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Who Is Yola? 5 Things to Know About the American Music Awards’ 1st Ever Song of Soul Winner

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Breaking boundaries. Yola was named the first ever Song of Soul winner ahead of the 2022 American Music Awards on Sunday, November 20.The “Diamond Studded Shoes” songstress, 39, will perform her track “Break the Bough” live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, marking her first appearance on the awards show. “I have long dreamed of performing at the American Music Awards, and honored to be included during the ‘Song of the Soul’ moment,” the Elvis actress said in a statement in October. “I hope the song brings a little peace and joy to anyone who has lost someone close to them regardless of how challenging the relationship may have been.”The U.K.

native went on to explain that she wrote “Break the Bough” in tribute to her mother, who died in 2013. “‘Break the Bough’ creates a loving false construct of what I hope my mother experienced in her afterlife,” Yola — whose full name is Yolanda Quartey — explained. “A mix of all the things she held dear and brought her happiness during her life.

Specifically, her pre-Windrush Barbados childhood, disco and sci-fi.”Though Yola’s AMAs honor includes the world “soul,” her music also incorporates elements of rock, Americana, R&B and country — and she likes to keep listeners guessing. “You might go, ‘That’s quite a countrified song’ — then you listen to the drums, and it’s kind of a Mersey beat,” she told Variety of her song “Whatever You Want” in July 2021. “Then you go, ‘OK, that’s maybe a bit Stax-ier than I thought it was.

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