Cherie Adams Pt 1
Fully expecting that you
will not believe her, singer Cherie Adams laughed and said, "Nobody believes
me when I say I am shy." You can count me among the non-believers. Speaking
with the petite Italian dynamo makes one feel engaged in an advertisement
for a battery company. Why bother with Duracell or lithium batteries? Just
plug into Cherie Adams' energy and adrenaline for a few minutes and you
will be set for weeks, maybe even months!
Her name may not be recognizable,
but talent is. Cherie Adams toured and recorded with Avalon for four years.
With a humor that is infectious and a zest for life that is unsurpassed,
Adams opened up in a recent conversation. She talked about her Italian
heritage complete with mouth watering descriptions of her mother's lasagna
and included accounts of her battle with severe depression in the years
prior to Avalon. She spoke glowingly of her love for husband Kevin Adams
and her friendship with producer Tony Morra who helped create her debut
solo CD, The Sweet Life (La Dolce Vita).
Join me in this two part
series on the sweet life of one of the most likeable and talented artists
on the music scene today. You may want to buckle your seatbelts because
when Cherie Adams is involved, the ride is wild.
Adams grew up in Newport,
Rhode Island, and early in life her singing abilities were recognized by
family and friends. By the age of thirteen she had already cut her first
record with her uncle Ron and a friend. The group toured New England.
It was in those earliest
years of her life that Adams also met another special friend, Jesus Christ.
She remembered, "When I was little all the relatives used to make me sing.
I had curly kinky hair. They used to say, ‘You just look like Hazel. You
remind us of Hazel.’”
“I went to my mother and
asked, ‘Who is Hazel? Who is this person that people are constantly saying
I look like and sound like?’ My mother told me that it was my grandmother.
I asked, 'How come I have never met her?' and my mother went on to tell
me that my grandmother Hazel had died of breast cancer when my mom was
twelve years old.” Her grandmother was thirty-three at the time.
Even as a young child, Adams
probably wasn't one to accept simple explanations like most children. After
being told that her grandmother had gone to heaven to be with the Lord
Adams asked her mother, "Am I ever going to meet her?”
She said, "I was just a
little girl. I was just seven years old when I asked all these questions.
I would say, 'I want to meet her. I want to meet this woman that everybody
says I look like and sound like.’" She remembers her mother's response,
“'If you want to meet your grandmother you need to ask Jesus into your
heart. He will come inside and live inside of your heart.' My mother put
it so simply. She handed me this little piece of paper and it had a prayer
on it. It said, 'Dear Jesus forgive me of my sins. Wash me in the blood.
Give me the Holy Spirit. Write my name in the book of life. In Jesus' name
I pray Amen.' My mom said, 'When you are ready and you want Jesus to come
and live inside your heart then you just say this little prayer. You have
to really mean it. When the Lord decides to take you to heaven you will
meet your grandmother.'"
Adams recalled, "I went
into my bedroom, got down on my knees and asked Jesus into my heart that
very day. I was so young that I didn't really quite understand all of it
but I knew physically that some person named Jesus who had died for my
sins came into my heart and started living inside of me."
Despite battling a heavy
cold at the time of our conversation, Cherie Adams didn’t even stop to
catch her breath and plunged into an exercise of verbal gymnastics to emphasize
her childhood commitment to Jesus. "From that point on, rainbows and butterflies,
snap my fingers and there they were. Anything that I would ask the Lord
for I would get. God spoiled me rotten!"
Switching into overdrive,
Adams continued at breakneck speed, "When I was a little girl He protected
me. I almost got run over by a car once. I remember feeling like Jesus
must have been on my handlebars, putting his hand out and stopping this
car. The car came within two inches of the wheel of my bicycle. I remember
my heart just pounding out of my chest and seeing the eyes of the driver.
He was looking at me and I was looking at him. I knew Christ was sitting
right there on my handlebars stopping that car. I just grew up really knowing
Him. I knew physically He was there with me protecting me."
Punctuating her conversation
with more laughter she said, "All the rest of the kids in the neighborhood
thought I was crazy because I had this best friend named Jesus that nobody
else but me could see." She did not let that deter her new-found faith.
Fast forward, "I was sixteen
when I fell in love for ten years. I started getting off track and focusing
on getting married. I was the typical Italian girl you are taught you go
and make the meatballs and you make the babies! That's what you are good
for. All I wanted to do was be married. I was so focused on being married.
For ten years I dated my high school sweetheart, all through high school
and college. When that didn't happen (getting married), I thought oh, man,
God must not love me anymore."
Cherie's voice grew quieter
and more reflective when she said, "After the relationship went sour I
sunk into a huge depression. I was physically sick from it. I was in this
depression for two years solid every day. I was praying that God would
just take me off of the earth. I wanted to die morning, noon and night
I just kept praying God please take me, please take me. I remember that
being my daily prayer and that's pretty sad."
In a voice reminiscent of
those who have loved and been deeply hurt she remembered, "I thought that
I would never love again. I thought even if somebody were to love me my
heart would not be capable of loving again. I was convinced that I was
going to wind up a nun or something. I just did not think that God had
anyone for me." With the amount of energy displayed by this young woman
I cannot help but think that somewhere in North America convents are sighing
with relief that Cherie's life took a different direction.
She was still mired in her
depression and it was a year before she would get the call to join Avalon
when Cherie's mother phoned her and suggested she needed to go to church
that evening. Cherie Adams responded, "Why am I going to go to church?"
Her mother told her that she believed God would speak to Cherie that night.
The passionate Italian responded, "God doesn't even love me anymore. He
doesn't even know I exist."
She said, "I was in this
really bad place." She gave me an abbreviated account of her visit to the
church which included an encounter with an evangelist she had never met
before but called her by name, told her she was suffering from depression,
laid his hands on her and uttered a prayer of healing. She remembers crying
and thinking, "Oh my gosh, God really is a tangible, real God."
The next year she got the
call to join Avalon. While with Avalon she participated in a mission trip
to El Salvador that would forever change her life and career.
In the conclusion of this
series Cherie Adams talks about her marriage to Kevin, her decision to
leave Avalon, the long road to a solo career and the release of The Sweet
Life (La Dolce Vita). We will speak to industry professionals and friends
about Cherie and her music.
By Joe Montague, exclusive
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.