not to change the
song. It worked.
"That's what I love about my God," she said in a telephone interview from
her home in Texas. "He can bring a calmness over you that nobody else can
give you. He can use anyone to get something to you."
The song was so profound that while recording, the studio got into
The album's all-star guest producer credits, in addition to Franklin
include Eric Dawkins, King Logan, Shaun Martin, Timbaland and
The CD became a bit of a family affair with the involvement of husband
comedian and actor David Mann and son, David Mann Jr.
So what was it like to work with someone with whom you share so much?
"He was a lot more hands on this time," she said. "He's my baby daddy, my
manager, my boyfriend. He's all of the above. But it really worked out well.
His ear is really good. A lot of time he hears what I can't. We collaborate
It was also good to be back in the studio with Franklin, whom she has
known since they were teenagers.
He's such a great producer," she said. "He knows how to pull things out
A native of Texas, Mann is the youngest of 14 children and began singing
in church when she was eight. By the time she was 12, she was the featured
vocalist at Holy Tabernacle Church.
But singing isn't the only thing occupying her time. She has starred in
numerous Tyler Perry productions as Cora Simmons. She and
David Mann starred in the No. 1 TBS comedy series, "Meet the Browns."
The hard-working couple has wrapped filming on the third season of the
popular Bounce TV sitcom "Mann and Wife" and their own family reality
show "It's A Mann's World" on BET.
Mann said they also want to write a marriage book and are considering a
cooking show, which is still a work in progress.
"We're just trying to bring some good content for families,"she said.
So, in 2017, her shows are doing well. Her record is topping the charts.
For her part, Mann is not forgetting who gets the praise.
"I really want to thank God for everything he's done."
live video -Click
live performance at the Stellar
Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs
"My World Needs You" - Click
It's all about
family for Tamela Mann
For Tamela Mann, it's all about family.
"We just want families to get back together," she said. "So many people
are into the social technology things, vs. sitting down and dining
together and hanging out together. We need to keep that unity."
A singer who
recently earned a Billboard Award nomination for best gospel artist,
Mann has been sharing a stage with her husband, David Mann, a
comedian; and children David Jr. and Tia in a current tour that just
passed through Atlanta.
Tia is a singer, and David Jr. is the DJ for the event.
Mann was born Tamela Jean Johnson in Fort Worth, Texas, the youngest of
14 children. By age 12, she was singing in the Church of God in
As a member of gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family, Mann
performed with artists including Mary J. Blige, Al Green and
Celine Dion. She began an acting career in 1999, performing
in Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." She
went on to act in plays including "Meet the Browns" and
"Madea's Family Reunion."
Tamela and her family also perform in the comedy show "Mann and Wife"
on Bounce TV and "The Manns," a reality show on TV One.
But for now, she is concentrating on the family tour.
David Jr. kicks off
the show, Mann said, followed by a "neo-soul" set from Tia. Husband
does a comedy routine, then Tamela takes the stage for a gospel set.
The family feeling extends behind the scenes. Oldest daughter Porcia
serves as the tour manager.
"It's not just a
party, it's not just a comedy show," Mann said in a telephone
interview from her home in Dallas. "It's an experience."
Mann said the family keeps it clean, even during the comedy portion. No
X-rated jokes here.
"You laugh, you cry, you worship," she said. "You feel every emotion.
We're tying to get everyone from 1 to 99, young and old."
While juggling comedy and musical elements might seem to be a challenge,
Mann said it's one she welcomes.
"It's just like everything else, rehearsing it and getting it all planned
out," she said. "It's working out really well."
Mann said she and her husband treasure being able to spend time with
their now-grown children on the road. Porcia is 30, David Jr. is 28
and Tia is 26.
When the kids were little, she said, they had to stay home a lot while
she and David traveled to perform in the Tyler Perry shows.
"It's really exciting to have them all here. We enjoy each others'
company," Mann said. "To have the three of them out with me and my
husband, who could ask for anything better?"