Passion, Success, Family: A Candid Conversation With Shamari DeVoe
Shamari DeVoe is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and reality star. Most notably known as the lead singer in the iconic, certified platinum, pop, and R&B group, BLAQUE. Her natural talents expand into film. Her most iconic moments include, but are not limited to, Bring It and Honey. DeVoe has worked alongside stars such as Gabrielle Union, Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Alba, Martin Lawrence, and many more. Her natural talents in entertainment were developed throughout her childhood and continue to bring her blessings and opportunities in the craft she loves. After moving from her hometown of Detroit, Michigan to Decatur, Georgia at the age of five years old DeVoe began singing in several singing groups. Since Atlanta is known for producing some of the biggest and brightest stars and DeVoe was no exception. She was eventually discovered by famed American rapper, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who went on to form the profound group BLAQUE with DeVoe, Brandi Williams, and Natina Reed in 1997. After Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes formed the group in 1997 they were signed that same year by Tommy Mottola under what is now Columbia Records. The group went on to release their first studio album in 1999 under the mentorship of Left Eye.
BLAQUE continued releasing music and lent their vocals to the blockbuster hit movie Big Momma’s House on the song ‘You Can Always Go’. During the peak of their success, DeVoe appeared on Pamela Anderson’s hit show VIP in 1999 and appeared on Disney’s ‘2 Hours Tour’ series in 2000, alongside her bandmates. In 2001 DeVoe was released from her album contract and the iconic group split in 2008. However, this didn’t stop DeVoe from pursuing her dreams in music, putting her talents on full display.
DeVoe caught the eye of award-winning New Edition group member Ronnie DeVoe. The pair went on to marry in 2006. The couple has overcome fertility roadblocks that almost led to divorce and welcomed their twin boys, Ronald and Roman in 2017. DeVoe and her husband currently live in Atlanta, Georgia where they raise their two boys and manage their many business ventures together.
DeVoe was eventually tapped by the internationally syndicated television network Bravo to star in an ensemble cast on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. DeVoe’s celebrity as a member of BLAQUE had her on Bravos’s radar. From 2018 to 2019 DeVoe starred in season 11 with NeNe Leakes, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams, and Eva Marcille. DeVoe also went on to appear on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens: Live with Kandi Burruss.
The popular reality show allowed us to get a deeper glimpse into DeVoe’s personal life. She and her husband created the largest walkathon that centers on healthy lifelong marriage, Marriage 4 Life. On average 300 couples walk two miles to reaffirm their love for each other. DeVoe is passionate about sharing her difficulties with conception and fertility in hopes to help other women experience similar roadblocks.
Entertainment is DeVoe’s forever passion. She is back on our TV screens with her new show Encore which premiered on June 9th on BET. DeVoe consistently creates opportunities for herself. We can look forward to the highly-anticipated 2021 tour with new music with surviving bandmate, Brandi Williams, that fans have been hungry for. She also records music with her husband, Ronnie under the moniker ‘Me and Mari’.
Hustle and Soul Magazine got an exclusive interview with Shamari DeVoe.
Tammy Reese: What was it about the entertainment industry that intrigued you to pursue your career?
Shamari DeVoe: I’ve been singing since I was 3 years old and performing since I was 13 years old. I used to sing Whitney Houston songs and perform them for my family. I would sing in talent shows and at school assemblies. Music has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember so it was only right for me to make a career out of it.
Tammy Reese: Your new show “Encore” premiered on BET this year. How has the experience been so far and what can new viewers expect?
Shamari DeVoe: The experience has been great! People are starting to reconnect with me as a singer. I love that it’s given me a platform to share my gift and lead to more opportunities.
Tammy Reese: What are some memorable moments in your career so far that have brought you the most joy?
Shamari DeVoe: My most memorable moment was being on our very first major tour with NSYNC back in 1999. This was before our first single 808 even came out so nobody knew who we were, yet we were opening up for such a major group at the time. I was able to experience the love from the audience. They showed us almost as much love as they showed *NSYNC. They didn’t see color, they just saw good music that was fun, exciting, and creative; and at that moment, I realized how much I was able to touch millions of people just by using the gift God gave me. That was a very profound moment for me. I was excited that I chose a career that allowed me to touch and inspire.
Tammy Reese: As a member of certified platinum recording group BLAQUE, who were some artists in the industry that you looked up to or still look up to today?
Shamari DeVoe: 90s music and girl groups, in particular, inspired me. I would see En Vogue, TLC, and Xscape and want to be just like them.
Tammy Reese: You were discovered by “Lisa Left Eye” Lopes, what was it like working with her?
Shamari DeVoe: It was amazing to be mentored by such a creative and talented woman. She taught me how to be myself and to make a statement. She taught me I can do anything, and to not let others place their limiting beliefs on me. She taught me how to use my power.
Tammy Reese: How do you balance family and career life?
Shamari DeVoe: I am a superwoman but even a superwoman needs help. I have a great support system which consists of my husband, family, and friends. I have a village that helps me and supports me so that I am able to have a career and practice self-care which is extremely important.
Tammy Reese: Speaking of family, we would love to know the love story of how you and Icon Music Artist Ronnie DeVoe met?
Shamari DeVoe: We met on March 10, 2001, in Los Angeles at an after-party for the Janet Jackson Icon Awards. He grabbed my hand in the club that night, we exchanged numbers, and the rest is history. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Tammy Reese: Please tell us about Marriage 4 Life and the impact that has been made?
Shamari DeVoe: Our 5th annual Married 4 Life Walk is coming up next year in April 2022. We draw hundreds of married, engaged, and seriously dating couples, where they come together and walk 2 miles in the name of love.
We help couples realize their love bond. We have events that focus on love while encouraging and empowering couples to fight and overcome obstacles and challenges in their marriage. We fight to keep families together.
Tammy Reese: What other projects or endeavors are you currently working on or involved in?
Shamari DeVoe: I’m working on my solo project finally and touring with Blaque. Also, my husband and I are both licensed realtors so we work together in the real estate industry.
Tammy Reese: What would you like your legacy to look like?
Shamari DeVoe: I believe in love and family. Loving my husband and my children with commitment and enthusiasm is a legacy like no other.
Tammy Reese: What advice would you have for Black women who aspire to enter the entertainment industry?
Shamari DeVoe: Remember that limiting beliefs are the reason you are lacking the results you want. Limited beliefs guarantee limited results. In order to believe that you will be successful, you have to let go of the lies you tell yourself about yourself. So start telling yourself positive things the moment you start to think something negative. Transform your thoughts and believe you can and you will.
Keep up-to-date with Shamari DeVoe by connecting on Instagram @shamaridevoe