Oleta Adams was born in 1962 in Seattle, Washington. She's the youngest in a family with two sisters and two brothers. As the daughter of a preacher, Adams life was engulfed in gospel music as she sang at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church.
Before gaining her opportunity to perform, Adams faced a great deal of hardship. In the early 1970s, she moved to Los Angeles, California. In California, Adams recorded a demo tape but faced the hard reality that many music executives had been consumed by the disco movement. With the advice of her singing coach, Lee Farrell, Adams moved to Kansas City where she did a variety of local gigs.
One such local gig in a Kansas City hotel got Oleta Adams her chance in 1985 when she was discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of the English pop band, Tears for Fears. The band asked if she would help them record their next album, The Seeds of Love.
When the group's second album was released, Adams vocals impressed critics and helped the album receive favorable reviews. The album had a single, 'Woman In Chains' which was a duet between Adams and Orzabal that did reasonably well.
With the help of Orzabal, Adams launched her solo career in 1990 with the album Circle Of One (she actually had released her first album, Going On Record in 1983, but due to being self-financed, the album was seen by few). The album faired well and drew a good amount of success with its single 'Get Here.' The track was a cover of the song performed by Brenda Russell, but was tinged with a more gospel feel to it. The album did very well with the aforementioned track, 'Get Here' reaching #5 on the Hot 100 and the singles 'Rhythm Of Life' and 'Circle of One' reaching #9 and #27 on the R&B charts respectively.
Oleta Adams' sophomore effort, Evolution, in 1993 moved towards adult contemporary. The album was crippled by weak material and slowed Adams career.
In 1995, she released Movin On, which moved back towards R&B. This album was followed up by Come Walk With Me in 1997 which moved Oleta Adams to her gospel roots. However, 2001 saw Adams return to R&B with her album All the Love.
Most recently, Oleta Adams released a Christmas album in 2006 titled Christmas Time With Oleta. She plans on releasing two more albums in 2008.