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© Copyright 2013-2014 Empowering Everyday Women Ministries
By Ayanna Parker:: EEW Magazine Ministry News

What do gospel artists Tamela Mann and Cash Money rapper Drake have in common? Apparently,
they both built their careers from the ground up.

In an
Ebony Magazine interview, the “Take Me To The King” singer quoted his hit rap tune “Started
From The Bottom” with a laugh when describing her meteoric rise from poverty to success in
music, movies, and theater.  

Likely, this is where the similarities between the two begin and end.

As Mann  shared her passionate desire to sing for the Lord, she added, “I just always want to be an
encouragement and give hope to the people [so they can see] that someone like me that was less
fortunate, broke, disgusted –all that—how’s it go? ‘Started from the bottom now I’m here,” she
chuckled, imitating Drake, real name Aubrey Graham.

After laughing off the Hip Hop reference, the actress known as Cora in Tyler Perry’s movies and
plays, said, “That’s really a true statement for me,” proceeding to get personal about her past.

“The bottom was I’m the youngest of 14. I’m the only one that graduated high school. We were very
poor. We didn’t have a car, so every musical or whatever I went to I was always thumbing a ride.”

But according to Mann, by the grace of God, she was surrounded by people who helped her along
the way—something for which she remains grateful.

“A lot of people in my church sheltered me, took care of me and just filled the needs that she (my
mother) couldn’t fulfill and I’m just really grateful to be in this place.”

Happy and all, the powerful soprano who got her start singing with “Kirk Franklin and the Family”
knows it could have turned out much differently for her.

“A lot of my brothers and sisters are addicts and they chose to go a different route rather than
serving God,” she told Ebony.  

“Wherever I get to stand before the people and sing, I don’t think of it boastfully, I think, I could
have been out there on the streets, but God saw fit to give me opportunity to take my gift and let my
gift make room for me.”

RELATED: Watch Tamela Mann Rock the BET Awards
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JULY 12, 2013
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Started From The Bottom: Tamela Mann Quotes Cash
Money Rapper Drake In Ebony Interview