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Singer-song­writer Jude Adams

She re­leased her first al­bum at the age of 57 de­spite be­ing di­ag­nosed with ME just a cou­ple of years ear­lier. DIVA caught up with Jude Adams, whose al­bum This Girl, This Woman is on the (dig­i­tal) shelves now, to find out more.

DIVA: Hello Jude, it’s lovely to chat to you! You’ve said that you’ve al­ways loved singing, but it be­gan as some­thing which was “ab­so­lutely be­hind closed doors”. How did you first come to sing in front of a crowd?

JUDE ADAMS: My wife, af­ter years of try­ing to en­cour­age me, even­tu­ally said: “Ok, you have your 50th birth­day com­ing up in six months’ time and we’re go­ing to have a big party and you can sing at it – won’t that be an amaz­ing thing to do!” And that was ex­actly what I did. I sang in front of a hun­dred very un­sus­pect­ing friends and fam­ily! [laughs]

Just a few years af­ter you be­gan singing pub­licly you were di­ag­nosed with ME (Myal­gic En­cephalopa­thy). How did that af­fect your abil­ity to per­form?

In short, I had to stop. So that was all pretty dev­as­tat­ing. ME is a de­bil­i­tat­ing and very cruel ill­ness – and my di­ag­no­sis was only mild. It af­fects peo­ple in very dif­fer­ent ways, but ex­treme and ex­tra­or­di­nary fa­tigue is the over­rid­ing symp­tom. Your bat­tery just com­pletely runs out.

You’ve said that with ME “peace, tran­quil­ity and soli­tude is ac­tu­ally re­ally help­ful”. How did your re­cov­ery help you be­gin to write your own mu­sic?

One of the things I was en­cour­aged to start do­ing was to keep a jour­nal, which was a way of get­ting what was in my head down on pa­per, and I found some of the things that I was writ­ing were slightly po­etic and thought: “Oh, per­haps they’re a bit like song lyrics?” And that’s ba­si­cally how the al­bum even­tu­ally came about.

Do your songs re­flect your own ex­pe­ri­ences?

The re­al­ity is, whilst I don’t like to [let my ill­ness de­fine] me, this par­tic­u­lar al­bum is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked with my health is­sues and age. And of course, the fact that I’m a gay woman is re­ally im­por­tant. Don’t Judge Me No More is about prej­u­dice and in­equal­ity; in writ­ing it I drew on any dis­crim­i­na­tion I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced as a gay woman, be­cause of my age and cer­tainly about my health, be­cause there is still a stigma and a lack of un­der­stand­ing about ME.

Why do you feel it’s im­por­tant to share your story?

In the hum­blest pos­si­ble way, if my story can in­spire other peo­ple to step out­side their com­fort zone into worlds that are to­tally un­fa­mil­iar to them, then that would be fan­tas­tic, I would love for that to hap­pen.

What have you got lined up for the rest of the year?

I’m go­ing to be ap­pear­ing at Pride in Can­ter­bury in June… and of course, there has to be a sec­ond al­bum in the not-too- dis­tant fu­ture!

For more about Jude, visit di­va­mag.co.uk where you’ll find the full in­ter­view. And to keep up to date, visit her web­site judeadamss­ings.net.

“I first sang in pub­lic at my own 50th birth­day party”



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