Kierra Sheard

Kierra Valencia "Kiki" Sheard-Kelly (born June 20, 1987) is an American gospel singer, songwriter, fashion designer, actress, entrepreneur, author and creative director. She is the daughter of gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard (member of gospel singing group the Clark Sisters) and granddaughter of gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark. Sheard portrayed her mother in the hit Lifetime movie, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. After appearing on her mother's (most notably, the seminal Finally Karen) and aunt's albums, Sheard broke to the music scene with the release of her debut album I Owe You in 2004. Her hit single "You Don't Know" was inspired by her mother almost losing her life to a fatal blood clot.

Kierra Sheard-Kelly
Sheard in 2019
Sheard in 2019
Background information
Birth nameKierra Valencia Sheard
Also known asKiki Sheard, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, Princess of Gospel, Ki, Kiyoncé
Born (1987-06-20) June 20, 1987 (age 34)
OriginDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
GenresUrban gospel, R&B, CCM
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, actress, author, entrepreneur, fashion designer
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1997–present
LabelsEMI Gospel, Karew Records
Associated actsKaren Clark Sheard
Mary Mary
The Clark Sisters
Tasha Cobbs
Mali Music
Websitewww.iamkierrasheard.com

Early lifeEdit

Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in the suburb of West Bloomfield, Sheard spent her formative years surrounded by the influences of her family, their faith, and their music.[1] At age 5, she began singing in the choir at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, pastored by her father Bishop J. Drew Sheard.

Music careerEdit

1997–2003: Early careerEdit

Sheard made her professional recording debut at the age of 9, on her mother's debut solo album Finally Karen (1997). The song "The Will Of God" won a Stellar Award for Best Children's Performance.[2] In the following years, Sheard performed as background vocalist for her mother, aunt Dorinda Clark-Cole and the Clark Sisters. In 2002, Sheard was featured on Clark-Cole's self-titled debut album. In 2003, she featured on her mother's third album, The Heavens Are Telling, on "You Loved Me" (a gospel cover of Jill Scott's "He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)") and alongside J Moss on "Don't Change".[3][4] That same year, EMI Gospel won a bidding war among several record companies to sign Sheard.[5][3]

2004–2005: I Owe YouEdit

Her debut album I Owe You was released on September 7, 2004. The 11-track set included production and songwriting from Rodney Jerkins, Warryn Campbell, Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary, Sheard's cousin J Moss, and Tonéx.[5] The album also functioned as the production debut for her brother J Drew. With the release of I Owe You, Sheard became the first new artist in Billboard history to debut at number one on the Top Gospel Albums chart.[6]

EMI commissioned a collection of remixes entitled Just Until... on August 2, 2005. The title of the stopgap release was abbreviated from its working title, "Just Until The Next Record".[7] The album had a surprise international hit in the Godson Concept remix of "Let Go". The upbeat gospel single, released only in Japan, raced to the top of the mainstream R&B charts and remained there for several weeks.[8][5]

2006–2007: This is MeEdit

Shortly after graduating high school, Sheard readied her second album, This Is Me. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart when it was released on June 27, 2006.[9] A midtempo fan favorite, the Fred Jerkins III-produced "Why Me?" was chosen as the lead single for the album. Sheard shot her first music videos for two subsequent singles from the album, "Yes" and "This Is Me". The album was Grammy Award-nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album in December 2006.[10]

In addition to performing at the 2007 Stellar Awards ("Why Me?"), Sheard appeared on BET's Celebration of Gospel, standing in for pregnant Faith Evans in "Endow Me" (as popularized by Sheard's mother and aunts) along with Coko, Lil' Mo, and Fantasia. Sheard also sang with her mother for A Tribute to Aretha Franklin.

