It was an absolute pleasure to sit down and chat with Ann Nesby and Timothy Lee about marriage, parenting, working together, music and health. Ann Nesby is a grammy-award winner and former lead singer of the hit group Sounds of Blackness, and Tim works closely with her in the business as her manager. Ann and Tim just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and have a blended family of ten children. They just welcomed grandchild number eighteen into the family (give or take because neither of them were 100% certain what number they’re on LOL). Their children range in age from 28 to 40 years old.
Ann Nesby’s new album debuted over the summer and I can honestly say: if you don’t have it, go out and get it! It’s an incredible album from start to finish with a great message about relationships, self-love and of course, faith.
BMWK: In the entertainment industry, we see so many couples who don’t last long. What would you guys say are your top 2-3 tips that you can share with couples on what it takes to make a (happy) marriage last?
Ann: We celebrated our 20 year anniversary on August 6th, but we’ve been together and working together for 28 years. First and foremost is our faith in God; trusting and acknowledging Him every day.
Tim: You have to have a level of respect for each other and try your best to separate business from personal. That’s the juggling act, trying to separate it.
Ann: You have to be able to respect each others’ expertise and trust what they do and what they bring to the table. You have to learn not to overstep your boundaries for what they do.
Tim: You have to trust each other as well. She trusts me to handle the business, and of course I include her on every decision that we make. Something I told Ann years ago when we first started is that I would get in front of a Mack truck for her.
BMWK: So you got her back.
Tim: I got her back and she has my back.
BMWK: What tips you can share for other parents who are trying to make it work in life and business?
Ann: We taught our children to be true to themselves and to be honest with themselves first. We made sure they knew they were loved and we kept a very open relationship with our children so that they would feel comfortable enough to talk to us about everything. Generally, it was at the dinner table that we got the most information. I know in today’s society a lot of time we miss that time with family at the dinner table because of the fast pace. We were really blessed to be able to keep as much of that time as we could especially with our busy careers. I think that was a very important key in our family as a whole.
Tim: And we were always honest with our kids. If we made a mistake as a parent, we were always honest enough to tell them.
Ann: We were always open enough to apologize and I think they appreciated that. I tried to go beyond “Because I said so”. I tried to reason with them. By the time you get finished reasoning with them, they wished they had never asked you why. [Laughs]