Oleta Adams

Being the daughter of a minister, it's no surprise that Oleta Adams' roots are in gospel, as she often performed in her father's church. But her formal introduction to the masses began rather unexpectedly. While performing in a Kansas City hotel, Oleta Adams was discovered by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears, and she was invited to participate in the recording of the British band's follow-up to the immensely popular 1985 album Songs From the Big Chair. When Tears for Fears unleashed the long-awaited The Seeds of Love in 1989, listeners were taken aback by the soulful female voice that was prominently featured on the album. Her vocal contributions to The Seeds of Love helped it generate generally positive reviews. In 1990, Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal and Seeds of Love producer Dave Bascombe produced Oleta Adams' debut release, Circle of One. One of the album's standout tracks was a stunningly performed rendition of "Get Here," written and originally performed by Brenda Russell. Whereas Russell's version was a bit on the cutesy side, Adams virtually reinvented the song as an aching, gospel-tinged ballad. "Get Here" soared into the Top Ten, and the single's success helped Circle of One achieve gold status.