Iva was born and raised in Palestine, Texas. She is the daughter of Evangelist Nelson and Patsy Cleveland and granddaughter of Pastor Louis B. and Barbara Jones. She was the fourth of eight children. She was raised in a Pentecostal home. Being a preacher’s daughter created challenges of its own. The expectation of being perfect was hard for eight young kids just trying to find their way. Iva and her siblings had to withstand a lot of ridicule from other kids. Iva and her sister’s had to wear dresses every day while the other girls wore pants. This ridicule eventually led Iva to fight for her respect. This fighting caused Iva to have a “No Lose” attitude. She had to prove to the world that she was just a normal kid trying to find her way. Her singing was her outlet for her emotions. Her gift was from God and she knew it would be her connection to the world. Iva began singing at the age of 5. Her grandfather was her greatest inspiration. When life threw her a curve ball he was the one that would straighten it out. Every time it rained he gave her an umbrella. When she felt less pretty because she was the darkest child, he made her feel pretty when he would say “You are a pretty brown-skin girl.” She often shares in her interviews that her idol, Vanessa Bell Armstrong inspired her to sing at such a young age. She also walks in the footsteps of her mother Patsy Cleveland, who also was a singer in her younger years. She started out in her grandfather’s church choir. She went on to sing in teen groups, nursing homes, school programs and also school competitions. She eventually branched out on her own to start her music career. In 1990 her grandparents moved to Jackson, Tennessee. Several years later she followed them. As a member of the church she served as the praise and worship leader for over 10 years. She directed the youth choir bringing them to a whole new level in the music ministry. In 2011 Iva decided to move to Clarksville, Tennessee. There she continued the pursuit of her musical ambitions. Her struggles inspired her to write her first single entitled “Free Me” which was recorded in 2012. This single was not released then. In December of 2014 she went into the studio again to record her first complete CD “Only God”. The original version of Free Me was released ahead of her CD as a single.
Throughout her ministry she has birthed several children's choirs and her most recent, senior citizen chorus named “Recycled Teenagers”. She has a strong drive and determination to succeed and to inspire others to do the same in whatever their endeavors are. Her anointed voice grabs you with a moment of awe. She tells her story through song. Her belief is that music is universal and is medicine to the soul. Her goal is to reach individuals right where they are and change eternity one soul at a time. Her walk is guided by the scripture Romans 8:28.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God ,to them who are the called according to his purpose”