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Dining, music, motherhood and TV: Tamar Braxton gets real

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After years of standing in her sister’s shadow, Tamar Braxton has finally claimed the spotlight for herself thanks to her hit CD, Love and War, and three successful television shows (“Braxton Family Values,” “Tamar & Vince” and “The Real”). However, it wasn’t until Braxton was nominated for three Grammys at the 2014 Grammy Awards that the rising R&B diva felt like she was finally making a name for herself and no longer being seen as just “Toni Braxton’s sister.”

“It is what it is,” Braxton stated during a recent phone call. “When I received three Grammy nominations, though, for work I did on my own—work that I did for me and no one else—I think that really solidified me as an artist.”

Bringing her solo tour to the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay on June 20, Braxton returns to a city she’s become all too familiar with since her sister Toni headlined her own show at Flamingo Las Vegas.

“I’m so excited,” Braxton told Examiner. “The show is a lot of fun. There’s just so much energy. People are dancing and having a great time, and when I sing ‘Prettiest Girl,’ they’re singing the entire song. That really surprised me.”

Considering Braxton sang backup at some of her sister’s shows, it was only natural to ask the R&B beauty what some of her favorite Vegas restaurants were.

“I love Mastro’s [Ocean Club] and Andrea’s,” Braxton said. “I also love Prime Steakhouse and Fix at Bellagio. The seafood tower at Prime was the best I’ve ever had; it’s amazing. So are the chicken lollipops and fried mac & cheese at Fix.”

Despite her svelte figure, Braxton admitted that she loves “anything carb-related” and has a bit of a sweet tooth.

“I’m a Southern girl,” she stated. “I try to watch what I eat but it’s hard. Whenever I go out to eat I splurge. You’re under enough pressure during the day at work—when you’re going out with some friends at night, just eat and have fun.”

As someone who eats out “all the time,” one may wonder if Braxton’s recent success gets in the way of her enjoying a nice meal out with friends and family. Braxton said that her fans are never a pet peeve, though, although waiters who disappear and don’t come back for a while are.

While that’s something everyone can relate to, Braxton is getting accustomed to having all eyes on her with two reality television shows documenting her every move. When asked if she ever expected to be a TV star, Braxton humbly replied, “No, not at all,” although she said she’s always been a huge fan of television.

“I’m a big fan of reality shows, in particular,” Braxton noted. “‘Big Brother’ is my favorite show. I look forward to that every summer. I’ve also always loved talk shows. I remember watching ‘Donahue’ and ‘Oprah’ and ‘Sally Jessy Raphael’ with my mom. I always wanted to host a talk show of my own, so when the opportunity came, I took it.”

Braxton is currently preparing for the nationwide launch of her syndicated, one-hour daily talk show, “The Real,” which is set to premiere nationwide on Fox television stations this fall as well as in a second window on BET. Of course, fans of the popular singer/TV personality can’t wait for the new seasons of her hit WE tv reality shows “Tamar & Vince” and “Braxton Family Values” to debut as well.

“A lot came out this past season on ‘Braxton Family Values,’” Braxton stated, “and fans will soon find out why everyone acted the way they did.” (The series returns this August.)

Braxton assured fans that, despite the fact she recently became a mother, nothing will really be off limits for either show.

“We all live very open lives,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve played this role (of mother), and it will be interesting to see how everything works out. Logan (Braxton’s son) is actually on the road with me right now! But that’s what viewers love about us—we’re just so honest. Nothing is scripted, although sometimes I wish things were. We’re all just human. We deal with real sisterhood and women issues, and I think people see a reflection of themselves or someone they know in at least one of us.”

In addition to shooting the upcoming seasons of both reality shows, Braxton’s been busy working on her forthcoming album.

“I’m very excited about the music,” she said. “It’s very mature and fun. It’s definitely an extension of Love and War.”

When asked if she considers herself more of a lover or a fighter, the “Love and War” singer said she thinks she’s definitely more of a spitfire.

“I’m the type of girl who says how she feels, then will hug and kiss you,” she said. “So I’m a spitfire who creates love.”

As for whether or not Braxton would ever consider following in her sister’s footsteps and doing a Las Vegas residency of her own, she admitted that it is something she has thought of—“down the line.”

“I only have one hit record out now, though,” she laughed. “But it’s definitely a life-long dream of mine. That’s something that signifies when you’ve become a real superstar. I mean, Toni sold out almost every night—that was just amazing to watch.”

For now, fans can catch Braxton performing in Las Vegas when she brings her Love and War Tour to the House of Blues. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the concert starting at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $23.50-$35.50, plus taxes and fees. For more information or to purchase your tickets, click here.

For more on Tamar Braxton, visit her official website.

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