I caught up with Tamela Mann on the phone right after she returned from the Bahamas and the Radio One Getaway. This week she heads to D.C. to kick off the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour with Smokie Norful, his son Ashton, John P. Kee, Lecrae and Vickie Winans.
In a candid interview, we talked about the tour, renewing her vows, and the secret to the Mann’s happy marriage. One thing is certain, Tamela is a strong woman of God who has managed to retain a sense of humility along with her success.
Tell me about the tour
This is my first time so I’m very excited. I’m also very excited about sharing the stage with a couple of my friends that I haven’t ever shared the stage with in concerts. I’m really excited about the people and having them get what all of us have to bring because we are all from different eras. Our music is praising and serving the same God, but our message is kind of different on how we deliver it.
The tour was created to give back to the community.
I’m excited about giving back, giving hope because a lot of times people will feel like it’s the end, they are not going to make it. That’s what spreading the good news is about. Gospel music is the good news of Jesus Christ and to let people know that regardless to what you’re going through now, with our hope and faith that it’s going to get better.
You just renewed your vows with David. Talk about that day.
When we got married 25 years ago we just got married after service at church. We exchanged our vows, we didn’t have any money. So we waited this long and we had a whole little shindig is what I called it; with the ceremony and reception. It was exciting. Everybody got all nervous at the beginning, but it turned out to be a wonderful night and I was so happy with my gown. I felt like it was my first time. And we’re still in love. I love my husband, he’s still my boyfriend. He still gives me goose bumps and we just have a good time together.
What do you see as some of the components to a happy, healthy marriage?
We’re still in love. That’s the main thing. You still have to keep impressing each other, even after 25 years. Normally me and David do everything together, but if by chance he has to go do something and I’m doing something somewhere else and I can’t go with him, I get my hair done. I throw on a shirt that’s been in the back of the closet that he hasn’t seen in a while. I dress myself up like I’m coming to meet my boyfriend or my lover at the airport because I always want him to see me in a good light. And I always want to impress him. We always try to make sure that each other’s needs are taken care of. I love him today as I did 25 years go; I’m still in love with David. Love really does cover a multitude of faults and staying in love is the most important thing.
Are you and David still planning a cooking show?
We’ve been shopping it, but we had a couple of other offers. It’s kind of in the middle of a couple of other offers. We got an offer for a reality show now and also we’re about shoot a sitcom pilot. So it’s still in the making. We actually shot ten episodes. We’re just trying to get the right placement and the right deal.
“Take Me To The King” is having such great success.
Kirk Franklin wrote it and produced it for me and it was so exciting for me to be in the studio with him again, because it had been over 12 years since we had done something together. We had such a good time. I just thank God for him and for God giving him that song.
Did you expect this response to the song?
I’m just happy that people got hold to it and I’m thankful for the support of the people. I just can’t thank them enough. I’m in awe. I really don’t look at it (the charts). David will come to me and say ‘you did this’ and I’ll just right off the top, thank the Lord. I’m not trying to take any credit, because I don’t want to get beside myself. I want Him to know that He’s getting all the glory. I want to be in a place where He can elevate me and not elevate myself. That’s kind of where I am and I just thank God that He’s breathing on it. That’s just my prayer and that we can reach as many people as we can. I’m trying to reach as many as I can reach for Him before he comes.
Catch Tamela Mann and the McDonald’s Inspirational Gospel Tour in one of these cities:
May 9 – Washington, D.C., Ebenezer AME Church
May 10 – Philadelphia, Sharon Baptist Church
May 11 – Newark, McDonald’s Gospelfest – Prudential Center
June 6 – Birmingham, Bill Harris Arena
June 7 – Atlanta, Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church
June 21 – Detroit, Second Ebenezer Baptist Church
June 22 – Chicago, Chicago Gospel Music Festival
July 3 – Louisville, Full Gospel Baptist Conference
August 30 – Dallas, MegaFest