Tamela J. Mann (born June 9, 1966) is an American actress and gospel singer, known for her role as Cora in Tyler Perry's plays, including I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Madea's Class Reunion, Meet the Browns, and What's Done in the Dark. Mann began her career as a singer with the gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family. Mann was a featured soloist on several tracks while with Franklin's group, including "Don't Take Your Joy Away", "Now Behold the Lamb", and "Lean on Me", the latter of which also included Mary J. Blige, Crystal Lewis, R. Kelly, and Bono. She released her own album, the Master Plan, in 2009.
Mann has also made appearances in movies such as Kingdom Come and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Mann recorded some songs on the soundtrack for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, including participating in the song "Father (Can You Hear Me)". Mann is the wife of David Mann, who is known for his role as "Deacon Leroy Brown" in several of Perry's plays.
Mann was born Tamela Jean Johnson in Fort Worth, Texas, and is the youngest of 14 children. Mann and her siblings grew up in a very spiritual home which was grounded in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). They were properly reared by their mother whom they called "Mother Eppe." Mother Eppe believed in and exercised solid bible principles. Mother Eppe was a psalmist in her own right. By the age of 12, Mann was singing in the church's adult choir and often selected to sing solos. Although she was bashful, she blossomed in the local church and high school choirs.
Kirk Franklin and the Family
Tamela's musical career began when she joined up with the multi-grammy award winning and double platinum gospel phenomenon Kirk Franklin and the Family. Mann has also enjoyed collaborating and performing with numerous artists such as Yolanda Adams, Mary J. Blige, Al Green, Celine Dion, Bono, R. Kelly and Fred Hammond. She went on to join the gospel musical cast of David E. Talbert as he directed the stage play He Say...She Say...But What Does God Say?
Mann began acting in 1999 when she was discovered by Tyler Perry. She debuted in the stage play I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Mann went on to play in Meet the Browns, Madea's Family Reunion, Madea's Class Reunion, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and What's Done in the Dark. Mann has appeared on television shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, BET Soundstage, 1999 Grammy Awards, Dove Awards, the United States of America World Olympics and Tyler Perry's House of Payne, as well as Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, where she portrays Mr. Brown's (David Mann) daughter. Mann has appeared in movies, including the 2001 comedy Kingdom Come, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Meet The Browns. She also had a role in 2009's Tyler Perry movie Madea Goes to Jail. She is currently filming a new cooking show with her husband David, called "Hanging with the Mann's". Mann appeared in the upcoming 2012 film Sparkle, a remake of 1976 film of the same name, alongside Whitney Houston and American Idol winner and R&B singer Jordin Sparks, who made her film debut. The film was released on August 17, 2012.
Solo Musical Career
In 2005, Mann & her husband David Mann created their own label entitled Tillymann Music Group on which they have released several projects through. In 2005 her solo album titled "Gotta Keep Movin" was released. In 2007 she released her first live album "The Live Experience". Mann's explosive songs "Father Can You hear Me" and "Take It To Jesus" can be heard in the movie and on the soundtrack album of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. In 2009 Mann's second Studio album "The Master Plan" was released and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Gospel Album Chart, as well as peaking at number 97 on the Billboard 200. Mann's third studio album "Best Days" was released on August 14, 2012. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, as well as #14 on the Billboard 200. Tamela Mann won Stellar Award's "Best Female Gospel Artist of the year" in 2014, as well as Best Gospel Artist at the 2014 BET Awards.
Tamela is the wife of actor David Mann, who is known for his role as "Deacon Leroy Brown" in some of Tyler Perry's plays. They have always worked together professionally. David and Tamela have been married for 24 years, they renewed their 25th wedding vows in the spring of 2013.They have four children together: three daughters and one son. In the Madea T.V. shows and movies, she plays as Mr. Brown's daughter, Cora.
Sparkle (2012) as Sarah Waters
Madea's Big Happy Family (film) (2011) as Cora Simmons
Madea Goes to Jail (2009) as Cora Simmons
Meet the Browns (film) (2008) as Cora Simmons
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) as Cora Simmons
Kingdom Come (2001) as Lady #2
Meet the Browns as Cora Simmons (82 Episodes 2008–2011)
Tyler Perry's House of Payne as Cora Simmons (3 Episodes 2007)
Down Home with the Neelys as Tamela Mann (1 Episode 2010)
New York Undercover A Time of Faith" Part 1 & 2 (1996) Part of the church choir with Kirk Franklin and the Family
What's Done in the Dark (2006–2007) as Cora Simmons
Meet the Browns (2004–2005) as Cora Simmons
Madea's Class Reunion (2003) as Cora Simmons
Madea's Family Reunion (2002) as Cora Simmons
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2001) as Myrtle Simmons
I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2000) as Cora Simmons
Stellar AwardsNominations: 2006: gospel album of the year (gotta keep movin')
2008: Female Vocalist of the Year (The Live Experience)
2008: Contemporary Female Artist of The Year (The Live Experience)514
Dove awards nominations Traditional gospel record song of the year-the master plan Traditional gospel album of the year-the master plan: Winner
2013 Traditional Gospel Album of the Year "Best Days": Winner
2013 NAACP image awards Gospel album of the year-the master plan
2013 Grammy Awards Nominations 2013 :Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance - "Take me to the king"
2014 Stellar Awards
Praise and Worship CD of the Year: Winner
Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year: Winner
CD of the Year: Winner
Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year: Winner
CD of the Year Award: Winner
2014 BET Awards
Best Gospel Artist: Winner