Tamar Estine Braxton-Herbert (/ˈteɪˌmɑːr/; born March 17, 1977), is an American singer and television personality. Braxton had her first big break in music in 1990 as a founding member of the American R&B singing group The Braxtons, formed with her sisters. The Braxtons released their debut album, So Many Ways, as a trio in 1996.
In 2000, Braxton began her solo career, after signing with DreamWorks Records. She released her debut self-titled album that same year. The album was not commercially successful, leading to Braxton being dropped from the label's roster.
In 2011, Braxton reunited with her sisters for the WE tv reality show Braxton Family Values. The first season was the #1 rated reality show on WE tv, and the network ordered a 13-episode second season of the show after the third episode.
Braxton returned to the music industry after a thirteen-year break, with her second album, Love and War (2013). The album was released through Epic Records and became a commercial success.
Currently, Braxton is one of the hosts of The Real talk show for the Fox Broadcasting Company, along with Tamera Mowry, Jeannie Mai, Adrienne Bailon and Loni Love, which premiered on July 15, 2013.
Life and Career
1977–99: Early life and career beginnings
Tamar Estine Braxton was born in Severn, Maryland on March 17, 1977 to Michael and Evelyn Braxton. The youngest of the Braxtons' six children, Tamar started singing as a toddler. Evelyn, an amateur opera singer, recognized her children's talents when one day, Tamar sang "Somebody give me some toilet paper!" and her sisters all joined in harmony. The Braxton children also would eventually enter in their church choir, where their father Michael Braxton was a pastor.
Toni, Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar Braxton signed their first record deal with Arista Records in 1989. In 1990, they released their first single, "Good Life". "Good Life" was unsuccessful only peaking at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. At the time of the single's release, the members' age differences created a problem with marketing. Subsequently, The Braxtons were dropped from Arista Records.
In 1991, during a showcase with L.A. Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who were in the process of forming LaFace Records, Toni Braxton, minus her four sisters, was chosen and signed as the label's first female solo artist. At the time, the remaining members were told that LaFace was not looking for another girl group since it had just signed TLC. After Toni's departure from the group, the remaining Braxtons members became backup singers for Toni's first tour, music videos, and promotional appearances. Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar were featured in the music video for Toni Braxton's third single, "Seven Whole Days", from her self-titled debut album.
In 1993, LaFace Records A&R Vice President, Bryant Reid, signed The Braxtons to LaFace. However, the group never released an album or single for the label. When Reid moved on to work for Atlantic Records, he convinced executives at LaFace to allow him take the group to Atlantic also. It was reported in Vibe magazine that in 1995, Traci Braxton had left the group to pursue a career as a youth counselor. However, it was not confirmed until a 2011 promotional appearance on The Mo'Nique Show, that Traci was not allowed to sign with Atlantic because of her pregnancy at the time.
In 1996, Tamar, Trina, and Towanda returned with a new album entitled So Many Ways, which peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. At the time of its release, Reid told Billboard Magazine, "I had a vision for them then that was about young sophistication with sex appeal." The trio also performed a remixed version of "So Many Ways" with rapper Jay-Z on September 9, 1996 at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. So Many Ways went on to peak at No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 32 on the UK Singles Chart. Braxton and her fellow The Braxtons members served as the opening act for Toni Braxton on the European Leg of her Secrets Tour in 1997. The Braxtons decided to part ways as a group after lead singer Tamar Braxton left to pursue a solo career with DreamWorks Records in 1998.
