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, Mann’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 resume.
Tamela seems to effortlessly juggle a variety of notable projects while still finding time to aid such worthy organizations as the American Diabetes Assn. Mann and her husband, NAACP Image award winning actor and comedian, David Mann will co-host a new lifestyle and cooking show, “Hanging With The Manns.” 2012 was a memorable year for Mann as she joined Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the film “Sparkle,” and she released a new album, “Best Days”.
“I want to present music that people can be blessed by and that can be healing,” she says about her new record. “We have to put music out to keep people encouraged and keep lifting the body of Christ up, and even the ones that haven’t become Christians. We need to encourage them that the best thing that they could ever do is become a child of God.”
With “Best Days,” Tamela is on a mission to share the strength and joy that can be found in being a child of God. Produced by Myron Butler and Kirk Franklin, the project showcases Mann’s powerful voice and her gift for wringing every ounce of emotion from a great lyric. The title track, penned by Butler, is a jubilant celebration of God’s promises. “It’s a very encouraging song. It gives a lot of hope,” Tamela says. “It’s about looking back on your past and not letting your past take over your life. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things will be better.”
Tamela has a gift for encouraging people through music. Her previous album “The Master Plan,” won the 2011 Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. Though an award winning project might cause some artists to feel pressure when they enter the studio to record their follow up album, Tamela just felt excited and motivated to take her music to another level, and she does just that on “Best Days.” “I take no glory. I take no merit for myself because it all comes from Him,” Mann says. “Everything that I am comes from Him. The Lord gives me words and the most fulfilling part is that I can plant a seed of joy and hope for people that I’ve never met.”
By the time she was 12, she was in the singing choir at the Holy Tabernacle church. Shortly after high school, she met three young men that would change her life forever. David Mann became her husband, Darrell Blair who is now her pastor, 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 and how God has blessed us in different areas,” she says. “We’re going on and doing our own things. We’re all still serving the Lord which is really a blessing. And working with Kirk again after all these years has been so special.”
After her stint with The Family, God continued to open doors for Mann to serve him 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’ into America’s living rooms via the television screen, co-starring with her husband David in the #1 TBS series, “Meet the Browns.” 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.
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 24 years and have four children and seven grandchildren. The couple serves as spokespeople for the American Diabetes Association, helping educate people on healthy food choices and the importance of exercise. They also incorporate tips into “Hanging with the Manns,” a new cooking show the couple is co-hosting. 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."
Ingeniously funny and extraordinarily talented are understatements when it comes to the multifaceted actor and 2011 NAACP Award winner for Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Series (Meet The Browns, "Mr. Brown"), David Mann. A native of the "Bible belt" state of Texas, David masterfully showcases his God given talents in today's most dynamic and distinguished genre.
Accentuating his already natural gift of making people laugh as a youth, David set his sights on acting. As a free-spirited adolescent, the self-possessed 15 year-old discovered a way to employ his unsuspecting antics by involving himself in various high school activities including contemporary drama where he permeated the stage world by becoming a budding thespian. Finding his natural element, David was commonly cast as the production's funnyman where his infectious comedic flair was visibly realized and fittingly unleashed. From high school to local community theater, David's accomplished performances quickly gained notable recognition advancing his diversified image into public notice.
In short order, David joined forces with one of America's funniest actors and critically acclaimed playwright, Tyler Perry. The illustrious actor had written, directed, and produced numerous plays including the stage play hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself where David remarkably immortalized the intrusively nosey, wisecracking, ashy-kneed, and outrageously funny neighbor, "Mr. Brown." As was apropos, David's bravo performance led the way for "Mr. Brown" to become a principal character in many of Perry's other hilarious stage and film comedies, including the play and motion picture, Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, in which David reprised the role of "Mr. Brown" for mass audiences.
Both properties were sure-fire hits, playing to packed theaters and grossing millions. "If you thought Madea's family was crazy, wait till you meet the Browns" became the tag line for the new TBS comedy modeled after the film and starring David as the beloved "Mr. Brown."
David Mann's musical and theatrical talents brilliantly epitomize ingenuity at its best. When David is not on set shooting, he brings his live comedy show to venues around the country playing to sold-out crowds and is a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Assn. Along with his wife, Tamela, David is the co-host of the exciting new cooking and lifestyle TV show, Hanging With The Manns, which follows the dynamic couple as they cook-up delicious recipes in the kitchen and go on hilariously funny and wild adventures together, and he is the co-star of the upcoming sitcom Mann and Wife.
David is also the president of his independent music and entertainment label, Tillymann Music Group, with his wife Tamela. When David is not on tour, he enjoys the restful company of his wife of 25 years and their fun-loving children and grandchildren.
About David Jr.
While he’s known in the Mann family as the DJ keeping the music flowing during family functions, the only son in the Mann family, David Mann Jr., works for the Mann family business, Tillymann Inc., as the office and road manager for David and Tamela. He is married to his wife, Chantal, and they have two beautiful children (D3 and Jayda.) With entrepreneurial spirits, David’s goal is to be successful in real estate while Chantal’s dreams include owning a children's clothing boutique and to be a successful stylist. “I want to own over 50 rental properties and 5 commercial properties,” said David.
Fun Facts: David is a video game nerd and avid firearms collector, and Chantal loves romantic comedies.
La’Tia Mann, or as she’s known to family and friends, “Tia,” is the youngest of the Mann daughters, and gets her comedic chops from her mom and dad. The funny girl of the family, Tia sings background for Tamela and is Tamela and David’s personal assistant on the road.
Fun Facts: Tia is a fashionista and loves to showcase the latest in looks and styles. She’s also decided that her dad and brother should leave the matchmaking to the professionals!