by Kim Jones
Atlantic recording artist Yolanda Adams was among the winners at the recent NAACP Image Awards ceremonies in Los Angeles. The acclaimed singer received the 'Outstanding Gospel Artist - Traditional or Contemporary' trophy for her 2005 album, Day by Day, marking the sixth time she has been honored with an Image Award.
Since her 1988 debut, Yolanda has been wowing audiences worldwide. "I'm not one of those singers who wants to expand my audience at the expense of the people who already know my music," she says. "I need to be in a place where my message can be heard by everyone. I understand my purpose. I understand what I was put here for. I take that on every day of my life."
She was an elementary teacher in Texas when she first began gaining recognition for her talent. "I taught second and third grades. I would go on the road during the weekends to sing," she recalls. Her spirit and optimism soon became her trademark. Her solid church background and love of all kinds of music, which she says: "was inspired by family- everything from Stevie Wonder to Beethoven," left her with a respect for traditional music with a desire for a more contemporary interpretation. "Too many times we're put in a box by musical labels," she says.
Yolanda embraces the social responsibility that comes with the blessings of success. She's served as a spokesperson for the FILA Corporation's Operation Rebound program, which address the concerns of inner-city school children. She recalls her days as a teacher fondly, and tries to instill in her listeners the need for positive reinforcement, no matter from what walk of life. "It's been my experience that of whatever you ask of them, you must look to the best in them. The transformation can be astounding."
Yolanda Adams Discography
- Day by Day - 2005
- Christmas with Yolanda Adams - 2005
- Believe - 2001
- The Experience - 2001
- Christmas With Yolanda Adams - 2000
- Mountain High … Valley Low - 1999
- Songs From the Heart - 1998
- Live in Washington - 1996
- More Than A Melody - 1995
- Save the World - 1993
- Through the Storm - 1991
- Just as I Am - 1988
Did you know?
- Yolanda is the oldest of six children.
- She was the lead singer of the Southeast Inspirational Choir
- Her 1995 release "More Than A Melody" won her a Soul Train Lady Of Soul award
- On May 17th 2001, the Mayor of Atlanta, GA proclaimed it to be "Yolanda Adams" day.
- Her song "Fragile Heart" was written after her dear friend and road manager passed away, as something of a "recovery song".
- "Already Alright" was inspired by a friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was miraculously cured.
For more about Yolanda Adams, including samples of her music, visit her web site.
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