This past Saturday Houston gospel singer Yolanda Adams and Christian rapper Rawsrvnt were invited to perform at a surprise brunch to celebrate the 30th birthday of Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade. The event kicked off what is said to be a week-long celebration for the former NBA champ and gold Olympian whose actual “born-on” anniversary is Tuesday, January 17.
South Florida native Rawsrvnt, who is known offstage as Eddy Puyol, said the opportunity came about when Wade’s mother, Jolinda, saw him perform at an event for the Tree of Life non-profit organization.
Without knowing she was in the audience, Puyol rapped his song “On Fire” which includes a reference to Dwyane Wade. He said that Ms. Wade, who is a pastor at a Chicago church her son purchased for her, made it a point to meet Puyol afterward and share a word of encouragement.
“She told me she loved the song and thought it should be played in the Miami Heat’s arena as the team’s new anthem,” Puyol said. “She also talked about raising Dwyane to be a man in the physical sense and wanting to continue to pour into his life in the spiritual sense. Months later, I received the invitation to perform at his birthday party.”
Saturday’s intimate affair was attended by a select group of Wade’s family and friends and held at the W South Beach Hotel and Residences. A healthy buffet was served alongside chicken and waffles inspired by Los Angeles’ famous Roscoe’s restaurant.
Rawsrvnt said he opened the party with a performance of his “I Gotta Feeling/Take It All” mashup of the Black Eyed Peas and Hillsong United hits and then turned the stage over to Adams who sang the Marvin Sapp chart-topper “Never Would Have Made It.”
“The party was full of surprises,” Puyol said. “Dwyane didn’t even know it was going down. It was real cool to hear some of the childhood stories shared by family members and see his reaction when his 91-year-old grandmother showed up just to love on the boy.”
Puyol said he closed his second set with a performance of “On Fire” after Pastor Wade led the audience in a group prayer for the quick healing of Wade’s recently injured ankle.
No stranger to the mainstream entertainment scene (Puyol appeared as a bachelor on the reality dating show Donald J. Trump presents The Ultimate Merger and led a pre-race NASCAR chapel event after “On Fire” was selected as the intro theme for driver Michael McDowell), Rawsrvnt said he believes the party invite was a divine call to his specific mission field.
“People just want to enjoy life. But unfortunately they often believe there is no joy in Jesus,” Puyol said. “Hopefully my music and lifestyle can help change that misconception.”
“We simply can’t afford to keep the world’s greatest message trapped inside the four walls of the church,” Puyol said.
Written by: Sketch the Journalist
Posted by: Houston Chronicle
Original Post Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012