Making a long career longer


Like so many people in the world today, I wear many hats. For many of us either our jobs contain various roles, or some of us just have two or more jobs. Economic concerns have changed our view of work and our next generation will most likely continue this multi-employment trend and more.  Another trend that has become reality is that persons do not stay at the same place of employment for an entire career. If any person can stay at one place of employment more than ten years, they have accomplished an incredible feat. The entertainment industry is no different than other industries. In fact, music and film are much more volatile and it is increasingly difficult to find longevity.  However, there have been several exceptions in music. One of those is our featured artist this week: Tamia Marilyn Hill.

When you think about long careers, Tamia comes to mind because she started her career as a teenager. When I think back to her debut I felt it was one of the best recorded performances by a young artist of any time. The song, “You put a move on my heart” was released December 1995 and charted number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 12. Also, the song was on Quincy Jones’ Q’s Jook Joint album. Trust me; if Quincy Jones thinks you are a good musician, you are a good musician. Following her single were other collaborations with well known artists like Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Barry White, Gladys Knight, Brandy Norwood and Chaka Khan. Then, in 1998 she released her certified gold album “Tamia”.  With the wind at her back this young performer would start a long, successful musical career.

Along the way Tamia has had documented health problems, in 2003 being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which Tamia said is seemingly in remission.  She also experienced some very happy events as she married basketball player Grant Hill in 1999 and together they had two daughters, one in 2002 and the other in 2007.  And so in Tamia’s life and career timeline we see her growing from a teenager into a wife and mother.  Now at age 37 she has just released her fifth album and her musical career continues to move forward. I really listened to her new album “Beautiful Surprise”, and found that the songs were adult-oriented and appropriately displayed Tamia’s growth with music much different than her early albums.

Foremost though, I feel that Tamia made a decision years ago that has really been the catalyst for her career longevity. In 2005, Tamia left Elektra Records and started her own label, Plus One Music Group. This move impressed me because she invested in her career and it paid dividends. Tamia provided a pattern that many future musical artists can and more likely must follow to increase successful career years. Like Tamia, many may be able to make a long musical career longer.

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