NAME: Yolanda Yvette Adams
DATE OF BIRTH: August 27, 1961
GENRES: Gospel, R&B, Soul
YEARS ACTIVE: 1987–present
OCCUPATION: Singer, Record producer, Actress
Yolanda Adams is an American gospel singer, record producer, actress, and former radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show. As of September 2009, she had sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 in the United States and nearly 8 million albums worldwide according to SoundScan. Variety dubbed Adams as the “Reigning Queen of Urban Gospel”. On December 11, 2009, Billboard named her the No. 1 Gospel Artist of the last decade. In the same chart, her album Mountain High…Valley Low was acknowledged as the best gospel album.
Adams signed a recording contract with Sound of Gospel which yielded her ﬁrst album Just As I Am in 1987. In 1990, she was discovered by producer/keyboardist Ben Tankard, and was signed to his independent label, Tribute Records and released Through The Storm. Tankard featured Yolanda‘s jazzy vocals on his album and concept video single “You Bring Out The Best in Me” on his 1994 release Play Me in Your Key. The collaboration received a positive response from gospel, jazz and “quiet storm” formats.
Her next release was 1995’s More Than a Melody, which featured more production work from Tankard with contributions from O’Landa Draper, and BeBe Winans. The single “Gotta Have Love”, from that album featuring Tony Terry on background vocals, gained mainstream notoriety and was her ﬁrst single and music video. Yolanda… Live in Washington, released the following year, featured versions of material from her ﬁrst three albums. During this time Tribute Records‘ parent company Diadem Music Group merged with Benson Music Group, which was eventually bought by New York-based Zomba/Verity Records. Songs from the Heart was her ﬁnal release for Verity Records, including “Only Believe”, which was a popular song on the contemporary radio.
Adams‘ ﬁrst signiﬁcant attention outside the urban contemporary gospel arena came with the release of Mountain High… Valley Low in 1999 on Elektra Records. The album went 2x Platinum in 2000 and won Adams a Grammy Award. Notable singles from the album include “Yeah”, “Fragile Heart”, and “Open My Heart”.
In 2000, Adams released a Christmas album, and in 2001 she released a live album (The Experience). The Experience netted Adams a second Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. Believe, which included the hit “Never Give Up” was released in 2001 and reached gold status according to the RIAA.
Day By Day
After nearly four years without releasing an album, Adams returned in 2005 with Day By Day. Although charting higher than Mountain High…Valley Low on the Billboard 100 and Billboard R&B Albums chart, it did not receive RIAA certiﬁcation.
Adams signed with Columbia Records in 2007. Columbia released What a Wonderful Time, her second-holiday collection, in October 2007. “Hold On” was released as the lead single.
Morning radio show and book release
After the release of “What a Wonderful Time”, Adams embarked on the radio career with “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show”. The show proved to be a success, taking over 26 radio markets in just two years. Currently, the show is heard on 39 stations.
In 2010, Adams released her book “Points of Power”, based on one of the segments of her radio show Points of Power.
Adams‘ eleventh studio album, Becoming, was released on May 3, 2011, produced by Steve Bracey. The new single, “Be Still”, by Drathoven, debuted on Tuesday, April 19 on the Yolanda Adams Morning show. Becoming was released by Walmart as an exclusive deal. At the BET Awards 2012, Adams won the award for Best Gospel Artist for the 4th time in her career having won the most since the ﬁrst BET Awards in 2001.
In total, Adams has won ﬁve Grammy Awards, sixteen Stellar Gospel Music Awards, four of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, one American Music Award, seven NAACP Image Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and ﬁve BET Awards.
- 1987: Just as I Am
- 1991: Through the Storm
- 1993: Save the World
- 1995: More Than a Melody
- 1996: Yolanda… Live in Washington
- 1998: Songs from the Heart
- 1999: Mountain High… Valley Low Discography
- 2000: Christmas With Yolanda Adams
- 2001: The Experience
- 2001: Believe
- 2005: Day By Day
- 2007: What a Wonderful Time
- 2011: Becoming