As a child Karen Clark-Sheard took to the stage with an angel’s voice. As a member of the renowned Clark Sisters she helped to take Gospel music into a new era. Karen’s solo debut, Finally, Karen ushered in 1999 with a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album and won four Stella awards for Female Vocalist Of The Year, Music Video Of The Year, Contemporary Female Vocalist Of The Year, and Children’s Performance Of The Year. Rounding out the most fulfilling beginning of a new year any artist would envy, Karen joins renowned actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs in the national touring company of David E. Talbert’s play “Mr. Right Now”. “I do feel blessed,” Karen smiles. "So many artists spend their entire careers searching for recognition. I’m so appreciative of the acknowledgments I’ve received.”
The album’s themes are universal as Karen effortlessly spans the bridge between secular and sacred with faithful love in equal parts for Gospel, Pop, and R&B fans alike. “My purpose is to reach everybody,” say the Detroit native “I want to minister to as many as possible”. The disc also includes a duet with Faith Evans called “Nothing Without You.” When Stanley Brown, who wrote the song discovered Faith credited Karen and the Clark Sisters as one of her inspirations, he arranged the collaboration. Recalls Karen “I was delighted to work with her. It was a great session.” Karen’s 10-year-old daughter, Kierra, does the Clark tradition proud by joining her mother on “The Safest Place,” a song close to Karen’s heart. She and her mother used to sing it together. While this is Karen’s first full-length solo undertaking, 1996’s “Don’t Give Up” released from the "Don’t Be A Menace..." soundtrack, marked her return to recording. Proceeds from the sales of the single benefited the Anti-Defamation League’s efforts to rebuild black churches destroyed in arson fires. For the track Karen teamed up with Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, and Donald Lawrence as the Island Inspirational All-Stars. Their performance led to Karen being signed by Island Black Music.
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