Thirteen -- years, in this case -- proved to be a lucky number for Tamar Braxton.
The R&B singer, reality TV star and younger sister of singer Toni Braxton released her first solo album, in "Tamar," in 2000, which landed with a thud. But last fall's "Love and War" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top R&B Albums chart and snared three Grammy Award nominations, effectively providing a delayed start to a solo career she first eyeballed in 1991, after leaving her other older sisters in the Braxtons vocal group.
"Y'know, ti's not even really about anyone else other than my own accomplishments for myself -- that's what really motivates me and makes me go even harder," explains Braxton, 37, a five-octave singer who also released the holiday album "Winters Loverland" last year. "I had to make a decision almost three years ago. It was very hard to stop background singing, not even just for Toni but for everyone else. I decided that this is what I wanted to do and I cannot keep singing background for everyone else and concentrate on my own craft.
"So I jsut tell myself, 'I can do it, I can do it.' It makes me want to do even more, and work really hard."
Braxton is no slacker, that's for sure. In addition to the music, she's also part of three TV shows -- the reality series "Braxton Family Values" with her sisters and "Tamar & Vince," the latter about her family life with music executive Vince Herbert and their son, Logan, and the talk show "The Real."
But job one, she insists, is being a mother to Logan, who's nearing his first birthday.
"Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me," Braxton says. "It kind of puts everything in perspective. there's time to work and time to be a wife and time to be a mother, and that's what comes first to me. If Logan is sick, if he needs anything, I stop everything and tend to him and make sure he's taken care of before anything else gets handled.
"That doesn't mean all the other stuff isn't important; it's just not MORE important than he is."
Tamar Braxton performs Tuesday, June 3, at the Garden Theater at Midtown, 3929 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of show. Call 313-832-0888 or visit www.gardentheaterdetroit.com.
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