NASHVILLE (Billboard) – Just mention the Clark Sisters, and fans like Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey, Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige line up to sing their praises.
On top of their accomplishments as a gospel group, the siblings have launched successful solo careers. The latest sister to issue a new project is Karen Clark Sheard, whose Word/Curb/Warner Bros. album “It’s Not Over” debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. It is No. 9 this week.
The project was recorded at Clark Sheard’s home church, Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of Christ in Detroit. “I wanted to stick with praise and worship music, and Israel is just awesome,” Clark Sheard says.
These days, Clark Sheard is just happy to still be performing. A few years ago, after minor surgery, she developed a blood clot, went into a coma and nearly died.
“I’m just thankful to God for being alive, because the doctor had given me a 2 percent chance to live,” she says. “Afterwards, I was trying to sing and play, and it was hard because of what my lungs went through. That’s when I started thinking it was over for me and I wouldn’t be able to sing. That’s when God spoke to me and said, ‘It’s not over until God says it’s over.”‘
Church, family and music have always been an integral part of Clark Sheard’s life. Her mother was gospel music pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. The Clark Sisters expanded the boundaries of gospel music with the 1983 hit “You Brought the Sunshine,” which peaked at No. 16 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart.
Her 1997 solo debut, “Finally Karen” (Island/Def Jam), featured a hit duet with Evans and garnered four Stellar Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. She followed with “Second Chance” in 2002 and “The Heavens Are Telling” in 2003 on Elektra.
Clark Sheard will reunite with her sisters to perform at the Church of God in Christ convention this summer in Houston, where they plan to record a live album.