2000–02: Ridiculous and Tamar
Later, Tamar would meet up with Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. She recorded her solo debut album, Ridiculous, so-named for the many different musical styles on the album. The album spawned two buzz singles ("Let Him Go" and "Just Cuz") in hopes of garnering attention from the public eye; however, when the songs failed to gain impact on urban radio outlets, the album was pushed back and cancelled. That same year, Tamar was featured on Sole's, "4 The Love of You." Instead of shelving the album, Dreamworks Records abandoned 3 old tracks, added new ones, and renamed it Tamar. The lead single "Get None" was produced by Jermaine "J.D." Dupri and also featured rap verses from him as well as former Jay-Z protégée Amil. The song also included uncredited background vocals and songwriting by Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Mýa. As soon as the song began to pick up airplay, Tamar announced the album would be released in early 2000, alongside a second single, "If You Don't Wanna Love Me". The album featured production from Missy Elliott, Tim & Bob, and Tricky Stewart, but still peaked at number 127 on the Billboard 200. When the album's second single failed to gain significant radio airplay, her label dropped her from their roster.
In 2001, Tamar's previously unreleased song "Try Me" appeared on the soundtrack album for the film Kingdom Come. Tamar also began to work alongside her sister Toni Braxton in a number of songs and music video cameos, including the video for "He Wasn't Man Enough." She performed co-wrote and background vocals on songs for Toni's albums, The Heat (2000), Snowflakes (2001), More than a Woman (2002), Libra (2005) and Pulse (2010). When her sister launched her Las Vegas revue Toni Braxton: Revealed, Tamar again sang backup until she was replaced by singer Sparkle.
2003–08: Label troubles and marriage
By 2004, Tamar was signed to Tommy Mottola's reactivated Casablanca Records and began work on her second album. A "Grindin'"-influenced single, "I'm Leaving," was released with a guest appearance from Bump J. alongside promotional remixes featuring Sheek Louch, Styles P. and Ali Vegas. Tamar would release another single that same year; however, Casablanca's shifting business landscape interfered with the process of completing Tamar's album. She later left the label without a commercial release to show for her work.
In 2008, Braxton married Vincent Herbert. The couple had been dating since 2003. Wedding photos of the couple emerged via several magazines and made their way via the television debut of Braxton Family Values.
2010–13: Love and War
In 2010, Braxton signed to Universal Records, where she released a single "The Heart In Me" in July of that year which was included on the Adidas 2: The Music compilation. Her momentum with Universal would not rise to a satisfactory level to launch a second album.
In January 2010, WE tv confirmed that it had signed Braxton and her mother and sisters for a reality series, Braxton Family Values. The show debuted April 12, 2011. On December 15, 2011, it was confirmed that Braxton and her husband Vincent would star in their own reality series centered on her solo career and their married life. In November 2011, Braxton performed "Love Overboard" at the 2011 Soul Train Awards for Lifetime Achievement recipient Gladys Knight.
In September 2012, news broke that Braxton had inked a fresh recording contract with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records founded by Vincent. Later that month, her television show Tamar & Vince premiered on WE tv. The first season features multiple scenes of Tamar recording her second album.
Tamar also guest starred along with her sister Trina on TV Land's new sitcom The Soul Man starring Cedric The Entertainer. Tamar was the featured model for the "Front Row Couture" collection during the "ELLE/Style360" NYC Fashion Week event. Tamar was co-host on Tameka Cottle's late night talk show Tiny Tonight on VH1. Basketball Wives star Tami Roman became a co-host after Braxton. Later Braxton hosted, The Culturelist, a show on BET's sister channel Centric. Former Destiny's Child member LeToya Luckett became the host after her.
Braxton announced she was pregnant with her first child on March 13, 2013, during an interview on Good Morning America promoting the new season of Braxton Family Values. She gave birth to a son, Logan Vincent Herbert, on June 6, 2013.
In March 2013, it was revealed that Braxton had signed to Epic Records ahead of the release of her second album, Love and War. The album's lead single, the title track, was released on December 6, 2012. Although the single reached number one on the US iTunes chart, it peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Braxton released "The One" as the second single from Love and War on May 7, 2013; it peaked at number 34 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The third single, "All The Way Home," was released August 21, 2013; it peaked at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 37 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was followed by the release of Love and War on September 3, 2013. The album was a commercial success in the United States, selling 114,000 copies in its opening week, and debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Outside the US, it debuted at number 34 on the UK R&B Albums Chart.
