This year, BYUtv's Christmas Under the Stars is excited to feature Gladys Knight and Friends in a special holiday concert. One of the guests stars in the concert is Yolanda Adams, and we were lucky enough to sit down with her before the concert. Get an insider look at the concert and hear some of Yolanda's personal Christmas favorites, below:
BYUtv: How do you feel about being in this Christmas special?
Yolanda: Well, I am so excited about this holiday special. I get a chance to sing with some of the most amazing people in the world. Of course, Miss Patti, Mr. Uncle Smokey, and my lovely Gladys. Thank you so much for inviting me, you guys! I'm just like, hey, having fun, sounding, you know, like a kid in a candy store, all that good stuff. But I am so excited!
BYUtv: What do the holidays mean to you?
Yolanda: Man, the holidays are so special. It's family time for us. Especially at the Adams household, we always get together, we're always eating, we're playing games, we're watching football all day long, and, uh, rivalries in the household. I know, I'm sorry, you know, you got the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. I know they never play each other during the holidays, but it's still, you know, that rivalry. Some folks are rooting for the Cowboys, some folks like me are rooting for the Texans. Yay, Texans! And, we get a chance to swap stories and laugh and reminisce. You know, both of our parents are not here anymore, our grandparents are not here anymore, so as brothers and sisters, we just kind of reminisce and laugh about things that we heard them say during the holidays.
BYUtv: When do you start listening to Christmas music?
Yolanda: Now, don't hold me to this, people, but I like to listen to Christmas music year-round. It's not just, you know, get-me-in-the-mood kind of thing. I just love Christmas music simply because it's awesome. It puts a smile on your face, and then it gets you in a spirit heart-wise to give and be gracious and all of that good stuff. So, yeah. Guilty.
BYUtv: What's your favorite Christmas Memory?
Yolanda: Wow, there's so many great Christmas memories of mine. Just having family, all of the family, together. I have siblings who are in New York, East Coast. I have a brother who is in L.A., West Coast, and we're stuck in the middle, centrally, in Houston, Texas, so having us all together with the entire family, all the nieces, nephews, I think that's the most special thing, so I think that, for me, is one of the highlights of my life, as far as Christmas journeys are concerned.
BYUtv: Your favorite Christmas song?
Yolanda: We would be here all night if I had to explain to you what my favorite Christmas song is, but, you know, there are times when "The Christmas Song" is one of my favorites. The Mel Torme Christmas song. Then there are times when, "All I Want for Christmas is You," Ms. Mariah Carey, yeah, you wrote that, ma'am, uh huh. I'm one of those, you know, I don't want to call myself Christmas schizophrenic, but I do like several of the Christmas songs, so I don't want to [say] just one song. I wouldn't want to do that, so… It's just according to how I feel, you know?
BYUtv: Your favorite song in tonight's show?
Yolanda: My favorite song that I sing tonight would definitely have to be "Joy Medley," not just because it's on my Christmas album, but because it brings me joy. They're a combination of three songs that we kind of meld together to make this one great song, and that's my favorite song.
BYUtv: Why are you excited about tonight's performance?
Yolanda: I'm excited to sing on a stage with bona fide historic rock and roll hall of fame men and women who have changed the R&B game, the inspirational game, just the game, period. I am so honored to be amongst folks that I love, I mean absolutely love, and it's not just a performance. It really is a celebration.
BYUtv: How did you become a part of this performance?
Yolanda: I get a chance every now and then to sing with some very special people. Amongst them tonight: Smokey Robinson, who I affectionately call "Uncle Smokey;" Patti LaBelle is one of my dearest friends, and Gladys Knight has to be the most gracious woman in music. I just love her dearly, and to be able to sing with them and to collaborate with them is so, so special. They have been a part of my life, they've been a part of my daughter's life for as long as she's been born, and to sing with them-- Oh, come on. Who wouldn't want to be onstage with these people singing this music?
Don't forget to watch Yolanda and Gladys in Christmas Under the Stars: Gladys Knight and Friends. And if you enjoyed this interview with Yolanda Adams, be sure to check out Smokey Robinson's interview!