Tamar Estine Braxton-Herbert was born March 17, 1977 in Severn, Maryland and is most commonly known as being the dramatic, vibrant, and “tell it like it is” youngest sister of Grammy Award winning singer Toni Braxton. Despite coming out with numerous musical projects during her early career, it was her stand out personality on the hit reality television show Braxton Family Values that helped Tamar rise to fame. Having a large international fan base known as The Tamartians, Tamar is a true ground-breaker full of determination, ambition, and drive. Don’t let the last name, or her famous Husband fool you……this woman worked damn hard to get to where she is today, and you’ll learn about it in Tamar Braxton’s ashy to classy story.
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.
Tamar started out in 1989 as a founding member of the R&B group, The Braxtons, formed with her sisters. After losing two members, The Braxtons released their only album So Many Ways as a trio in 1996 along with four singles: “So Many Ways”, “Only Love”, “The Boss” and “Slow Flow”.
In 1990, they released their first single, “Good Life”. It would be their only single as a fivesome. “Good Life” was not a hit, peaking at No. 79 on theBillboard 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 Antonio “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 in 1991, the remaining Braxtons members became backup singers for Toni’s first U.S. 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 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 record 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 June 1996, Tamar, Trina, and Towanda returned with a new album entitled So Many Ways, which shared the same title as its lead single. Released on August 13, 1996, the album peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It became their first and only LP. Atlantic Records A&R VP, Bryant Reid, served as the album’s executive producer. 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.” So Many Ways included production from Jermaine Dupri and Daryl Simmons along with Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Sean “Sep” Hall. The Braxtons released a music video in order to promote “So Many Ways”. It was directed by Cameron Casey and featured upcoming actor Mekhi Phifer. 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. The single was also used as the opening track for the soundtrack to the comedy film High School High. “So Many Ways” went on to peak at No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1996, No. 22 on the Billboard R&B Charts and number 32 on the UK Singles Chart in January 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. Tamar Braxton is a soprano with a 5 octave vocal range she also has shown the her ability to use the whistle register. Her voice, while sounding nearly similar to her eldest sister Toni Braxton, has also been said to “rise to perfect alto/soprano perfection.” She has been regularly compared to her sister, Toni by having “a similar tone and her soprano reigns supreme.” Many have stated how Tamar’s “high soprano was in sharp contrast to her sister Toni’s husky contralto.”
However, the members continued to sing and act in various other projects. In 2000, Braxton began her solo career, after signing with Dreamworks Records. 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 #127 on theBillboard 200 selling an estimated 100,000 units by year’s end. 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 background vocals on Toni’s next three albums, The Heat (2000), Snowflakes (2001), and More than a Woman (2002). When her sister launched her Las Vegas revue Toni Braxton: Revealed, Tamar again sang backup until she was replaced by singer Sparkle.
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 after her sister Toni set them up. The couple had been dating since 2003. In 2010, she 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 sophomore album.
In 2011, Braxton reunited with her sisters, The Braxtons, 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. On December 15, 2011, it was confirmed that Braxton and her husband Vincent would star in their own reality series centered around her solo career and their married life.
In September 2012, news broke that Tamar had recently 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 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 also posted photos to her personal Instagram. She gave birth to a son, Logan Vincent Herbert, in June 2013. Tamar released the lead single “Love and War” from her upcoming second studio album. The song topped the iTunes charts, reaching number one in the United States. She released her second single from sophomore album on May 7, 2013 called “The One.” The third single, “All The Way Home,” was released August 21, 2013, and was serviced to Urban Radio Stations. Her second studio album Love and Warwas released on September 3, 2013. It was a success, selling about 115,000 copies it’s opening week, and debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, #1 On U.S. R & B, #6 In Canada, and #11 in the United Kingdom.
The second season of Tamar & Vince premiered on September 5, 2013. The second season is centered around 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.
Apart from being a host on the summer’s hit morning talk show The Real, In October 2013, Tamar confirmed via Facebook and online that she was recording a Christmas album. The album, titled, “Winter Loverland” will be released November 11, 2013 by Streamline/Epic Records.
Tamar Braxton is the epitome of “getting her life”. No matter how many doors were shut in her face, no matter how many album flops or label drops she encountered, Tamar did NOT GIVE UP! Tamar puts R&B rival K. Michelle to shame when you look at her track record. Aside from being related to Toni Braxton, it was Tamar’s own hard work and determination that got her to where she is today. It may not have happened at the timing she hoped for, but look at her now!!!!
Tamar’s ashy to classy story is a true inspiration and motivator for those who aspire greatness in their lives. No matter the adveristy thrown your way, DO NOT GIVE UP and please Get Ya Life!!!!