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Tisha Campbell-Martin Pursues R&B Career at 49: Are You Ever Too Old to Chase Childhood Dreams?

Tisha Campbell-Martin New Song


Tisha Campbell-Martin has thrown caution to the wind and at 49 years old she’s pursuing her dream of being an R&B singer. A few days ago, she dropped her new single “Don’t Wanna Be Alone,” which sounds as youthful and as contemporary as anything Rihanna would release.

Campbell-Martin also shared a sneak peak of the video, which finds her hitting all of the choreographed steps with extreme precision. Plus, her timing blends seamlessly with her backup dancers that could easily be half her age.

While the New Jersey native is obviously far better known for her role as Gina on “Martin” — which is rumored to be returning at some point — she’s actually been singing since the age of three.

In 1993 Campbell-Martin released her self-titled album on Capitol/EMI, which housed the singles “Push” and “Love Me Down.” Then in 2015 she dropped the cut “Steel Here” and the song “Lazy B—” a few months after that.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that some were probably surprised or even taken aback when she returned to music three years ago, considering the R&B space has been dominated by twenty-somethings for decades now.

But others may have found it inspirational that she hasn’t let age or other people’s opinions deter her, and there are other celebs who’ve done the same.

Tamar Braxton is a good example, because at 36 she returned to the music industry with her biggest LP to date in “Love & War.” Her album before that was in 2000 when she was 23. That release charted poorly and only reached the 127 spot on the Billboard 200, yet that didn’t make her give up regardless of getting older.

The same could be said for Jada Pinkett Smith, who at the age of 31 started her metal band Wicked Wisdom.

Despite already achieving massive TV and film success, the mother-of-two said forming a rock group is something she always wanted to do.

“Three and a half years ago, I started to put together what would become Wicked Wisdom,” said Jada in a past interview. “I always wanted to start a band, and I grew up on hard rock and heavy metal. I have a strong love for the music, and it just made sense.”

Jamie Foxx is another person who didn’t let age get in the way of accomplishing a childhood dream when he returned to music at 38.

In 2005, the Oscar winner dropped his album “Unpredictable,” 11 years after he released his first LP “Peep This,” which flopped.

Jim Jones’ mother, Nancy “Mama” Jones, also took on a second career at a later age by becoming a rapper. At 52 she released the song “Pysychotic,” which quickly caught fire on the Internet and seemed completely accepted by the younger generation.

There are also those people who didn’t get widely noticed until much later in life, like Leslie Jones who didn’t achieve major success until the age of 47 on “SNL.” The author Toni Morrison can also be added to that list because she didn’t get her first novel published until she was 40 years old.

Arguably, one of the best stories about not letting age stop you from pursuing your dreams comes from the singer Bettye LaVette, who first achieved success at 16 years old but not again until 2005. 

In fact, she sings about her struggles in the cut “Before the Money Came” and documented what she’s been through. 

“All them faces on the pictures up there, makes me remember when my table was bare / Living at my mama’s house, taken food from my family’s mouth,” she sings.

Surely, not all stories about chasing your dreams end up like Lavette’s, Foxx’s or Campbell-Martin’s, but it’s still important to pursue those lifelong passions or you’ll regret it, whether they happen or not. At least according to researchers.

In a 2011 poll, a group of adults was asked if they regretted not following their childhood dreams, and 42 percent said they did and hated the careers they were in.

But before leaving a job to pursue a dream, it’s important to weigh your options.

“’It isn’t unusual to look back at your childhood dreams and think about what could have been,” said Michael Gentle, who worked on the poll. “This is perfectly normal, but it is important to decide whether this is simply nostalgia or whether you are genuinely unhappy in your current role. If it’s the latter, then it could be time to think about taking stock and moving into a career that is better suited to your interests, skills and ambitions.”

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