2008–2009: Bold Right LifeEdit

In 2008, Sheard featured on Mary Mary's crossover hit, "God in Me", from The Sound album. "God in Me" became Sheard's first appearance on the US Hot 100, where it peaked at number 68.[11] Furthermore, the single broke the Billboard record for the longest chart-run by a group and longest chart-run by a gospel song on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,[12] where it spent a total of 74 weeks and peaked at number 5.[13] "God in Me" was also a major hit on Billboard's Dance Club and Hot Gospel Songs charts, peaking at number one on both and spending 7 consecutive weeks atop the latter.[14][15] Further to this, "God in Me" won a Grammy Award for "Best Gospel Song" at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards and was also awarded for "Outstanding Song" at the 41st NAACP Image Awards.[12]

In October 2008, Sheard released her third album, Bold Right Life. Named after Sheard's youth organization in Detroit, the album was described by Billboard as a 'powerful mix of R&B/hip-hop, pop, rock and traditional gospel' which 'shifts from a hot uptempo beat (opener “Won’t Hold Back”) to pop (“My Boyfriend”) then to rock (“Invisible”) and traditional (“Praise Him Now”)'.[16] The album's two lead singles were "Praise Him Now" and "Won't Hold Back".[17] "Praise Him Now" peaked at number 7 on the US Hot Gospel Songs chart,[18] whilst "Love Like Crazy" became Sheard's second Japanese hit, peaking at number 7 on the Japan Hot 100.[19]

In January 2009, Sheard performed the Clark Sisters' "Jesus Is a Love Song" at the BMI Trailblazers Luncheon in honor of her aunt Elbernita "Twinkie" Clark.[20]

The same year, Sheard released a compilation, KiKi's Mixtape, on September 22, 2009.[21] KiKi's Mixtape included two new songs - “Sing to the Lord”, co-written by Kierra and described as 'a high-octane amalgam of rock, CCR and power pop' and a 'bold and bracing' cover of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas" with Marcus Cole.[22]

2010–2013: Free and The SheardsEdit

Sheard had a role in the film Preacher's Kid (starring platinum-selling R&B artist LeToya Luckett, Durrell Babbs, Clifton Powell, Gregory Alan Williams, and Sharif Atkins), which was released in theaters across the U.S. on January 29, 2010 and was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on May 4, 2010.

Sheard's fourth album, Free, was released on October 18, 2011. This was her first album on her family's gospel label, Karew Records (pronounced Kuh-Rue). Originally scheduled for a July 2011 release, the album was leaked and subsequently pushed back and reformatted with a different track listing.[23] The album features Sheard's BRL (Bold Right Life) Choir.

On April 7, 2013, Sheard and her family debuted in a new BET reality series, The Sheards. The show is based on the lives of Sheard, her brother and producer J. Drew, and her parents, Grammy Award-winning Karen Clark Sheard and Pastor J. Drew Sheard Sr. Season 1 had a run of eight episodes, and it was announced on the BET Twitter account that Season 2 would debut in the fall of 2014.

2013–present: Graceland, Clark Sisters biopic and KierraEdit

Sheard released the single "Trumpets Blow" in 2013, which was followed by "2nd Win" in 2014, which peaked within the top 20 of Billboard's Top Gospel Songs chart.[24] Shortly after in 2014, her fifth album Graceland, was released on June 22, 2014. Graceland became her second top 40 appearance on the Billboard 200 and fourth number one on the Top Gospel Albums chart.[25] Graceland also earned Sheard a nomination for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year at the 30th Annual Stellar Awards.[26]

In 2020, a Lifetime biographical film, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel was released, starring Kierra Sheard as her mother Karen Clark-Sheard, which became the highest rated original movie release by Lifetime in four years.[27][28] The film's soundtrack, also starring Sheard, debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, where it remained in its second week.[29][30]

Following this, Sheard released her sixth album Kierra. Debuting at number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart with 6,000 equivalent album units, it became her fifth chart-topping album, replacing Kanye West's Jesus is King which had held the number one spot for 6 months since November 9, 2019. Sheard co-wrote the entire album, which includes a mix of studio and live tracks recorded in her hometown, Detroit.[31] The album spawned 3 top 20 singles on the Hot Gospel Songs chart; "Don't Judge Me", "It Keeps Happening" and "Something Has To Break" (featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard), the latter peaking at number 5.[32][33]

In April 2021, Sheard was featured on actor and rapper, Nick Cannon's rendition of Fred Hammond's gospel classic, No Weapon.[34]

Personal lifeEdit

Sheard is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she received her bachelor's degree in English with a minor in psychology. Though her touring schedule has been curbed to accommodate her academic goals, Sheard did embark on a Japanese tour with her mother Karen Clark-Sheard in August 2006.[citation needed] In 2013, Sheard began preaching at her father's church and others. In 2017, she was officially licensed in the COGIC as an evangelist.[35]

In June 2015, Sheard released the Fall/Winter collection of Eleven60,[36] which honors her inspiration, her mother, Karen Clark Sheard. Eleven60 is named for the month and year that Clark Sheard was born. Sheard has personally designed classic and refreshing looks for the professional curvy woman that is chic, sexy, bold and eclectic. She has crisscrossed the globe and absorbed the fashion trends of New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo and Seoul.

