OK, first off, let's get this out of the way: Tamela Mann is a gem. She's the pivot queen, forever accomplished, always elevating her platform, and constantly have us wondering if there is anything that she can't do. And although it doesn't seem like it, her career has already spanned the course of two decades. Two decades! *Randy Watson stomps*
As an actress, Tamela is best known for her role as Cora Simmons on the TV series Meet the Browns. But as a singer, chiiiiiiileeee, she belongs on gospel's Mt. Rushmore somewhere. To-date, Tamela has released five gospel albums, one of which reached number one on the gospel charts. But outside of the accolades, her positive spirit in such a mean industry, has earned her the respect and admiration that she deserves--all the way from people in the entertainment industry, to the fans that love her.
Melodies From Heaven
Listen, Tamela's start was far from the magical realm that it is now. Sis, was literally, at one point, singing Drake's "Started From the Bottom" at the top of her lungs (the gospel version, of course). But since, her journey has been a major flex, and I have the receipts--starting here: Kirk Franklin and Tyler Perry. Rightfully, two of the most respected powerhouses in black entertainment. And Tamela owns the adoration from each.
Mann actually got her start in the music industry by singing with Franklin's group, Kirk Franklin and the Family. She's known him since he was 15, when her husband and Kirk sang in high school together. Kirk has even written and produced a few of her songs.
Here's some footage from the early days:
I see you, Kirk, with the slick down!
From here, Tamela pivoted her brand to most recognizably Tyler Perry Productions i.e. Madea plays and various television shows. After being discovered in '99, well into her thirties, Perry enlisted her to become a part of one of his most trusted sources for opportunities. Soon after, her massively beloved career blossomed.
Take Me To The King
In 2013, Tamela's career saw new heights when she crossed back over into music. But this time as the leading lady. She racked up six of nine Stellar Gospel Awards, including CD, song, and traditional female vocalist of the year. She began touring the world with her husband, David, to sold out shows.
And although we may know her more for acting than singing, Tamela says for both her and her husband, it's quite opposite.
"Acting is his thing and music is more so mine. Singing, I'm very confident about. It's my one sure thing. I'm just really excited about the outcome and the people receiving it. Of course, you're nervous when you're presenting something new, but I've gotten great response."
Becoming famous without even trying? Dassa receipt, honey.
She has lost over 140 pounds!
Throughout the process, Tamela has managed to drop a large amount of weight. As an issue that has stemmed from her childhood, well into adulthood, the decision for her to lose weight formed from David's diabetes diagnosis. Since, the two have taken on a new outlook on life. In 2019, they decided to get serious about their weight and partnered with Weight Watchers to help reach their goals. Of her journey, she has said:
"One of the main struggles was my weight! I've always been good enough to be heard but not seen. I've lost over 140 pounds. I used to be a 30/32 and now I'm at an 18/20."
And now, a YouTube channel, clothing line, and 12 grandkids later, sis has no plans to slow down.
And her favorite part is she gets to do a lot of it with her husband and at home, which is exactly where her heart is.
"I just count it as a blessing. I don't take it for granted. I'm just really grateful. It's been my dream. I'm in awe."
See? I told ya. Receipts.
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Featured image by Tamela Mann/Instagram
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The world is filled with tons of distractions vying for our attention. Our workloads can be demanding, social media chatter can be deafening, and it all makes you wish you could flip a switch and shut everything off.
But since life doesn’t come with a mute button, we have to find ways to turn the volume down so we can reset our mood and fade into the present moment. Interestingly enough, singer Coco Jones knows a thing or two about this.
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In a recent red carpet interview with Harper’s Bazaar, singer Coco Jones was asked by an interviewer, “What was the last song you listened to?” Ready for the R&B starlet to sound off a Billboard-charting banger, we were surprised and humored to learn that the songs to land in her rotation come from a more sonic style of music known as ambient music.
“The last song I listened to was probably ambient music,” she shared. “It be so loud in this world of mine, I just need to listen to a gong.” This had us thinking that maybe we too use a few gongs, harps, and xylophones in our music rotation, especially if Coco approves.
What Is Ambient Music?
Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes atmosphere, mood, and tone over traditional musical structure and melody. This vibe-setting, atmosphere-shaping sound is often described as "background music" as it’s designed to create an immersive and ambient sonic environment rather than being the primary focus of the listener's attention.
Ambient music has rich, audio texture while being shapeless in its melodies. Many songs in the genre tend to be minimalist in nature, with simple and repetitive musical elements. It often features long, sustained tones or chords, with lengthy compositions that listeners can get lost in — in a good way, of course.
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Why You Might Love Ambient Music
Taking your first listen to an ambient track, may take some time to adjust to. If you’re used to songs with structure and reliable flows and chords, it could take a couple of listens to ease into the amorphic style of this music genre. Its primary goal is to evoke a specific atmosphere or mood that can be calming, meditative, introspective, eerie, or even unsettling, depending on the artist's intentions.
As TikTok creator and DJ, Lovie shared in her video detailing the genre, “We also go through too much as a people to not be listening to some Tibetan singing bowls and some gongs, okay?” And we couldn’t agree more. Sometimes we need sounds to transport us from reality, even if that’s just for 30 minutes at a time. Life is tough enough, why not allow our music to feed into our escapism just a little?
Exploring Ambient Music
If you’re looking to give ambient music a spin in your playlist, your next question might be where to even begin. You might be pleased to know that as a beginner, you don’t have to venture too far to find that you may have already been introduced to the genre through singer and songwriter, Solange Knowles. Her fourth studio album, When I Get Home, features the atmospheric sounds of ambient music throughout.
Some of the pioneering artists in the ambient music genre include Brian Eno, who is often credited with coining the term "ambient music," as well as artists like Tangerine Dream, Harold Budd, and Aphex Twin.
The sounds of ambient music are unhurried and full of ease, which can provide the perfect momentary escape from the outside noise or as background music for your studies or creative processes. So if you're looking to widen your music taste and tune out this noisy world, take Coco’s advice to give ambient music a try because you can never go wrong with a gong.
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Featured image by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage