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You know them as father and daughter on the TBS sitcom, “Meet The Browns,” one of the highest-rated shows on TBS. In real life, David and Tamela Mann are husband and wife of 24 years.

Talk about togetherness! The two are on set all day as Deacon Leroy Brown and his no-nonsense daughter, Cora Simmons. Art has not exactly imitated life, but Tamela and David are devout Christians just like they play on the show.

The two met in their native Ft. Worth, Texas. Eventually, they would both become part of Kirk Franklin and the Family, which sold millions of records and claimed several accolades as the nation’s preeminent gospel group. The two became best friends and once attended beauty school together.

After achieving success in the Family, Tamela and David came to the attention of another superstar who would lead them on a different path. Tyler Perry cast both David and Tamela in a series of his gospel plays, and their careers flourished from there. Now they are part of the hit sitcom Perry produces, one of TBS’ most successful shows ever.

The couple has four grown children and raised David’s niece as well. But while success did come to the couple eventually, in the beginning things weren’t so easy. They can both recount hilarious stories of poverty, including the potatoes they subsisted on while Tamela was pregnant with their first child, or the time they had to rig makeshift windshield wipers when they got caught in the rain with broken ones. Fortunately, those hard times are over, but they don’t take their success for granted.

“These are stories we tell because they humble David and myself and remind us of who we are and where we come from,” Tamela says. “They make me grateful for the blessings that have followed and for the life I have now because we know the hard work and faithfulness it took to get here. I sometimes drive by the old neighborhood just to remind myself of the journey.”

The next step in the Mann’s journey is Tamela’s new gospel recording, “The Master Plan.” It’s a journey that began for Tamela in childhood as she sought to escape her challenging life at home. She was the youngest of 14 children born to a mother with a third-grade education who worked sporadically much of her life. At 16, Tamela left home to escape her abusive stepfather, who once had the kids “dumpster diving” for food.

Tamela’s vocal talent was evident even as a teenager, and her songwriting skills grew into fruition later down the line. She got the inspiration for her CD while on a plane.

“It was kind of a shock to me the way it happened,” Tamela says. “In the past, either the music or words came first, but not both at the same time. I hadn’t planned on recording a new album yet, but when I told David and my manager the inspiration was poppin’, they hooked me up with Myron [Butler] and Terrell [Carter] and things started taking shape.”

Though many people know Tamela best for her role on “Meet the Browns” and in several Tyler Perry plays, she’s recorded both a studio and live solo album and was the featured vocalist on two Grammy-nominated Kirk Franklin and the Family songs. The two-time Stellar Award nominee also sang “Father Can You Hear Me” and “Take It To Jesus” on the “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” soundtrack.

Tamela’s CD, “The Master Plan,” is in stores and available for download now.

“My recordings are a way of thanking God for the gift of music,” Tamela shares. “I like …..

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