Yolanda Adams Biography

27 August 1961, Houston, Texas, USA. One of the biggest stars of contemporary gospel music, Adams began her recording career in 1987. She had previously worked as a fashion model and a teacher before joining the Southeast Inspirational Choir as a soloist. She toured and recorded widely with the choir from the age of 13 onwards. During this time her talent was recognized by Thomas Whitfield, who offered her the opportunity to record a solo album. Just As I Am duly followed in 1987, attracting widespread critical praise and strong sales. Subsequent recognition included three Dove Awards for 1992’s Through The Storm and three Stellar awards for the following year’s Save The World, both released by Tribute Records. Spending 61 weeks in the Billboard gospel chart, the latter included a contemporary Christian standard in ‘The Battle Is The Lord’s’. The R&B-orientated More Than A Melody (1995) featured another strong single in ‘Gotta Have Love’, as well as a song written specially for her by Bebe Winans, ‘What About The Children?’. Adams’ stunning 1996 concert set ably captured the intensity of her live performances.

Following another strong collection, 1998’s Songs From The Heart, Adams signed to Elektra Records in an attempt to consolidate her crossover appeal. The attendant Mountain High... Valley Low (1999) received glowing reviews and won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel album. Her Christmas album was less essential, but was followed by 2001’s career-defining live set, The Experience, which earned the artist a second Grammy. The same year’s studio album Believe suffered from a surfeit of formulaic R&B arrangements which only served to cloak the majestic power of Adams’ vocals.

A lengthy hiatus from the studio followed as Adams concentrated on raising her new bab, Taylor Ayanna. She switched labels to Atlantic Records for her strong comeback album, Day By Day (2005), which spawned two Grammy Awards for the tracks ‘Be Blessed’ and ‘Victory’. Another change of label saw her debuting for Columbia Records in 2007 with the seasonal collection What A Wonderful Time.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.