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Vixen Chat: Tamar Braxton on Receiving Soul Train Award Nominations, New Motherhood, and 'Love and War'

tamar braxton

Tamar Braxton knew she would share the limelight eventually, but she never thought that putting her feelings into her hit song, "Love and War" would win people over. The love ballad has now earned her five Soul Train Award nominations and huge support from friends and fans. Vixen caught up with the songtress about her newfound success, mommyhood and if there's a new catchphrase in the making? —Kandice Lawson

How do you feel about being nominated for five Soul Train Awards?
I feel numb to it. I just can't believe it, this has been an amazing year and I never expected it. I feel honored and humbled and appreciative all at the same time, I really am at a loss for words still and its been a couple weeks for me to process it and I still don't even know what to say that just means that people are paying attention and they love my music and they appreciate my music and honest to God you can't really ask for anything more than that.

Did you think 'Love and War' would take off the way it did?
No, I had no idea. I thought that I was in my feelings by myself until when Makeba Riddick, Lashawn Daniels and I wrote the song and they're also married too and I just thought it was something that we were all going through at the same time and then when it came out, come to find out everybody feels that way in they're relationship. My momma and daddy didn't sit me down and explain to me in relationships it's going to be ups and downs, it's not a walk in the park, some days it's fine and some days you wanna kill yourself and nobody told me that, so I had to go through that and come to find out everybody has the same issue.

What is your favorite  song on the album?
You really gonna make me choose? I can't. I really can't. I really made sure I love every single song on this album because I never thought I would have this opportunity again and I promise I looked at it as my last supper. I wanted it to be an amazing meal, every song could be a single because I love it and I can't choose because I don't want to sound full of myself but I love my record! All of it. And it was perfectly done, I recorded a lot of songs, I wanted to make sure I got caught up in the record and I did.

What did you do to prepare for the album?
Honest to God what happened to me was Tamar and Vince. We were going through so much in our relationship at the time and unfortunately it was documented but fortunately it was documented becuase had it not been for that show I would have never written "Love and War" I would have never felt that way because Vince and I never went through the things we went through. Our relationship changed, our lives changed, we never argued as much, we never bumped heads as much because Vince and I are best friends and we always got along and hung out and had a ball together and then all of a sudden it didn't seem so fun no more. That whole season kinda set up this whole album, had we not gone through all the difficulties in our relationship I wouldn't have been inspired to sing and write from the passion I was feeling.

How do you feel about the success of the album and the single? How did your husband and family react? Was everyone happy?
Everybody is absolutely elated. My mother was just having a conversation with me the other day and was like I remember that this was a conversation you would have everyday, every single day since you were little and its a true story. I used to line up nail polish and perfume bottles and act like they were my background singers and my choir. I've had so many disappointments in my life that for it to happen so fast and people to understand and get it so fast, I'm just really appreciative, I don't take one day, one second, one radio airplay, one fan for granted because five years ago nobody gave a damn about Tamar Braxton or how good she could sing or what she had to offer to this music.

Is there a collaboration coming soon with you and the rest of your sisters? You and Toni?
I would love to but honestly my sisters are wayyyyyy too famous for me, they don't have time for me, they are booked [laughs]. I swear I tried, they're like "I can't!" But who knows, I really want to do that but everybody's schedule is all over the place.

What is the next video you plan on releasing?
I'm working on something now, and its hot! But I can't tell you.

Tamar

Who would you like to collaborate with soon?
I would love to work with Ne-Yo. I think he's amazing. 2 Chainz. I love 2 Chainz, I'm a real big ratchet music lover actually!

What artist do you feel is most like you?
I think Drake is most like me, I think he's really passionate about his music, he's really melodic, he seems to be very adamant about the things he wants and he's not willing to settle for anything or anyone else, and I think I might be the female version of that.

What are looking forward to the most at the Soul Train Awards?
Performing. I've always wanted to perform on an awards show and this is like my first time and I'm so excited. I can't wait to perform in front of my peers, all my Tamartian friends, just celebrating that moment.

