JOYFEST – VA ARTISTS
- The Mann Family
Ingeniously funny and extraordinarily talented are understatements when it comes to the multi-faceted careers of powerhouse business and life partners David and Tamela Mann. Audiences have come to know and love them through Kirk Franklin and the Family and Tyler Perry theatricals, television productions, and films. The duo is known for bringing good old fashion family values, laughter and music to whatever they do.
With a love story spanning more than 30 years, David and Tamela are just as, if not more than, happily in love as they were in the early days of their relationship. In their new book, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage and Family, the superstar couple who has delighted and inspired audiences through music, plays, movies, and the television series’ Meet the Browns, The Manns, and Mann & Wife, candidly share a wonderfully inspiring, funny, and up-close look at their lives while offering hope and practical advice for building a strong relationship, marriage and family.
The twosome is transparent regarding what they’ve learned about intimacy, communication, forgiveness, finances, and faith. The memoir also reveals the surprising details of how the pair first met, married, and started a family, the challenges of managing the fame that comes with success, and the growing pains of working with their adult children in the family business.
David and Tamela first met as teens when they attended an after-school chorus class. Tamela heard David, and his friends Kirk Franklin and Darrell Blair (now pastor of the couple) sing; in those days, the boys were known as the “Humble Hearts.” Tamela went on to a different high school, but impressed them with her voice. She and David became best friends, then married, and eventually began singing with Franklin and the large ensemble he created, The Family.
The Manns branched out into acting when they joined forces with critically acclaimed playwright, Tyler Perry, whose numerous plays included the stage hit I Can Do Bad All by Myself where David remarkably immortalized the intrusively nosey, wisecracking, ashy-kneed, and outrageously funny neighbor, "Mr. Brown” and Tamela introduced “Cora,” the loving and churchgoing “but woe to those who cross me” daughter of the beloved Deacon Leroy Brown and the iconic Madea Simmons. As was apropos, David and Tamela’s bravo performances led the way for “Mr. Brown” and “Cora” to become stars in the big screen and TBS Network hit, Meet The Browns. The TV comedy aired for four seasons and became a top-rated show for the network. This film and television success became the launching pad for their thriving acting careers in film and television.
While Tamela’s acting career blossomed, she stepped back into the music spotlight with consecutive No. 1 album releases. Her accolades as a Billboard No. 1 artist, songwriter and producer include wins for a Grammy® (and performance on the show!), BET Award, Billboard Music Award, and NAACP Image® Awards, Gospel Music Stellar Awards, and GMA Dove Awards. Tamela also holds records as the first Gospel lead artist in Billboard Gospel airplay chart history to score three consecutive No. 1’s from an album and for the most No. 1’s in the history of Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart.
As an actor, comedian, director, and producer David Mann impresses with an NAACP Image Award win for Outstanding Actor in A Comedy Series (Meet The Browns, “Mr. Brown”) and the Grady Nutt Humor Award. David’s theatrical talents continue to brilliantly epitomize ingenuity at its best. He’s helmed two successful TV properties as executive producer, producer, director and star. The native of the "Bible belt" state of Texas masterfully showcases his God given talents in today's most dynamic and distinguished genre and along with Tamela, heads up their independent music and media company, Tillymann Entertainment.
This fall, David and Tamela will co-star in the TV One holiday movie, MERRY WISH-MASS, and for the first time, they are releasing a new love songs album of solos and duets fittingly titled Us Against the World. When Tamela and David are not on set or on stage touring the country playing to sold-out crowds, they enjoy the company of their fun-loving blended family of five grown children and ten grandchildren.
- Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Vision. Humility. Grace. Tasha Cobbs Leonard, a Grammy and Billboard Award winning artist, is a businesswoman who wears many hats. As a Gospel Recording Artist, she has spent the last decade traveling the world sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the masses. Singing since the young age of four, Tasha grew up in her father’s church, crafting her musical skills and honing her gift in the small town of Jesup, Georgia where everybody knows your name. Relocating to Atlanta, she released the hit song, Break Every Chain, to an unexpected and overwhelming positive response from millions of people with whom the song resonated. Subsequently, she released the projects Grace and Heart, Passion, Pursuit, the latter of which debuted as the most streamed Gospel album in history. Songs from her albums have been featured on television shows including Dancing With the Stars, The Four on Fox, and her performance on Good Morning America.