In 2020 after releasing 3 singles “Don’t Judge Me (ft. Missy Elliot)”, “It Keeps Happening”, and “Something has to Break (Ft. Tasha Cobbs Leonard)” she released her live self titled “KIERRA” produced by her brother and producer J. Drew Sheard.

On June 20, 2020, her 33rd birthday, Sheard became engaged to her Fiancé Jordan Kelly and on December 12, 2020, the two married.[37]

On December 12, 2020, Sheard posted that she married her Fiance Jordan Kelly, in a private ceremony surrounded by close family and friends. [38]

In April of 2021 Sheards first Book titled "Big, Bold and Beautiful: Owning the Woman God Made You to Be" is set to be released (A book for young teens and young adults)

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[39]
US
Gospel

[40]
US
Christian

[41]
US
R&B
/HH

[42]
I Owe You 115
[45]
1
[46]
4
[47]
29
[48]
This Is Me 90
[51]
1
[52]
3
[53]
16
[54]
Bold Right Life
  • Released: October 28, 2008[55]
  • Labels: EMI Gospel (#5099950310326)[56]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
114
[57]
3
[58]
9
[59]
Free
  • Released: October 14, 2011[60]
  • Labels: EMI Gospel (#5099960649522)[61]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
40
[62]
1
[63]
Graceland
  • Released: July 22, 2014[64]
  • Labels: Karew Records, Motown Gospel (#9941653623)[65]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
33
[25]
1
[25]
Kierra
  • Released: April 17, 2020[66]
  • Labels: Karew Records, RCA Inspiration (#90759-40852)[67]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
188
[68]
1
[69]

Remix albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Gospel

[40]
Just Until... 10
[72]

CompilationsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Gospel

[40]
KiKi's Mixtape
  • Released: September 22, 2009[21]
  • Label: EMI Gospel[73]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Power Play: 6 Big Hits
  • Released: January 26, 2010[74]
  • Label: EMI Gospel
  • Formats: CD
My Kierra Sheard Playlist
  • Released: March 22, 2011[75]
  • Label: EMI Gospel[76]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Icon
  • Released: October 21, 2016[77]
  • Label: Karew Records[78]
  • Formats: CD

Soundtrack albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Gospel

[40]
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel 8
[80]

Extended playsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Gospel

[40]
This is Me
  • Released: May 23, 2006[81][82]
  • Labels: Motown Gospel
  • Formats: CD, digital download
LED
  • Released: November 20, 2015[83]
  • Labels: Karew Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
3
[84]
A Karew Family Christmas
  • Released: November 22, 2018[85]
  • Labels: Karew Records
  • Formats: Digital download

SinglesEdit

as lead artist
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Gospel

[86]
US
R&B
/HH

[87]
JPN
[88]
"You Don't Know"[89] 2004 14
[90]
84
[91]
I Owe You
"Let Go"[92]
"Why Me?" 2006 6
[93]
This is Me
"Won't Hold Back"[94][95] 2008 Bold Right Life
"Praise Him Now" 7
[18]
"Love Like Crazy"[96] 2009 7
[19]
"Mighty"
(featuring BRL)
2011 28
[97]
Free
"You Are"
(featuring BRL)
17
[97]
"Indescribable"
(featuring BRL)
15
[98]
"Trumpets Blow"[99] 2013 Non-album single
"2nd Win"[100] 2014 15
[24]
Graceland
"Flaws"[101] 2015 15
[102]
"Don't Judge Me"[103] 2019 13
[32][104]
Kierra
"It Keeps Happening"[105] 2020 4
[106]
"Something Has To Break"[107]
(featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard)
5
[33]
as a featured artist
List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
[108]
US
Gospel

[86]
US
Christ.

