Troy Mason is the ex-husband of gospel superstar Yolanda Adams, who took to the Super Bowl LIV stage Sunday, February 2, to perform “America the Beautiful” prior to the match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami.
Here’s what you need to know about this Grammy-winning singer’s first marriage.
1. Yolanda and Troy Married in 1988
Yolanda Adams was born on August 27, 1961, in Houston, Texas. She attended a local high school and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Southern University in 1985. She then worked as a local third-grade teacher until her singing career took off and she had to quit teaching in order to pursue music full time.
According to Mason’s LinkedIn profile, he studied computer science at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, which is about 90 minutes east of Houston. He later attended Texas Southern University where he studied business, starting there right after Yolanda graduated. According to marriage records, the two were married on June 25, 1988.
In a 2002 interview with JET magazine, she spoke of her marriages and cautioned women not to fall for a pretty face without finding out what is underneath.
“You never find out what’s in the package because you are so busy looking at the package,” said Adams. “That’s what a lot of women tend to do, ‘oh, he’s so fine girl, I’ve got to have him.’ YOu don’t know if he goes to church or not, you don’t know if he worships Satan. You are so head over heels in love with him because of the physical that the spiritual and emotional and all that kind of stuff winds up being put on the back burner, when it should be at the forefront.”
2. They Divorced in 1990 Amid Domestic Violence Allegations
The couple divorced in 1990, with Adams alleging that the marriage was emotionally and physically abusive. In a 1996 interview with Cross Rhythm, the singer talked about how much she “overcame” and feels lucky to have gotten out of it.
“I really don’t like to emphasise the physical or emotional abuse that I went through; I just like to tell people that I overcame it by getting out of it. First of all, I shouldn’t have been in it in the first place, because I knew what kind of person he was in the beginning, but you know, sometimes we rationalise and say, ‘Oh, but I love him,’ or, ‘He’s so cute, he’s so cuddly, he’s so adorable,’ and all the time he’s beating you in the face, and that’s not cool.”
She went on to say that as part of her ministry, she would advise female college students about how to avoid falling into a similar situation.
“I tell them if you know a person has a certain kind of dysfunction before you get involved with them or marry them, please understand that you cannot change that person,” Adams explained. “If he’s physically abusive now, he’ll be physically abusive when you’re married – in fact, it will escalate. And if he emotionally abuses you, the same thing will happen on a higher level when you get married.”
3. Mason Denies the Abuse Allegations
In 2014, a video was posted to YouTube that showed Adams giving her testimony as an abuse survivor. She said in the video, which has since been set to private, “I stand before you tonight having been thrown across [a] room, having been punched in the face, but let me tell you how good God is. When that man’s fist came toward my face, he could not hit me in the face.”
According to screenshots at Empowering Everyday Women, Mason commented on the video, writing, “Yolanda is not telling the truth. This never happened … I know that this never happened between us. I would never want to see anyone go through that.”
He also said that he might be mistaken that she was talking about her. He thought she was talking about her second husband. However, the Cross Rhythm’s interview where she details the abuse was from 1996, which is a year before she remarried. So she could not have been talking about her second husband.
4. He is the Founder of Several Houston Businesses
In 1993, Mason founded Memory Cards, a Houston-based photographic business card manufacturer. Then in 1997, he founded Dream Starters, a “mentorship program to help expose children to positive life lessons,” according to Mason’s LinkedIn profile. Then in 2000, he started Wisdom in Action, a company that “recognizes educators for the great service they provide the community.”
In 2014, Mason got involved with ZLicense, a produced for earning extra income, and later he became President and CEO of ZBlackCard, an “upscale elite prepaid debit card made out of metal.”
In a 1993 article with Our Texas ezine, Mason gave some advice to future entrepreneurs.
“I”d advise any person starting out to be aware that everyone who smiles at you is not your friend and doesn’t have your best interests in mind,” said Mason. “I have a lot of good people around me. I’ve always kept good company since I was a kid. I’ve always tried to surround myself with sharp, intelligent people. That’s a key to being successful, choosing your friends.”
5. Yolanda Remarried in 1997
In 1997, Adams married for a second time, to Timothy Crawford Jr. Crawford played college football for Texas Tech University before spending one year in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns; he later became a financial advisor.
Adams and Crawford divorced in 2004, but prior to their split, the two welcomed daughter Taylor Ayanna Crawford in 2001, which Adams says is one of the best things that ever happened to her.
“Motherhood has definitely changed me for the better,” Adams told JET magazine in 2002, adding, “You really don’t know what love is until you have a child. No matter how tired I am after a show or how distracted I might be after a long recording session — all I have to do is see her little smile and know everything is right with the world.”
She also said of her marriages, “I know the good from the bad and the ugly and it makes it easier now … you never find out everything about a person in say, a year or six months, or two years. It takes a good three years to find out most of the stuff about a person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.”
Adams and Crawford divorced in 2004, but they are both still present in their daughter Taylor’s life. As recently as this past July, they attended Taylor’s debutante ball together held by the Houston chapter of Alpha Kappa Omega sorority.
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