As a mentor, Tasha created iLead, a global ministry that allows her to connect with over 2,000 worship leaders and pastors via monthly calls to share tips and give sound advice that faith leaders may use in their respective ministries around the world. From the iLead calls, Tasha established The iLead Escape, a conference developed to bring together the spiritual and mental components of leading in a fun, stress-‐free environment that allows for growth amongst a community of leaders who are often called upon to give to others, rarely finding time to receive care for themselves.
As an entrepreneur, Tasha crafts and promotes her own tours, always being intentional in sharing her platform with other gospel artists. She creates her merchandise, including inspirational t-‐shirts, coffee mugs, book bags and more. Most recently, she launched an eyewear brand, Fritz by Tasha Cobbs Leonard, as a tribute to her late father, Bishop Fritz Cobbs, whose life motto was “Love Everybody”. Her hope with the eyewear line is that people will choose to see others out of the lens of love. Tasha is the author of Worship 101: Back To Basics and the new release, Thoughts From Tasha’s Couch.
As a humanitarian, Tasha is a vocal Mental Health advocate, being highlighted in Essence Magazine for using her platform to dismantle the stigma of mental health challenges in Black and Faith communities. Last year, she made an impact on Haiti’s needs after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the country by planning a fundraising concert featuring all of her gospel artist friends. The concert raised thousands of dollars, non-‐perishable goods, and medical supplies for Project Medishare, a vetted non-‐profit organization with offices in Miami and Haiti. She also partnered with Global Citizen, performing with Common at their annual fundraising and awareness concert to help in a $1 Billion campaign to eradicate poverty in developing nations around the world.
Married to producer Kenneth Leonard, Tasha continues to serve her gifts to the world with vision, humility, and much grace.
- Travis Greene
Growing up with a mother who was a minister and choir director, Travis Greene says that gospel music “was like oxygen in our house, always part of my life,” and no artist inspired him and strengthened his passion for God more than 12-time Grammy winning legend Kirk Franklin. Now an inspirational trailblazer in his own right, Greene’s masterful fusion of music and ministry these past few years prompted Franklin to anoint him as one of the artists who are the “future of gospel music.” Continuing on his global mission to “bring the cool back to the worship experience, and get people, especially the unchurched, excited,” the two time Grammy nominee debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart with his latest album Crossover: Live From Music City. Its lead single “You Waited” hit #1 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart.
- Jonathan McReynolds
What was born in his dorm room in the presence of a few friends has graduated to Christian music’s biggest stage picking up fans like Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, Kirk Franklin, Cece Winans, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Tori Kelly along the way. And Jonathan, now 29, did it with an incredible voice and a beautifully honest approach to songwriting.
His latest full-length album Make Room debuted #1 on Billboard Gospel and garnered a historic 1.3 million streams in the first week. It has already been hailed as his best work, the best album of 2018, and an instant Grammy favorite. "Not Lucky, I'm Loved", from this album, gave Jonathan his first #1 song on Billboard in September 2018. His second album Life Music: Stage Two features another superstar fan in India.Arie and remained #1 on the Billboard Gospel chart for 4 weeks. It then went on to grab a Grammy nomination, multiple Stellar nominations and a Dove Award win. He brought on yet another popular talent, Tweet, on his latest EP “Sessions.” This unannounced, surprise release reached the top of the iTunes Christian chart in one night.
- Koryn Hawthorne
From her beginnings singing at her family’s church in Louisiana, to competing on NBC’s The Voice, to having a number one Grammy nominated gospel single, Koryn Hawthorne appears unstoppable. Not surprisingly, Unstoppable is the title of her first full-length album, released July 13, 2018, on RCA Inspiration.
Singing professionally is all the twenty-something-year-old has ever wanted to do. Koryn’s fearless sonic versatility is on full display on Unstoppable. Expressing her relentless pursuit of God’s plan in her life, Koryn shares, “I feel like God gave me a specific purpose and so no matter what, nobody is going to stop me from doing that. I’m going to fulfill the purpose He has for my life. With God being unstoppable, that makes me unstoppable.”
- Kymberli JoyeKymberli Joye is a Worship Leader and Recording Artist from Windsor, CT. She brings an air of soulful vulnerability and fiery passion that’s only a testament to the power of God in her life. Kymberli is most recognized for her time on Season 15 of NBC’s “The Voice” where she was a semifinalist and wowed the world with her rendition of “Break Every Chain”. She’s also served a background vocalist for several years, most notably for gospel artist JJ Hairston and rapper Childish Gambino. Kymberli Joye’s mission is to inspire, uplift and empower those who hear her voice to break down their walls and freely worship God.
