Oleta Adams (born May 4, 1954 in Seattle, Washington) is an American soul singer. She was born the daughter of a preacher and was raised with gospel music.
In her youth her family moved to Yakima, Washington, which is sometimes shown as her place of birth.
Oleta started her career in the early 80s with two self financed albums which had limited success. In 1985 she was discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears For Fears whilst performing in a Kansas City, Missouri bar. They invited her to join their band as a third member.
In 1989 the album The Seeds of Love was released and the single "Woman In Chains", sung as a duet by Adams and Orzabal and with Phil Collins on drums, became her first hit. Oleta started her solo career in 1990 assisted by her colleagues from Tears for Fears who did the production. Her debut album Circle of One received much critical acclaim and she scored her biggest hit to date in 1991 with her cover of Brenda Russell's "Get Here". 1991 also saw Oleta contribute to the Elton John/Bernie Taupin tribute album, Two Rooms, on which appeared her version of John's 1974 hit "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me".
Her next album Evolution was also a commercial success. Her 1995 release, Moving On, saw Oleta move more in the direction of R&B. Two years later she released the Christian themed Come Walk With Me.
Oleta Adams' smooth sumptuous tenor voice has become the vanguard in an R&B jazz segment that was largely vacant during Anita Baker's hiatus. Her writing and playing (piano) both demonstrate a strong sense of melody, rhythm and an overall high degree of musicality, making her music both refreshing and moving.