For Grammy-winning gospel star — and Madea’s onscreen daughter — Tamela Mann, the title of her new album, Overcomer, out currently, is a correct-existence testimony.
“My journey the last five several years has been a minor seeking for me,” Mann tells ESSENCE. “I made the decision to go forward and do [double] knee substitution surgery. For 10 several years, I was doing the job in agony. Then the other matter that I dealt with is menopause. That took me for a loop, with my thoughts heading up and down. Also, I made a decision to do the health and fitness and wellness detail with losing some excess weight, striving to just get my physique appropriate. I misplaced 55 lbs .. So it is a get the job done in progress in overcoming these troubles.”
The 55-year-aged singer-actress has also been undertaking the do the job as an artist, utilizing the pandemic lockdown to unlock her abilities as a songwriter, which are newly shown on Overcomer. “When I was conversing to some of the producers, they were like, ‘Mama Mann, what do you want to speak about this time?’” suggests Mann, who applied songwriting as an outlet through the rough time. “I just genuinely threw myself into it, I assume simply because I had so substantially time on my fingers soon after surgical procedures and [during] COVID. I just seriously commenced making the most of myself and feeling free. These tracks arrived from my coronary heart and from my soul.”
You can hear her baring her soul on tracks like “He Did It for Me,” “Healer” and the single “Help Me,” that includes the Fellas. “I begun composing about God staying a healer,” says Mann. “We all will need a contact from the Lord. We all have points that we have to have to prevail over and conquer. We check out to just do every little thing on our individual, but we require to integrate God again in our life to just support give us some steerage.”
From the rock-edged title track to the reggae-fied “Hello God,” which attributes both equally Wyclef Jean and Kirk Franklin, Overcomer also showcases the powerhouse pipes that aided Mann win a Guess Award, an NAACP Impression Award, and many Dove and Stellar Awards.
Though Mann has been pulling far more imaginative pounds as an artist, she has been continuous shedding kilos around about two several years. “Basically, I’ve been overweight my entire existence, and it is just [about] trying to transform the sample of what I’m applied to undertaking,” she states. “I just adjusted the way that I was taking in. I kinda reduce again on my carbs — like, if I did have mashed potatoes, I wouldn’t try out to do a complete good deal of bread … and acquire in additional veggies. And do far better with treats, ’cause I’m a snacker.”
In addition to shifting her feeding on routines, Mann acquired into a new exercising stride. “I commenced walking. I was up to, like, four miles a working day,” she suggests. “I would do the treadmill some days and do the elliptical — points like that — and drinking water aerobics.”
The physical stress of working out paled in comparison to the emotional toll of likely by menopause,” Mann claims. “Some times I could be in a satisfied mood, then all of a unexpected I’m sad, I commence crying. When we were developing up, you’d hear folks say ‘She’s going through the improve,’ but ain’t nobody reveal what the modify was. But it seriously is a massive transform that your physique really goes via, so dealing with that with my family was tricky. It was me trying to recognize me and them making an attempt to comprehend me.”
By her side via it all has been her partner of 33 a long time, actor-comedian David Mann. The two started out singing with Kirk Franklin and the Household in 1990 right before becoming regulars in Tyler Perry’s Madea universe, and they’re nonetheless enjoying father (Mr. Brown) and daughter (Cora) on the Bet+ series Assisted Residing.
The spouses have a mutual understanding about residing that demonstrate-biz life. “We do assist each other in every other’s lane,” suggests Mann, whose partner executive-produced Overcomer with her. “When I’m singing, he’s standing on the aspect or in the entrance singing each and every term with me and pushing me residence. We press every single other dwelling. We share the gentle. We’re not jealous of each and every other obtaining the mild.”
They don’t permit each individual other get much too caught up in the spotlight either. “We set God and our relationship to start with, and everything else falls in position,” states Mann. “I’m not willing to [put] work in excess of my spouse and children. My household signifies everything to me, and I dare not place anything at all else before them.”
When it comes to her career, although, there’s no question exactly where Mann’s heart lies: “To me, the acting section is icing on the cake. Singing is my 1st really like, what I appreciate the most.”