- Mr. Talkbox
You have probably heard of Orlando-born two-time Dove Award winner and Grammy nominee Byron “Mr. Talkbox” Chambers through his recent Masterful “Talkbox” work with artists such as TobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Nathan East, Marvin Sapp and Erica Campbell (Of Mary Mary). As a cowriter and featured artist on TobyMac’s “DiverseCity” Byron quickly became well known as “Mr. Talkbox” to Christian music fans around the world!
Prior to his recent popularity, Byron’s musical career began in his father’s Gospel group at the age of five. Growing up in a musical household, Byron was introduced to various genres of music. He listened to everything from Gospel to Jazz. However, there was one particular sound that caught his heart: The Talkbox. He heard it used by platinum selling R&B Funk Master artist, Roger Troutman and he immediately wanted to play it in the Gospel arena.
Little did Byron know, God would open many doors in various genres of music. Byron performed and toured with great Gospel artists like Jonathan Butler and The Mighty Clouds of Joy, just to name a few. In 1999, he was offered a position as keyboardist to tour with mega-pop band, *NSYNC and his career catapulted. After a one-year run with them Byron decided to leave N’SYNC to return to his Gospel roots.
In 2004 he recorded his first full Talkbox album “My Testimony”. It would go on to sell in over 17 different countries and gain a number 1 single on the Japan Christian/Gospel charts. In 2006, while doing a show at the Orlando House of Blues Gospel Brunch with his family’s group, multiplatinum artist TobyMac saw Byron perform live on the Talkbox and quickly approached him to record on his up and coming DiverseCity album. The rest is history. In 2009, Byron made it official and joined Toby Mac’s DiverseCity band.
After five years of touring with The DiverseCity band, Mr. Talkbox took a step of faith and resigned to launched into his solo career full-time. A year after his big decision, Byron landed the opportunity of opening for CCM platinum artist “Matthew West” on the Spring and Fall legs of his “Live Forever Tour” featuring Colton Dixon (Spring 2015) and Francesca Battistelli (Fall 2015). Needless to say, 2015 has been a very successful year for Mr. Talkbox with no signs of slowing down.
Outside of touring, Mr. Talkbox has gained mass notoriety in the social media world through his hit Pic Play Post videos of chart-topping covers and some of his original material. Collectively receiving over 6 million views via Facebook, Mr. Talkbox has created a buzz amongst several genres.
Mr. Talkbox is featured on TobyMac’s new single called “Feel It.” Feel it reached #1 for 7 weeks on the Hot AC Christian Billboard charts! It has held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Airplay Radio Charts for two consecutive weeks.
- Egypt Speaks
Egypt Speaks is a Spoken Word Artist from Cleveland, Ohio. After releasing her first full-length album Stories independently in 2014, Egypt has toured the country and beyond sharing her stories through the art of poetry. At age 16 Egypt received the rank of 1st in the State of Ohio and 2nd in the nation in the category of spoken word according the National Fine Arts Association. Later in the same year she placed 3rd in a worldwide competitions for poets and performers of all ages. At 17 , she released her first book of essays and poetry called Stories that received overwhelmingly positive reviews and was featured on JesusWired.com’s “What You Should Be Reading” in 2016.
In 2017 she embarked on her fourth cross-country, headlining tour spanning 25 states. She rounded off the year on a high note after being named Teen Christian Radio’s Female Artist of the Year. In 2018 she was requested to join in on Van’s Warped Tour’s final stop in her hometown of Cleveland. In 2018 she released her latest album “Cathedrals” featuring artists such as ToddeFunk from TobyMac and DiverseCity and many more. The success of the project also propelled Egypt into NewReleaseToday’s Top 20 CCM Artist chart.
Egypt is a dynamic poet, emcee, speaker, and author who has also had the honor of sharing the stage with artists such as Phil Keaggy, Salvador, Social Club Misfits, Andy Mineo, 7eventh Time Down, Gawvii, Tedashii, Switchfoot, and Kari Jobe.
Jimmy Davis2019-06-20T15:39:16+00:00June 20th, 2019|
Jimmy Davis2019-06-20T14:19:38+00:00June 20th, 2019|