Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One, and the impassioned hit single “Get Here,” Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart through songs that draw deeply from her roots in Gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of Soul, R&B and Popular music. Her success, nurtured by worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, has been solidified by four Grammy Award nominations and a seemingly bottomless well of creative energy.
The youngest of five, Oleta Adams spent her formative years in Yakima, Washington where she first demonstrated her budding vocal gifts in the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where her father served as minister. By the time Oleta Adams was eleven, she had established herself as a piano prodigy and was directing and accompanying four choirs. She credits her further musical development in junior high school to Lee Farrell, “the brilliant Julliard-trained teacher and voice coach who changed my life.”
After graduating from high school Oleta Adams spent a summer in Europe before heading to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. One demo tape and $5,000 later, she discovered that her Gospel-flavored voice was not “in.” And so, with the help of Coach Lee Farrell she wound up in Kansas City, where she played piano bars, hotel lounges and showrooms.
Oleta Adams quickly became a local institution in Kansas City. Celebrities from every musical genre caught her act, including Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Air Supply, Gino Vanelli, Yes and Billy Joel. Finally, serendipity came in the form of the British band Tears for Fears, whose frontmen Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith asked her to appear on their 1989 The Seeds of Love album, video and European tour. Proving that good things come to those who wait, Oleta signed a record deal for her first solo album upon her return to the U.S.
With eight albums, worldwide acclaim and over two-and a-half million records sold, Oleta’s musical odyssey continues – spiritually and creatively. For this consummate artist- composer-producer-musician, many goals remain on the horizon.