[109]
US
Adult
R&B

[110]
US
R&B
/HH

[87]
US
Dance

[111]
"God in Me"[112]
(Mary Mary featuring Kierra Sheard)
2008 68
[11]
1
[15]
8
[113]
5
[13]
1
[14]
The Sound
"Are You Listening"[114]
(Kirk Franklin Presents Artists United For Haiti – BeBe Winans, Bishop Paul S. Morton, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Fred Hammond, J Moss, Jeremy Camp, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Marvin Winans, Mary Mary, Natalie Grant, Shirley Caesar, Smokie Norful, Yolanda Adams)[115]
2010 8
[116]
26
[117]
28
[118]
Non-album single
"Put a Praise On It"[119]
(Tasha Cobbs Leonard featuring Kierra Sheard)
2015 1
[120]
One Place Live
"My City"[121]
(Deitrick Haddon featuring J. Moss, Kierra Sheard, 21:03, Karen Clark Sheard, Fred Hammond, Clareta Haddon, Dorinda Clark Cole, Kem, Shelby 5)
TIME (Truth Is My Energy)
"Hang On"[122]
(GEI featuring Kierra Sheard)
2016 1
[123]
GEI Live
"All Glory"[124]
(Matt Redman featuring Kierra Sheard)
2017 Glory Song
"Your Spirit"[125]
(Tasha Cobbs Leonard featuring Kierra Sheard)
14
[120]
Heart. Passion. Pursuit.
"Salute"[126]
(Enkay featuring Kierra Sheard)
2018 The Bridge
"Do It Again"[127]
(Elevation Collective featuring Travis Greene & Kierra Sheard)
14
[128]
1
[129]
Evidence
"Optimistic - The Remix"[130]
(August Greene featuring Kirk Franklin, BJ the Chicago Kid, Kierra Sheard)
Optimistic (The Remix)
"Showing Off"[131]
(Sir the Baptist featuring Kierra Sheard, Donald Lawrence, NotKarlton Banks, Krystal Lee)
2019 Godfidence: Kingdom Bae
"Come Together"[132]
(Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins featuring Tim Bowman Jr., Joy Enriquez, Kirk Franklin, Kelontae Gavin, Fred Hammond, Heavenly Joy, Le'Andria Johnson, Lecrae, Mary Mary, Jac Ross, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard and Shelby 5)
2020 Non-album single
"No Weapon"[34]
(Nick Cannon featuring Kierra Sheard
2021 Non-album single
"Something To Believe In"[133]
(Dante Bowe featuring Kierra Sheard & the Apartment)
2021 Non-album single
Other charted songs
Title Year Peak
chart
positions
Album
US
Gospel