The second season of Tamar & Vince premiered on September 5, 2013. The second season is centered on the preparation and birth of the couple's baby, and her launch of Love and War. Braxton's special Listen Up: Tamar Braxton premiered on Centric in September 2013.
Braxton's first Christmas album, Winter Loversland, was released on November 11, 2013; it debuted at number 43 on the Billboard 200 with 8,000 copies sold in its first week. In December 2013, Braxton received three nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards; Best Urban Contemporary Album for Love and War, and Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for its title track.
2014–present: Calling All Lovers and television career
On February 25, 2014, the remix of Robin Thicke's single "For the Rest of My Life" which features Braxton, was released as a digital single. Season 3 of Tamar & Vince will be premiering in October 2014, and it consists of 10 episodes just like the previous seasons. On October 6, Braxton's new single "Let Me Know" featuring rapper Future peaked at #2 on the Billboard Trending 140 chart, less than an hour after its premiere on Braxton's official SoundCloud account and eventually reached #1 by 12:00 AM October 7. Billboard.com gave the song 4 out of 5 stars in its review of "The Best and Worst Singles of the Week" for the second week of October. In the same time, Braxton, and sisters Toni and Trina guest starred on their sister Traci's music video "Last Call".
On May 27, 2015, the single "If I Don't Have You" was released. The song peaked at number 6 on the US Adult R&B Songs chart. Braxton's new album, Calling All Lovers, is set to be released October 2, 2015. On September 2, 2015, Braxton was revealed as one of the celebrities who will compete on the 21st season of Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with reigning champion, Valentin Chmerkovskiy. On November 11, Braxton revealed that she would have to withdraw from the competition due to health problems. Braxton and Chmerkovskiy finished in fifth place overall. The single "Catfish" was released on September 10, 2015 along with the album Calling All Lovers available for pre-order on iTunes. On September 18, 2015, the single "Angels & Demons" was released. In October 2015, the group The Braxtons including Toni, Tamar, Traci, Trina and Townada, will be releasing a new material titled Braxton Family Christmas as five members. The album was released on October 30 and pre-order on October 16th. Braxton Family Christmas debuted at number 27 on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, number 10 on the US R&B Chart and number 12 on US Top Holiday Albums on November 21, 2015. The album charted at number 4 on the US Heatseekers Albums on December 12, 2015.
On December 7, 2015, Braxton received one Grammy nomination for "If I Don't Have You" at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards; Best R&B Performance from her latest album titled Calling All Lovers.
Braxton possesses a four octave coloratura soprano vocal range. She lists Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Kim Burrell, and her eldest sister, Toni Braxton, as some of her influences, Mariah being her biggest influence.
Braxton is the youngest of her siblings including her sisters Toni, Traci, Towanda, and Trina, as well as her only brother Michael Jr.
In 2001, Braxton was married to her first husband, music producer Darrell "Delite" Allamby. Allamby was a songwriter and producer who worked with his frequent songwriting partner Lincoln "Link" Browder, as well as Silk, Busta Rhymes and Gerald Levert. The two met while Allamby worked on her 2000 debut on the album tracks "Money Can't Buy Me Love" and "Once Again". The couple divorced in 2003 after two years of marriage.
In 2003, Tamar began dating Vincent Herbert, a record executive whom she met through her sister. The couple married on November 27, 2008. On March 13, 2013, on Good Morning America, she announced they were expecting their first child. Braxton gave birth to a baby boy named Logan Vincent Herbert on June 6, 2013.
On an episode of The Real, Braxton revealed that she suffered from vitiligo.
On November 10, 2015, Braxton discovered that she had several pulmonary embolisms in her lungs. The illness forced her to withdraw from Dancing with the Stars.
Braxton launched a ready-to-wear clothing and shoe line, Tamar Collection, in November 2014.