It's not just about getting a song on the radio or appearing on television. It really is about helping people change their lives one day at a time.
Good food is healthy food. Food is supposed to sustain you so you can live better, not so you can eat more. Some people eat to live, and some people live to eat.
There is a sound that comes from gospel music that doesn't come from anything else. It is a sound of peace. It is a sound of, 'I'm going to make it through all of this.'
Nobody talks about how Puffy went to Howard University or about Lil Wayne attending the University of Houston. All the young kids know is what they see on the videos. They don't realize that these guys have taken managerial and business courses, and know how to brand and how to market themselves. They're very smart.
Education helps you to be a well-rounded person, period. It teaches you how to take in information and data, process it, and use it for life building. Education was key in my family. You were going to college.
I didn't grow up in one of those restrictive Christian households where you couldn't do this or that. We were brought up with a great collection of good morals and good values, but we also had fun. We'd go to church on Sunday, but then have ice cream, roller skate or play in the park afterwards.
I was brought up by great parents and great grandparents who told me, 'Never, ever think that you're better than anyone else or that what you do is so important that the world won't miss you once you're gone,' and I kind of translate that into the stardom thing.
My direction has never really changed, because I don't think that you can really work gimmicks in gospel music. With gospel music, there is this central theme that always comes around about the love of God, the love of Jesus and the power that you have through Jesus Christ. You don't need a gimmick when you have that.
You can live a wonderful life, you can love God with all your heart, and you can love your husband or wife very passionately and have a balance in your life. I live by balance.
As humans, we have the tendency to call on God only when we think that we're in dire straits as opposed to cultivating a real relationship with Him every day. And that's what my music tries to convey to all the listeners - try to cultivate it every day.
Tramaine Hawkins has been a mentor, a confidante and an example of greatness. She has been through a lot in her life, and her career has spanned over 50 years. To me, that's what you call a legend.
When you win a Grammy... you're thinking about you winning. It is amazing. Your peers and folks in the record business are saying, 'This is what we think of you.' And that's why the Grammy will always be, to me, the ultimate in what you get as far as a music trophy, because it is the one.
When I write a song, it comes from the heart and is based on a specific experience. You can't really say that one experience is greater than another, because all of your experiences take you through life on this journey.
I started out in a professional choir at 13 years old. We traveled to different places, and I had a close relationship with the leaders of our choir. We were recording when I was 15, so it wasn't like I had to wait until 25 to find out certain things.
I think more people in the mainstream, folks like Nancy Wilson and Luther Vandross, they have openly expressed their love for God, and when mainstream artists start expressing their love for God openly in their concerts and including gospel songs in their concert, and, you know, people started embracing it.
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.