Yolanda Adams (born Yolanda Yvette Adams on August 27, 1961 is an American Grammy- and Dove-award winning Gospel music singer and radio show host. As of September 2009, she had sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 in the United States, according to SoundScan. On December 11, 2009 Billboard Magazine named her the #1 Gospel Artist of the last decade. In the same chart, her album “Mountain High…Valley Low” was acknowledged as the best gospel album.
The oldest of six siblings, Adams was raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Sterling High School in Houston in 1979. After graduating from Texas Southern University, she began a career as a schoolteacher and part-time model in Houston, Texas. Eventually she gave up teaching to perform full-time as a lead singer. (continued below)
Adams first attracted the attention of Thomas Whitfield and Sound of Gospel Records as a lead singer with Houston’s Southeast Inspirational Choir affiliated with the Church of God in Christ, under the direction of Carl Preacher, Brenda Waters, and Shirley Joiner. The choir released the single in 1982 “For My Liberty” with Adams as the featured vocalist.