Who are you looking forward to seeing perform?
Is 2 Chainz performing?! If so we have a problem [laughs].  Honestly just thinking about it, all the ladies, hopefully its ladies night. Sometimes its important to get up there and show everybody what we got. I love Chrisette Michelle, I can sit and watch her all day long.

Are you touring soon?
Yes! I'm opening up for John Legend and I'm so excited, we're rehearsing for it now, he's such an amazing guy. Before my album even came out, before he knew I was gonna sell one album he was like "I want Tamar Braxton to open up for me," and it was a great feeling.

What can Tamartians be expecting from you next?
Well, I just finished my Christmas album, its great! It's such a romantic type of album, it's called "Winter Loversland" and it's amazing and its about being in love and having fun and having all those great feelings you wanna have when it's Christmas time which is my favorite holiday!

Tamar will perform at the Soul Train along with Jennifer Hudson, Chrisette Michele, Joss Stone and many more. Be sure to tune into the Soul Train Music Awards on Dec. 1 at 8pm ET/PT on Centric and BET. For more info, head to BET.com.

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Premiere: Inayah Lamis Busts The Windows Out Of Toxic Love In Visuals For "Best Thing"

Breakups are never easy but let Inayah Lamis heal your heart with her cheeky video for "Best Thing." Inspired by true events, the Houston native sings about bitter feelings about love gone astray.

The emotional ballad is simple in production thanks to the presence of an acoustic guitar, allowing Lamis to show off her vocal chops. Reminiscent of 2000s R&B gems like "I Wished You Loved Me" by Tynisha Keli and recent classics like Tink's "Treat Me Like Somebody," Lamis finds the right words that almost anyone can relate to.

"The track “Best Thing” was birthed from a realtime heartbreak," she tells VIBE. "I went into the lab and wrote it while I was ending a relationship that had a strong hold over me. I literally cried in the booth as I was singing it. My hopes are that every woman or man that has been emotionally broken and taken for granted by a lover will feel comfort in knowing that leaving was the best thing they ever did for themselves."

Thanks to her around the way aura, the video plays off her personality with the presence of "Smakie Lamis" taking Lamis out of her sad girl feels over her deceitful partner, allowing her to hop in the whip and bust out some car windows–even if it's not her beau's car. Directed by Michelle Parker, the video also plays up Lamis' Houston swag as she rides around town in a candy green whip.

The budding singer knows how important her songwriting plays a role in her relationship with fans. Lamis previously shared a bit of her writing style with Refinery29, while opening up about the importance of body positivity.

"Anytime something impacts my life, I write it down and make a song out of it," she said. In her previous visuals for "Suga Daddy," the singer turned up the sexy for a good reason. "I've displayed my confidence as a chunky girl in this video. So many people have things to say about curvy, bigger girls. I feel like we're in a space now where we're able to finally have a voice and be free, and still be sexy. Particularly with the wardrobe, I wanted to show some skin, to show those curves, those back rolls, those fat little pockets I got underneath my chin and shit. I wanted to make sure I displayed that and rocked the hell out of it, confidently."

Lamis is gearing up to release her debut EP S.O.L.A.R. (Storytelling Over Lyrics and Rhymes) on Dec. 13. The singer hopes to share more stories her fans will appreciate and the masses will adore. Her come-up is a digital grassroots movement thanks to her remake of Ella Mai's "Boo'd Up" in 2018 leading to her debut studio single  "N.A.S.," an acronym for "Ni**as ain't S**t."

 

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BEST THING CHALLENGE 🔥 -Stream/Download my new song BEST THING -DM me your videos -No instruments -No music -Just you & your voice -#Bestthingchallenge

A post shared by Aʅʅ I Nҽҽԃ Iʂ Oɳҽ Mιƈ... 🎤 (@inayah_lamis) on Nov 18, 2019 at 12:05am PST

Taking things up a notch, Lamis announced the #BestThingChallenge to welcome fellow sangers to show off their vocals.

Before diving into the challenge, enjoy the visuals for "Best Thing" below.

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Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

"I’ve never seen them do anything but I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with," Whitney's brother Gary stated in the documentary.

But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors

Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.

 

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My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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