Kierra "Kiki" Sheard Debuts at #1
Kierra “Kiki” Sheard goes to top of the Billboard charts with “I Owe You”
Most high school students start the school year with a little anticipation, a little nervousness. Seventeen-year-old Kierra “Kiki” Sheard started her senior year of high school with a history-making album debut. The EMI Gospel sensation has landed at the top of the charts with her first CD, I Owe You. Released on September 7, the album, powered by its first single –– the Rodney Jerkins-produced hit “You Don’t Know” – blasted into the number one spot on both the Billboard Gospel and the Billboard Heatseeker charts. The high-flying debut also landed at number four on the Billboard Christian chart, number 29 on Billboard R&B and number 115 on the Billboard Top 200. “You Don’t Know” has been number one on the R&R Gospel Radio chart for two weeks running.
“To my knowledge this is unprecedented,” says EMI Gospel Vice-President and General Manager Larry Blackwell. “This is the first time in the history of the Soundscan era that a new gospel artist has debuted at number one on the gospel sales charts.”
In addition to Jerkins’ “You Don’t Know,” I Owe You includes songs from some of today’s hottest gospel music producers including: “Praise Offering,” “Closer,” and “Church Nite” (PAJAM); “All I Am,” “Done Did It,” and “Let Go” (Warryn Campbell); “Sweetest Thing” and “War” (J Drew and Earl Wright III), among others.
“It's always inspiring to work with great artists - to work with Kierra Sheard who at age 17 is already an amazing singer has been doubly inspiring,” states Ken Pennell, President of EMI Gospel. “She's using her wonderful talent to convey the gospel message to her own generation. We look forward to helping her in that cause for many years to come.”
Though this is her first album, Sheard has been immersed in Gospel music since birth, and her career follows a long-standing family commitment that began with Sheard’s grandmother, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, president of the Church of God in Christ Music Department for 25 years. Since the age of nine, Sheard has performed with her mother, Karen Clark-Sheard, and aunts -- the legendary Clark Sisters. Sheard was a featured vocalist on all three of her mother's solo releases, and her performance of "The Will Of God" on Clark-Sheard's 1997 solo debut, Finally Karen, brought the young Sheard a prestigious Stellar Award for Best Children's Performance.
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