|LABEL: Elektra Entertainment|
GENRE: Contemporary Gospel
SPECIAL EFFECT(S): Duet of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" with R&B star Gerald Levert; live performances include her award-winning number one R&B/contemporary gospel crossover hit "Open My Heart."
PRODUCER(S): Sylvia Rhone and Yolanda
With lighter--but no less forceful--footsteps than those of Kirk "Stomp" Franklin, Yolanda Adams is silencing naysayers and winning converts with her own groovy brand of contemporary gospel. The Houston singer's bridging of traditional messages with elements of R&B, hip-hop, pop, and jazz reached a compelling crescendo with her 1999 Grammy-winning Elektra debut Mountain High, Valley Low. Since then, the former school teacher has racked up a host of accolades that bear witness to the growing popularity of her mainstream mission. In fact, this year she edged out Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu to earn her first Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single.
Adams builds on that success with The Experience--her first live project since 1996's acclaimed Yolanda...Live in Washington. She once again returns to the nation's capital for a Constitution Hall performance from which 10 songs are culled. These include such Adams signatures as the moving "What About the Children," a body-shakin' Spanish revamp of "Ye of Little Faith," the Kirk Franklin-esque "Already Alright" and "Yeah," and her number one breakthrough, "Open My Heart." Adding to the uplifting experience is Adams' emotional version of R&B/hip-hop artist R. Kelly's own classic, "I Believe I Can Fly." There's also a studio take on the same tune featuring the inspired teaming of Adams with label mate Gerald Levert whose street-edged soul is the perfect complement to Adams' angelic tones.