Sheila Kay Adams


Sheila Kay Adams

Is a celebrated author, storyteller, and seventh generation ballad singer from the deep traditions of Madison County, NC. For forty-seven  years she counted Bobby McMillon (1951-2021) as one of her dearest friends.  They performed together numerous times, from the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration on the Mall in Washington, DC  to the “Brown Paper Bag Bawdy Ballad” concerts in Marshall, and Black Mountain, NC.  For her work, Sheila has received the North Carolina Society of Historians’ Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award, and the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Brown-Hudson Award.  In 2013, Sheila Kay Adams received the National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. In 2016, she was awarded the North Carolina Heritage Award, North Carolina’s highest award for the preservation of the traditional arts. In 2019, Adams was one of nine to receive a first ever Folk and Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship from South Arts, Inc. In 2020, along with her daughter, she received the North Carolina Mentor/Apprentice Grant for a year long apprenticeship.  She is also the author of acclaimed works My Old True Love and Come Go Home with Me.

“Bobby was my best friend. We had a connection with our love of the old folks, the old days, the old songs, the old ways. It was a love that bound us together for almost 50 years.”–Sheila Kay Adams

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