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  • Congrats to 2013 TLBC Scholarship Recipients

    The Texas Legislative Black Caucus would like to specially congratulate all of the 2013 TLBC Scholarship Recipients. We appreciate all of wonderful scholarship recipients […]

YOLANDA ADAMS - Photo One ('Becoming') (2)

Ask  Yolanda Adams what she loves about her music and ministry.  The answer is as warm, embracing, and reflective as her songs.  “The music brings joy.  I truly believe that my songs bring the answers and the solutions, as opposed to just talking about the problems.  My music at its core is joyful.”

 

Joyful, uplifting, inspiring, affirmative, exuberant, playful, and universal in its appeal and intention – that is the music of Yolanda Adams.  The message and ministry of this Grammy-winning Gospel/Adult Contemporary superstar is abundant with love, faith, rhythm, and wisdom.  It is delivered by one of the most persuasive and popular voices in contemporary Gospel.  Working with some of the biggest names in pop, R&B, hip-hop, and gospel, Yolanda Adams’ career has been marked by a string of hugely successful albums, sold-out tours, standout TV appearances, and a desire to incorporate into her music a multitude of genres and influences.

“It’s vitally important to keep growing now that people know me and my music,” she says.  “We’ve been blessed enough to impact so many lives, both in and out of the typical gospel market, so on each album it’s important to keep reaching outward so that even more people can get inspiration from what we do.  Luckily, I don’t have to be anybody but Yolanda, because people don’t expect me to be anything other than who I am.  For an artist, it’s a great place to be.”

 

A lifelong resident of Houston, Texas, Yolanda grew up in a household filled with spirit, soul, and songs.  Her mother studied music, and Yolanda and her five younger siblings heard everything from jazz to classical to rhythm and blues.  She soaked up the sounds of gospel legends James Cleveland and the Edwin Hawkins Singers, jazz icon Nancy Wilson, and pop/R&B great Stevie Wonder.  That wide swath of sonic textures, combined with years in the church choir, would guide Yolanda – both as a performer and a person.

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Mayor Willie Brown- pic 1

The accomplished Willie Brown is the former Mayor of San Francisco and Speaker of the California State Assembly. Mr. Brown served over 30 years in the California State Assembly including 15 years as Speaker. Following his service in the Assembly, Brown became the 41st Mayor of San Francisco. He is the first African American Mayor of San Francisco and Speaker of the Assembly of California. He also holds the honor as the longest serving Speaker of the California State Assembly. He was referred to as “one of San Francisco’s most notable mayors” by the San Francisco Chronicle and received the title of “The Best Dressed Man in San Francisco” by Esquire Magazine.

 

Willie Brown’s rise to prominence began in the small East Texas town of Mineola. He was born as the fourth of five children. With a desire to have the skills to reach his full potential, Brown felt his high school education was substandard and opted to leave Mineola for California following his graduation. Upon moving to San Francisco in 1951, he attended and graduated from San Francisco State University in 1955, despite having to catch up his first year due to subpar secondary schooling.  After graduating from San Francisco State University, he then went on to graduate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1958.

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Earnest Pugh

Earnest Pugh, known as “Gospel Music’s Leading Man,” is one of the true emerging talents in Gospel music today. He is the founder and president of the record label, EPM Music. Pugh’s journey to the heights of Gospel music has not been the easiest. Born into a family of nine children, both his mother and father worked hard to provide a stable upbringing for the family. Getting an early start in Gospel music, in his teenage years Pugh briefly sang with Grammy Award-winning Gospel choir, O’Landa Draper & the Associates. Showing is commitment to his country and community, Earnest Pugh served 15 years in the army.

 

With a strong commitment to his faith, Earnest Pugh would go on to become a worship leader at Ebenezer AME Church in the Washington, D.C. area. As others recognized his talents, he would go on to become worship leader in numerous in Texas and Georgia. One to never let go of his dreams, Pugh decided to launch his own music label in 2006. Beginning in 2007, Earnest Pugh’s ascent truly began with his album entitled, “A Worshiper’s Perspective” which earned him the 6th Annual Independent Music Award for Best Gospel Album.

 

Following his first big win, Pugh had a chance meeting with the founder of Blacksmoke Worldwide Gospel Records, Kerry Douglas who helped take his single, “Rain on Us” to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. The CD which included the chart topping single, “Rain on Us”, also included other Top-40 hits “Perfect Peace” and “The Great I Am”. Never one to rest on his laurels, in 2011 he followed up his earlier success with another CD titled, “Earnestly Yours”. On the CD, his cover of the James Fortune track “I Need Your Glory” proved to hit the mark, shooting to the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart for 10 weeks. With his success came extensive media coverage. The New York Times would extol, “Pugh is a pointed and slick singer (and dresser), and for most of this strong album he provides a solid center while his backup choir sings in hushed and reverent tones.”

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Dr. Kneeland Youngblood- 2

Dr. Kneeland C. Youngblood , who currently resides in Dallas and was born in Galena Park, is co-founder and managing partner of Pharos Capital Group, a private equity fund with over $1.4 Billion in assets under management. Since Pharos Capital Group’s founding in 1998, the investment firm has focused on investing in undercapitalized businesses in underserved regions across America. Prior to a successful career in investment banking, Dr. Youngblood served as a physician with more than 15 years of experience in emergency medicine. While in the medical field, Dr. Youngblood served on the Task Force on National Health Care Reform in President Clinton’s administration.

As a young man attending Princeton University, Youngblood followed his convictions by participating in a sit-in calling for Princeton to divest from apartheid-South Africa. Later in life, he would go on to meet President Nelson Mandela in his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Enrichment Corporation.

After embarking on his successful business career, Dr. Youngblood has been involved in many profitable ventures. In addition, his business acumen and knowledge have come to the recognition of many Fortune 500 companies, as indicated with his service on the Board of Directors of companies such as The Gap, Inc., Burger King Corporation, Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and the American Beacon Funds.

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