Mann began singing at the age of 8, and knew even then she had the ability to move people with her gift.
“By the time I got [to be] 12, I kind of knew that I had a gift that was kind of unusual for a lot of the other kids. Then, I didn’t know it was anointing; it was just like a special gift!” she said.
When it comes to influences, Mann was raised in a strict, gospel-only home, coming up on Walter Hawkins, the Clark Sisters and other legends in the music ministry. As far as secular artists, Aretha Franklin was the singer who struck a perfect balance for Mann, embracing popular music without losing her Christian roots.
The actress and singer also shared how she met longtime friend and collaborator, Tyler Perry. Her husband, David Mann, flew to Chicago to pitch himself as an actor to Perry, telling the writer and director he and Tamela were a package deal.
After touring for years, Mann called the farewell outing “bittersweet,” and revealed that her favorite of Perry’s stage plays is I Can Do Bad All by Myself. She also expressed interest in furthering her stage career with a role on Broadway.
Check out the clip above, and pick up Tamela and David’s book, Us Against the World, on Amazon.com.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.