In the wake of her history-making gospel debut, 17-year-old EMI Gospel sensation Kierra “Kiki” Sheard continues her star turn with a slew of major award nominations. The ingénue nabbed two GMA Music Award (formerly the DOVE Awards) nominations for “Urban Recorded Song of the Year” for “You Don’t Know,” and “Urban Album of the Year” for I Owe You. The CD has also earned Sheard a Soul Train Music Award nomination for “Best Gospel Album.” The high school senior shares the category with gospel sensations Israel Houghton, J Moss and, ironically enough, Sheard’s own mother, Karen Clark-Sheard of Clark Sisters. Sheard continues her starry award show season with a nomination for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Gospel Artist.” The 36th Annual GMA Music Awards take place on April 13 in Nashville. The 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards will be broadcast on Friday, March 25 on FOX. The 19th Annual Soul Train Music Awards will be broadcast starting March 12.
When Sheard is not preparing for high school graduation, she’s preparing for events like the 2005 Superbowl Gospel Celebration, where she sang with superstar Patti LaBelle, and a performance on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel,” where Sheard will perform on February 24. The teen star is also preparing for a special CD release in summer 2005, that will include a number of remixes sure to please Sheard’s fans. “You Don’t Know” is still in the top 10 on the R&R Gospel charts and was recently recognized as Billboard’s 2004 R&R Gospel Single of the Year.
I Owe You landed at number one on both the Billboard Gospel and the Billboard Heatseeker charts, and remained one of the top Gospel albums in the country since its release on September 7. In addition to the Rodney Jerkin-produced “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.
Though this is her first album, Sheard has been immersed in Gospel music since birth. 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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