As BET’s honorary Lady of Soul for the 2019 Soul Train Awards, Yolanda Adams is slated to sanctify our television screens on Sunday, November 17, when the 32nd annual ceremony airs at 8/7c.
Adams’ continued excellence among gospel’s golden voices dates back to her 1987 debut album, Just As I Am. The project, which peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums, set the tone for her success throughout the years. The Houston-bred singer’s powerful vocals and gifted ear for composition have yielded a discography of communion, faith, devotion and evangelism. Adams’ top-selling and critically-acclaimed albums such as Through The Storm and Mountain High…Valley Low offer soulful testaments of spirituality, with songs like “Open My Heart,” “Still I Rise,” “The Battle Is The Lord’s” and “Never Give Up” serving as soundtracks for houses of worship worldwide.
As Adams continues her devotion to the kingdom of God, her music stands as documentation of both her journey and ours. To further celebrate her distinction as Soul Train’s Lady of Soul, BET handpicked seven tracks of faith and testimony from the gospel legend’s catalog, intended to helm your deepest conversations with God.
A piano-laced cut from Adams’ 1991 collection, The Essential Yolanda Adams, “Take Away” preaches the virtue of complete and absolute faithfulness to the Lord. Adams graciously floats above the organ’s keys before reaching a powerful crescendo at the song’s bridge.
Practice this prayer: when slipping into your worst vices.
Led by a soundbite from a moving sermon delivered by Adams, “The Battle Is The Lord’s” speaks to our inevitable victory in any sort of warfare once we assign God to the infantry. A musical token of the proverb “no weapon formed against me shall prosper,” the track further praises God as the omnipresent commanding chief throughout each trial and tribulation this life may bring us.
Practice this prayer: when sinking beneath the weight of adversity.
Flexing her ability to craft up-tempo hits, Adams’ “Living Proof” identifies our inner-beauty and greatness as evidence of God’s presence. The song is also a standout gem from Adams’ Becoming project, which received one Stellar Music Award, one NAACP Image Award and one Gospel Music Association Dove Award. It also won the vocalist her fourth BET Award.
Practice this prayer: when practicing self-affirmation.
“Still I Rise” is one of the earliest examples of Yolanda Adams’ extraordinary vocal range. This soft, emotional record is fortified by Adams’ powerful mezzo-soprano delivery as she exalts our resilience manifested through the Lord. The song also serves as an honorary nod to American civil rights icon Rosa Parks, and interpolates “And Still I Rise,” an acclaimed work of the late poet-activist Maya Angelou.
Practice this prayer: when your faith is running low.
A track from her 2001 album, Believe, “Never Give Up” affirms God’s divine purpose within us all. With this record, Adams encourages God’s children to prevail against all odds, and to keep a tight grasp on our faith despite any attempts to deter us. To date, Believe is also one of Adams’ best-selling projects with over 700,000 units sold.
Practice this prayer: when you’re ready to quit.
While Adams urges us to trust in the Lord on “Is Your All on the Altar?,” she also notes that we can’t fully rest on God’s blessings until we’ve relinquished full and absolute control unto Him. Adding to her list of early ‘90s hits, this track is aptly included on The Essential Yolanda Adams collection.
Practice this prayer: when you’re fearful of the future.
A love letter to the Lord, “That Name” is a peaceful composition that expounds on God’s unconditional love. On this track from her 1999 project Mountain High...Valley Low, Adams celebrates the boundless blessings and eternal life that is experienced through God’s grace.
Practice this prayer: when practicing praise and worship.
(Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for City of Hope)