By Tara Alexander

Juanita Brooks was a classy lady. Absolutely unpretentious and completely fabulous on stage. The one thing that strikes out to me is that Juanita took the time to tell me about the gift of being a mother. She told me a story about how she was pregnant with her twin daughters and had made it for a very popular  play. I remember sitting backstage as she told me how her Mama helped her balance the music and the children. All I could think is that I hope I could be half a mother that she was.

Being in the music business and pregnant seemed a whole lot easier because of Juanita’s advice. My family came first and no opportunity would hinder that. The stage would be gone one day and all that really would matter is my God and my family. Juanita Brooks was the kind of singer who made you feel like you knew everything about her. She put her heart in that music and you would think…”where does she get that from?”. I learned her secret was really no secret at all. Without hesitating she would tell you that it was God in her.

I already knew Juanita’s brothers (Mark and Detroit) at this time (they are so talented and funny!!!)  but I had not yet met her Mama and her sister, Barbara. Meeting them showed me so much more insight to their family. We all had a gig in Mackninac Island one year. Our families all went. We all sat there one morning at breakfast when Jaunita’s mom took out a pill bottle.  She spoke to us like little children when she said that we have to take our “pill” every morning. In the  pill bottle were scriptures written on  little strips of paper. Each of us took one and had to read it aloud. (I still remember Mark’s  face!!! ) I was so blessed! This was a lifestyle not a performance for them. I was raised the same way but I had never seen another family upclose with that same spiritual conviction. That’s where Juanita learned this. God, family and then everything else.

My daughter is now a beautiful, 17 year old, with wonderful character and a bright future. She is the blessing to my life that Juanita talked about. No amount of money, no gig, no stage, no audience could ever bring me the joy that I feel about being her “Mama”.  I have traveled all over this world and Juanita’s advice still rings true. People see you sing, they love your voice but they really don’t know you as a person. So let me testify that Juanita Brooks was not just a voice but a real, balanced, beautiful, gifted person who showed God’s heart off the stage as well as on the stage. I thank God she passed my way. To learn more about Juanita log on to


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