Now all these years later, she is going to bat for Christian artists that may be criticized for breaking outside the box of praise music, and exploring other themes and genres.
“There’s so many varieties of what we have to bring that I don’t think it’s fair for one person to say, ‘OK, I want everybody in gospel music to do nothing but praise music,’” said the 5-time GRAMMY® Award-winner in a recent interview with Fox 26 Houston.
She uploaded a snippet of the May sit-down chat with news anchor Jonathan Martin on Instagram Tuesday, June 6, re-awakening the discussion of whether or not Christ-following musicians should place limitations on the subject matter and sound they explore in their art.
Adams has a clear and definite position.
“You have almost 8 billion people in the world. Everybody in the world does not need praise music right now,” said the 55-year-old author, entrepreneur and radio personality, who was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame this year.
The worldwide appeal of the “Open My Heart” singer, whose 12 gospel albums have been infused
with hip-hop, R&B and jazz, has received widespread praise for her versatility and musical collaborations with the biggest names in both gospel and mainstream.
Most recently, Disco icon Gloria Gaynor, who is releasing her new gospel album Testimony later this year, tapped the incredibly gifted Adams as one of her song collaborators.
Last year, Adams used her talent to tribute iconic R&B singer Toni Braxton with a much-praised rendition of “Un-break My Heart” at the BMI R&B & Hip Hop Awards.
Anyone who knows Adams well isn’t surprised by her liberal viewpoint. After all, the Houston, TX native was raised in a household where she and her siblings were exposed to various genres.
“When I think about our house when we were growing up, we had all types of music which we listened to,” she told Chicago Tribune in her earlier years of music-making. “I think that was because my mother was a music major. We listened to jazz, pop, all types of music.”
Both of Adams’ parents were churchgoers. Her mother was a pianist. Her father was a choir singer who passed away when she was 13. Though she lost her dad early on, he advised her not to be boxed or one-dimensional in any capacity.
“My dad always said, ‘Be able to do more than one thing in life,” Adams recounted at this year’s Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, hosted by AT&T in May, where she acted as a judge.
His advice leaned less toward the spiritual and more toward the practical, however. “If you’re able to do more than one thing successfully in life,” her father said, “you’ll always have streams of income.”