Karen Clark Sheard

Karen Clark Sheard - Updated Jan 2023

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Updated On January 9, 2023

Karen Clark Sheard is a Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, musician, songwriter, and businesswoman from the United States. Moreover, Karen Clark Sheard is popular as the youngest member of the American gospel group, The Clark Sisters.

Early Life

Karen Clark Sheard was born on the 15th of November, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan, the United States of America. According to her birth date, this singer is 61 years old and holds American nationality. In addition, she has a birth sign of Scorpio and belongs to the African-American ethnicity.

Similarly, she believes in Christianity by religion. She is the daughter of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark (mother) and Reverend Elbert Clark (father). Her mother was a gospel choral director. She is the youngest among 6 siblings whose names are Leo, Jacky, Denise, Elbernita “Twinkie” and Dorinda.

Talking about her academic career, she studied at Mumford High School in Detroit, Michigan; graduating in 1979.


In her singing career, she earned several awards and recognition in her career. She has earned 4 Grammy Awards, 3 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, 1 Soul Train Award, and 9 Stellar Awards.

Net Worth

As an American gospel singer and musician, she has earned a good sum of money in her career. According to some online sites, she has a net worth of $10 million as of 2022, and her salary and asset details are still unknown.

Professional Career

Debut Album

Karen Clark Sheard began singing gospel with her sisters, The Clark Sisters when she was six years old. In 1996, her performance in the Island Inspirational All-Stars’ “Don’t Give Up” led to her signing with Island Records.

Her solo career began in 1997 with the release of her debut album, Finally Karen. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album in 1998, received Clark-Sheard the Lady of Soul Award for Best Gospel Album that same year, and peaked at #28 and #2 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and US Billboard Gospel Albums charts, respectively.

2nd Chance

She was the second gospel musician to sign with Elektra Records, following Yolanda Adams. In 2002, she released her Elektra debut album, 2nd Chance. The album was led off by the single “Be Sure.”

And while she was in fine vocal form, the album’s slick, progressive style was not well appreciated in the gospel community. Despite this, the album did well commercially and critically, peaking at #82 on the US Billboard 200, #27 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list, and #2 on the US Billboard Gospel Albums chart.

The Heavens Are Telling

The Heavens Are Telling, her successful 2003 follow-up, emerged at a respectable #188 on the U.S. Billboard 200 but failed to match the commercial success of her earlier albums because it was released at the awkward time when Elektra Records was being merged into Atlantic Records0.

Nevertheless, it managed to reach a respectable #44 in the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, a high #3 on the U.S.

It’s Not Over

After a bidding battle with various companies, she ultimately signed with Word Records in 2005 and released It is Not Over, the follow-up to her 1997 debut album Finally Karen, on November 15th, 2005, her 45th birthday, but it was postponed and released the following year.

The majority of It’s Not Over was recorded live in 2005 in her home church in Detroit, Michigan, except the last three tracks, which were recorded in the studio. It was her first solo album without guest vocals from her daughter and the first with production by Israel Houghton, who handled the majority of the project.

Karen Clark Sheard

Caption: Karen Clark Sheard giving her performance in front of a huge crowd (Source: That Grape Juice)

Despite having a considerably larger sound than her previous albums, it was another critical hit for her and peaked moderately at #124 on the US Billboard 200 and #4 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. On February 10th, 2008, she received the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song for “Blessed & Highly Favored” sung by The Clark Sisters.

Karew Records, 5th album and present

In early 2009, Karen and her husband, J.Drew Sheard, formed a new record company called Karew Records, which is distributed by EMI Gospel. Karew Records’ first project was The Clark Sisters’ Christmas record, which was launched in October 2009.

She received the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance for Wait on the Lord, which she co-wrote with Donnie McClurkin, on January 31, 2010. Her fifth album, All in One, was released on April 6, 2010, and featured additional vocals from her daughter Kierra Sheard, son J. Drew Sheard II, sister Dorinda Clark Cole, niece Angel Chisholm, and cousin J. Moss.

Though it was her first all-studio album since 2002’s 2nd Chance, All in One made its debut and peaked at #98 on the US Billboard 200 and #3 on the US Billboard Gospel Albums chart, while the album’s lead single, “Prayed Up” peaked at #9 and stayed on the US Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart for over 22 weeks.

In 2014, she released her most recent song, “Sunday A.M” which was nominated for Best Gospel Song at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. She is in negotiations to play Kitty Parham, a member of Aretha Franklin’s planned biopic Respect, in 2019. Kierra Sheard played Karen in the Lifetime TV biopic The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, which broadcast on April 11, 2020.

Relationship Status

On the 16th of June, 1984, she married her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard. Her husband is a Detroit-based minister and is the senior pastor of the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit.

With the marriage, the couple has two children whose names are Kierra “Kiki” Sheard and John Drew “J. Drew” Sheard II. Kiki is also a gospel recording artist, did release four albums, and worked on numerous projects. J. Drew is a promising young artist and producer.

Karen Clark Sheard

Caption: Karen Clark Sheard with her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard (Source: Pinterest)

Karen encountered a life-threatening situation in 2001 when a blood vessel broke during hernia surgery. Due to her complications, her physicians gave her a 2% chance of life. She was in a coma after the blood clot was medically removed. The coma lasted three and a half weeks, but she says she recovered miraculously.

Karen Clark Sheard – Body Measurements

This American singer stands 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs around 50 kg. Moreover, she has dark brown eyes with dark brown hair color and her other body information is still unknown.

Karen Clark Sheard

Caption: Karen Clark Sheard the youngest member of the American gospel group, The Clark Sisters (Source: Television Academy)

Karen Clark Sheard – Social Media

On her Instagram page, there are more than 657k followers. Likewise, there are more t than 222.4k followers on Twitter, and more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook. In addition, she has a self-titled YouTube channel, there are more than 3.55k subscribers.