[86]
"Save Me" 2014 20
[134]
Graceland

Album appearancesEdit

List of album appearances, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"The Will of God"
(Karen Clark-Sheard featuring Kierra Sheard)
1997 Finally Karen
"Sacrifice"[135]
(Karen Clark-Sheard featuring Kierra Sheard)
2002 2nd Chance
"Don't Nobody Know"[136]
(Ramiyah featuring Kierra Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard)
2003 Ramiyah
"Hark The Herald Angels Sing"[137]
(The Clark Sisters featuring Kierra Sheard)
2009 The Clark Sisters' Family Christmas
"Beautiful Christmas"[137]
(The Clark Sisters featuring Kierra Sheard)
"Lord Take Me"[138]
(Karen Clark-Sheard featuring Kierra Sheard, Angel Chisholm)
2010 All in One
"Nearer My God To Thee"[139]
(Kierra Sheard)
2012 How Great Thou Art: Timeless Hymns - Modern Voices
"For Me"[140]
(Zacardi Cortez featuring Kierra "KiKi" Sheard)
The Introduction
"Good Day"[141]
(J Moss featuring Kierra Sheard & Karen Clark Sheard)
V4...The Other Side
"The Greatest"[142]
(James Fortune & FIYA featuring Kierra Sheard)
2013 The Experience
"So Glad"[143]
(Isaac Carree featuring Kierra Sheard, Kirk Franklin, Lecrae)
Reset
"This Day"[144]
(Kierra Sheard)
BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Live 2013
"For Me"[145]
(Zacardi Cortez featuring Kierra Sheard)
2014 Reloaded
"Angels We Have Heard On High"[146]
(Chrisette Michele & Kierra Sheard)
Motown Christmas
"Put A Praise On It"[147]
(Tasha Cobbs Leonard featuring Kierra Sheard)
2015 One Place Live
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"[148]
(Detail featuring Lil George, Kierra Sheard)
Noel
"Interlude"[149]
(Marc Jay & The J Crew Band featuring Kierra Sheard)
2016 I Am God
"Better Than I Found It"[150]
(Danny Gokey featuring Kierra Sheard)
2017 Rise
"I Wouldn't Love Me"[151]
(James Fortune featuring Kierra Sheard)
Dear Future Me
"We Want You"[152]
(Degen featuring Kierra Sheard)
Progression of Destiny
"Your Spirit"[153]
(Tasha Cobbs Leonard featuring Kierra Sheard)
Heart. Passion. Pursuit.
"Worth It"[154]
(Lecrae featuring Kierra Sheard, Jawan Harris)
All Things Work Together
"All Glory"[155]
(Matt Redman featuring Kierra Sheard)
Glory Song
"More of You"[156]
(Earnest Pugh featuring Kierra Sheard, Sarge)
SURVIVE
"Salute"[157]
(Enkay featuring Kierra Sheard)
2018 The Bridge
"Look at Me Now"[158]
(Jor'dan Armstrong featuring Kierra Sheard)
Blsd
"I Got You (Always and Forever)"[158]
(Chance the Rapper featuring En Vogue, Ari Lennox, Kierra Sheard)
2019 The Big Day
"Showing Off"[159]
(Sir the Baptist featuring Kierra Sheard, Donald Lawrence, NotKarlton Banks, Krystal Lee)
2020 Godfidence: Kingdom Bae

AwardsEdit

Dove AwardsEdit

The Dove Awards are awarded annually by the Gospel Music Association. Kierra Sheard has won 3 awards from 10 nominations.[160]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2005 "You Don't Know" Urban Recorded Song of the Year Won
2006 Just Until Urban Album of the Year Nominated
2007 This Is Me Won
"Why Me" Urban Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
2009 Bold Right Life Urban Album of the Year Nominated
2015 Graceland Contemporary Gospel/Urban Album of the Year Nominated
"Flaws" Contemporary Gospel/Urban Song of the Year Nominated
2020 KIERRA Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year Nominated
"It Keeps Happening" Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
"Something Has To Break (Live)" (featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard) Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year Won

Grammy AwardsEdit

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Kierra Sheard has received 3 nominations.[161]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2006 This Is Me Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album Nominated
2009 Bold Right Life Nominated
2021 Kierra Best Gospel Album Nominated

NAACP Image AwardsEdit

The NAACP Image Awards are presented by the NAACP. Kierra Sheard has received two nomination.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2021 Kierra Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album Nominated
"Something Has To Break" Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song Nominated

Stellar AwardsEdit

The Stellar Awards are awarded annually by SAGMA. Kierra Sheard has received 3 awards from 15 nominations.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2006 I Owe You Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year Won
Contemporary CD of the Year Nominated
"You Don't Know" Urban/Inspirational Single/Performance of the Year Nominated
2007 This Is Me Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated
"This Is Me" Urban/Inspirational Single/Performance of the Year Nominated
2010 Bold Right Life Artist of the Year Nominated
Contemporary CD of the Year Nominated
Contemporary Female of the Year Nominated
Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated
Silky Soul Music... An All-Star Tribute to Maze (with The Clark Sisters and J. Moss) Special Event CD of the Year Won
2013 Free Contemporary Female of the Year Nominated
Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year Won
2015 Graceland Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated
2018 "Hang On" (with GEI) Song of the Year Nominated
2020 "Don't Judge Me" Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated
2021 Kierra Sheard Artist of the Year Pending
Kierra Albernita Walker Female Artist of the Year Pending
Contemporary Album of the Year Won
Contemporary Female Artist of the Year Pending
"It Keeps Happening (Live)" Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year Pending
"Something Has to Break (Live)" (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard) Song of the Year Won

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit