10 Questions for Tamar Braxton
Tamar breaks away from her sisters to star in “Tamar & Vince”
Sassy Tamar Braxton emerged as the breakout star of the “Braxton Family Values” reality series featuring the Braxton sisters, and now she’s the focus of the new reality show “Tamar & Vince” with her husband Vince Herbert on WE tv. Herbert manages Lady Gaga and also guides his wife's career, which leads to drama as the couple juggles their personal and professional relationships in front of the cameras.
Braxton sat down with Loop 21 to discuss her complex relationship with her husband, her struggles to start a family, and her opinions about reality television and the Ochocinco/Evelyn Lozada divorce.
Loop 21: How has starring with your husband Vince Herbert in a reality series affected your marriage?
Tamar Braxton: Starring in a reality show with my husband Vince has brought us closer. There were things that we did not know were issues that were brought to light and it forced us to deal with them. We are now much closer.
Loop 21: What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a manager who is also your husband?
T.B.: The advantages are knowing that he truly loves you and wants the best for you and that you can speak freely and openly and express your true feelings. You don’t have to watch your words as much as you would if your manager was not your husband. The disadvantage is that I have a hard time knowing how to separate our business and our personal romantic relationship. When its date night he doesn’t want to talk business and often I do, so I have to learn when to talk business and when not to. I am very anxious to have a successful music career and I have to learn how to listen and have patience.
Loop 21: Last year, your husband was rushed to the hospital suffering a pulmonary embolism. How did that affect your marriage?
T.B.: So many people don’t know much it affected our marriage. Our relationship changed quite a bit. We were used to travelling to different cities each day and drinking great wine. We don’t do that now because we have to watch his health and watch his blood levels. We are at home much more than before and we are with each other nearly 24 hours a day, which we have to get used to. Before, we would have more time to ourselves. He would go out of the house for meetings. Now he stays home more so we are around each other all the time, which takes getting used to.
Loop 21: Your husband launched Lady Gaga's career and she's become one of the most popular entertainers in the world. How does it affect you knowing she is a superstar while you are still trying to establish your music career?
T.B.: When we met, he was a major producer and he’s been involved with many stars before Lady Gaga, like Destiny’s Child, Dream, Jojo, and Mindless Behaviour. So it’s not an issue. I am around him all the time and I hear the meetings and I hear how much attention she requires for her career. I understand but there are times when I want that attention for myself.
Loop 21: The "Love & Hip-Hop" and "Basketball Wives" reality series have received tremendous ratings. Why do you believe they are so popular?
T.B.: They have elements of entertainment and drama and they are successful but not in a positive way. Our shows are different. In “Braxton Family Values” and “Tamar & Vince” we want to present something positive for people.
Loop 21: There has been strong criticism of reality television. Do you feel some series present a negative image of African American women?
T.B.: Some of the shows present not just African American women but women in general in a negative light. The way our family was raised, we don’t throw drinks and we don’t curse. We have arguments but we know how to act. People who act like that are ratchet and ridiculous.
Loop 21: The reality series “Eve & Ocho” starring Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and Evelyn Lozada was cancelled following a domestic violence charge against him, and their divorce was recently finalized. What can we learn from that show and their relationship?
T.B.: When you act in a certain way the end result is never positive. I feel for Evelyn and also for Ochocinco from the bottom of my heart. But you get out when you put in. On our show we don’t act that way and we are not getting divorced.
Loop 21: You mentioned one reason you are starring in a reality series is to present something positive for the audience to apply to their own lives. How do you hope your viewers will benefit from "Tamar & Vince?"
T.B.: When we got married, no one told us it would not be like when we were dating. No one gave us an outline. I wish they had. The first year was hard. The second year was an overflow from the first year but it gets better each year. People see what we go through in our marriage and hopefully they can learn something to apply to their own relationships. We feel it’s OK for people to see us go through some things and be an example for other to learn from. Even though we are in the entertainment business, we are still a regular couple with a regular relationship, and we face the same problems other couples face. We fight a lot but the bottom line is that we love each other. Couples need to know that communication is what is most important. You have to be able to talk and not be afraid to talk about anything and everything. A lot of couples don’t want to talk about their relationships. Our issue has been communication and we’re working on that. You have to be able to say how you really feel. If you don’t, it will come up later and will always be an issue.
Loop 21: In the series we see your struggles to have a baby. Do you feel other women can learn from your situation about alternative methods to have children?
T.B.: Yes. That is why it was important to talk about methods of having children that a lot of people avoid talking about. I did not know about the [in vitro] process when I was younger and I wish I had. I want to have a family, but because so much is going on in my career, this is not the right time. I felt there was more I wanted to do before having children so I could set an example for my kids. So we decided to wait. Vince and I talk about having a family and having a career and also making time to have children.
Loop 21: Obviously your sister Toni has had a very successful career. You were one of her backup singers but left to pursue your own solo career. Have you ever been jealous of her success?
T.B.: It’s unfortunate that some people feel that I have been jealous of her. I was not raised that way. I am proud of all of her accomplishments. It has not been easy for her to do what she has done and be respected and be a positive influence. I've learned from her. I support everything she does and I will always be there for her whenever she needs me.