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'It Is the Lord First':
Gospel Singers David & Tamela Mann Share
Secret to Lasting Marriage
By Efrem Graham, cbnnews.com
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," has been at or near #1
since its release nearly a year ago.
The song won the Dove Award For Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the
The followup single, "Through It All" featuring
Timbaland, has just entered the
And Tamela recently hit the same charts on the Kirk Franklin hit, "My World Needs You"
with Sarah Reeves and Tasha Cobbs.
considers herself part of a team with her husband, David Mann.
Now, David and Tamela are celebrating their love and 30 years of
marriage by announcing their plans to write a book they're
calling, "Us Against the World," due out later in 2018.
The Manns met when they were just 18. Tamela's best friend introduced
them. "We were best friends from church and we grew up together.
She went to high school with David," said Tamela.
"Let me just add at the time time we were a pretty big deal on campus,"
added David. The Manns' romance began as a friendship. "We were
spending 10 to 15 hours a day together, just as friends," said
From Friendship to Life Partnership
The pair have come a long way since those early years. The
decision to write the book came after years of friends seeking
their advice. "We love people, and people are always around us.
That kind of pushed us and motivated us over the years, but we
kept pushing it off," said Tamela.
She added, "The Lord kept pressing me in my spirit" to write the book.
The Manns are partners in both marriage and business. "That was my prayer
as a young girl: that I would have someone that did the same
things that I did, so I wouldn't have to explain all the time
because first it was music for us," said Tamela.
She continued, "I wanted someone who sang and was interested in church
and music because that was my love, my first love is singing, my
passion. And the Lord blessed me with someone who loved what I
love. So, we really built together. And then it went from the
singing to the acting, which is what he loves."
Marriage Advice: Make Your
Marriage Your Priority
David says, "A lot of people ask, 'how do you juggle this?'"
"I never give my marriage the same weight and balance," he explained. "I
never try and balance it with anything else. It far outweighs
anything else I will ever do. Whether it comes to work, career,
the kids, anything, this is my first ministry and I never try to
balance anything against her. I tell everybody if this business
ever gets in the way of this, we will disappear," he added.
Tamela agreed, "It is the Lord first and then him."
"And that is why we came up with the title 'Us Against the World,'
because at the end of the day, it is going to be us," added
"We are having fun and we are enjoying it," Tamela said
watch the video interview
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?"
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"Us Against the World
(from One Way)
Gospel diva Tamela Mann
brings it all to the table
for her showstopping 2016
release. One Way
features guest appearances
from Timbaland and
daughter Tia Mann on
a selection of electrifying
gospel and worship
originals. Includes the duet
with Kirk Franklin,
"Us Against the World:
to a Long and Loving
Marriage - unabrodged
audiobook on MP3-CD
David and Tamela Mann
have been married for 30
years, but the singers,
actors, and entrepreneurs
are just as, if not more
than, happily in love as
they were in the early days
of their relationship. In
their new book, the couple
will relate the story of
their first encounters as
teenagers, the importance of
communication, and how
they've been able to keep
that spark burning through
all these years. The Mann's
have delighted and inspired
audiences through music, a
string of plays and movies,
as well as several
television series - Meet
the Browns, The Mann's,
and Mann & Wife.
They'll share about their
often hilarious and
interactions with each
other, their blended family
of five grown children and
eight grandchildren, and how
these relationships enrich
their lives. Given their
recording careers, touring,
filming, and managing an
outrageous family, The
Mann's will share with
readers the day-to-day
challenges, successes, and
joys that happen behind the
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