Few entertainers today can match the unbridled energy and creative passion that Tamela Mann brings to her multi-faceted career. An acclaimed actress, NAACP Image Award nominee and Dove Award-winning vocalist – as well as wife and mother – Tamela’s talent has helped anchor one of the industry’s most successful film, TV and theatrical franchises, while her amazing vocal gift is at the top of her impressive resumé.
Her positive, life-affirming attitude is not only the focal point of Tamela’s latest chart-topping album, ‘One Way’; 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 BET series, ‘It’s a Mann’s World’, or their latest comedy series on Bounce TV, ‘Mann & Wife’, or recording a Dove Award-winning album, the singer continually touches people with her impressive talent and her Christlike spirit.
“On ‘One Way’, I wanted to do something different; I didn’t want to be put in a box,” says Tamela. “Like the Scripture says: ‘Become all things to all men to win some’, so I wanted to come with just a different side of me to win people for the Kingdom.”
Both ‘One Way’ and the single, ‘God Provides’, have catapulted to the top of the Billboard Gospel charts, where they each held No 1 positions. “Preparing for this album was, yes, a lot of pressure for me and the company (Tillymann). Not that we are chasing to try to do what we did on the last record, ‘Best Days’, but what are we going to do to be bigger and better in striving again to reach the masses? On this go-round, Kirk Franklin has written another song for me, entitled ‘God Provides’. What came to him is that he had been going through some different things and thinking about life, like all of us do… It’s like ‘Not Knowing,’ Tamela relates. He said he was asleep and the Lord woke him up and said, ‘God provides’. He said he went to the piano and the words kept coming to him.”
‘One Way’, Tamela’s fourth solo studio album, is a diverse collection of songs that will inspire listeners. For the first time, Tamela’s executive production team is a family affair, helmed by Tamela, her husband and business partner, actor David Mann, and son, David Mann Jr. ‘One Way’ is produced by the acclaimed Myron Butler and David Mann. The album’s all-star guest producer credits, in addition to Franklin, include: Eric Dawkins, King Logan, Shaun Martin and Timbaland. Standout songs include the old-school vibe, up-tempo debut single, ‘One Way’, written and produced by Dawkins; the powerfully emotion-filled track, ‘Potter’, written by Travis Greene and, of course, ‘God Provides’, written by Tamela’s ‘Take Me to The King’ writer/producer, Kirk Franklin.
‘One Way’ marks a remarkable departure for Tamela, with the inclusion of Timbaland’s production and writing of ‘Through It All’. According to ABC News: “Timbaland may seem like a wild-card for the gospel icon, but working with the R&B producer proved to be an inspiring experience for Mann.” Tamela’s take is: “Wow, us coming together in the studio… I think it turned out pretty amazing for us to come together from two different worlds, and to come together and put the message out that, through it all, through all we’ve done, we have learned to trust Jesus, and He ain’t failed us yet.”
‘One Way’ highlights the latest God-inspired achievement of an amazing career. The chart-topping vocalist’s success encompasses TV, theatre, film and music. Her 2012 album, ‘Best Days’, debuted at No 1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart and No 14 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200. Mann earned the Stellar Award for Best Female Gospel Artist of the Year, along with seven additional Stellars in 2014, as well as Best Gospel Artist at the 2014 BET Awards. ‘Best Days’ was certified gold, and set an industry and personal record for Mann. The project spawned three consecutive chart-topping singles, including the track that has sold nearly one million copies – ‘Take Me To The King’, which Mann performed across the country on tour, and on television shows, such as The View, BET Awards, Stellar Awards, Dove Awards, and on the Gospel Music PBS White House special, before the President and Mrs Obama.
Tamela has been often asked how she balances her life as an actress, singer and performer with family. “First, I make my marriage a priority,” she says. “It gets focused attention over everything, and I’ve learned to put my life in order: God first, my marriage, then my family, and everything else will fall into place.” Her journey is not unlike that of any other woman in this world. “I would encourage women to hold on to their faith, and with God all things are possible – even in the struggles – because with God, we always win.”