Editor’s Note: I am going to start doing some reactions to this as soon as I get to the next couple on the list, and that person will be Adele! It’s about taking this to the next level. I am going to try some video reviews and interviews, and reacting to music videos as well! Big things are coming up for Madness To Creation! What I love about this project is that there are so many genres to explore and it helps myself have an open mind when it comes to the music! In this, I will be exploring the R&B/Gospel genre that Yolanda Adams has created.
After conducting some research on this artist, Yolanda Adams has a nationally syndicated radio morning show that is more of a variety talk show for people of faith. She has also won 5 Grammys in various Gospel categories, four Dove awards(Dove awards are basically like the Grammys but for the Christian/Gospel music genre), and an American Music Award winner for best Contemporary Gospel artist. She became an accomplished gospel singer after her stint as a public school teacher, and she has proceeded to sell almost ten million copies of her albums in her career.
Adams, who was a part-time model and full time school teacher, left both professions to pursue a singing career. Her first single was in 1982, where she sang with a choir for the song “For My Liberty”. She sang in choirs and collaborations for the rest of the decade and in 1990 signed with Tribute Records and that year she released “Through The Storm”, which would peak at No. 8 on the Billboard Gospel Albums charts. The single with Ben Tankard “You Bring Out The Best In Me”, gained Yolanda Adams some notoriety and it’s still popular in the genres of gospel, smooth jazz, and easy listening. Check it out below!
One year later, Yolanda Adams would release another gospel album entitled “Save The World”. The album would peak at No. 6 on the Billboard Gospel Albums charts and it would feature one of Yolanda Adams’ staple songs “The Battle Is The Lord’s”, which has more than 33 million hits on the PeculiarPrayse YouTube channel.
In 1995, Yolanda Adams would begin to succeed mainstream success with the album “More Than A Melody”. O’Landa Draper and Bebe Winans would collaborate with Yolanda Adams on this album, and the album would peak at No. 4 on both the Billboard Gospel and Billboard Contemporary Christian album charts. The album would also have a cover of “Fly Like An Eagle” by Steve Miller Band. The song “Gotta Have Love” would chart in the Top 100 of the Billboard Hot R&B charts as well.
In 1998, Yolanda Adams would release “Songs From The Heart”, and that would be her last album with Verity Records. The album would peak at No. 3 on the Billboard Gospel Album chart, No. 9 on the Contemporary Christian chart, and No. 15 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Yolanda would release the cover of “Only Believe” by Elvis Presley at it would chart on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Adams would also have a poem by Maya Angelou in there and dove into social activism with the track “Still I Rise”, which was a tribute to Rosa Parks.
After Verity Records, Yolanda Adams would sign with Elektra Records and would release her biggest album “Mountain High…Valley Low”. The album would sell over two million copies in the United States and it would peak at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album featured background vocals done by Vanessa Williams and would sample the song “I Wanna Be Where You Are” by Michael Jackson. It would also feature the song “Yeah” which was a duet with gospel duo Mary Mary and the album would win a Grammy for best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.
In 2000, Adams would release a Christmas album and a live album entitled “The Experience”, which would net Adams a 2nd Grammy for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. In 2001, Adams would release “Believe”, which would sell over 500,000 copies in the United States, the single “Never Give Up” would chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and would obtain almost ten million hits on YouTube. A lot of people said to have identified with the song after the attacks of September 11th. Adams would perform this song at The White House for President George W. Bush’s celebration of gospel music event. Adams would also release the compilation CD “The Divas Of Gospel”.
In 2005, Adams would release the album “Day By Day” via Atlantic Records. The album would peak at No. 23 on Billboard 200 and would garner two Grammy Awards for the song “Be Blessed”(for Best Gospel Performance) and for the song “Victory” for (Best Gospel Song in 2006). The album was a concept album for Adams as she wanted her listeners to realize that having faith is a daily journey, not just a Sunday morning thing.
In 2010, Adams would achieve further mainstream success with her radio show, and performing on The Monique Show on BET and participating in the Grammys tribute to Aretha Franklin for the song “Spirit In The Dark”. Other performers for this tribute included Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Florence Welsh of Florence And The Machine, and Martina McBride. In 2011, Adams sang at the Memorial Day concert in Washington D.C. to honor American soldiers. She was invited by President Barack Obama to perform. In 2011, Adams would release her most recent studio album “Becoming” exclusively via Wal-Mart. The album would peak at No. 99 in the Billboard 200. The single “Be Still” would be her last well known single.
Madness To Creation’s take: Her voice is powerful and full of conviction. It takes a lot of courage to leave a steady profession such as being a school teacher and going into music. Yolanda Adams showcases a voice that balances out her powerful chords with her convictions in her faith while the listener can be quiet and contemplative in her voice. She is probably one of the only gospel artists that broke out into the mainstream or was embraced by the mainstream because of this. There’s a reason why she has been invited by two Presidents to perform, as both Bush and Obama have invited her to perform. There’s a reason why Aretha Franklin said that she stood out on that stage in the tribute to Aretha Franklin on the Grammy’s. Her gospel hits have stood the test of time. Madness To Creation rates her a 9 out of 10. It has left a footprint on me in my soul. Thank you Yolanda Adams!