Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Today, we turn up the volume on Kierra Sheard‘s 2004 debut album ‘I Owe You’…
Award-winning songstress Kierra Sheard seemed groomed for gospel stardom since she could form her first words. Indeed, the Detroit native is the fruit of a long lineage of gospel royalty including grandmother Mattie Moss Clark and mother Karen Clark Sheard (one-fourth of the legendary Clark Sisters).
So, with that much talent running through her veins, it came as no surprise that 2004 would see the then-16 year old release her debut solo LP ‘I Owe You’. Led by the thunderous, piano driven Rodney Jerkins helmed hit ‘You Don’t Know’…
‘You Don’t Know’
Those who didn’t know beforehand certainly knew after one listen of the teen’s impressive vocal display that the Clark legacy was still in tact and set to be carried on by Sheard.
Armed with an arsenal of melismatic showings, growls, and scats (like that of her mom and aunts), 2004 swiftly saw Sheard become the genre’s new “it-girl” as her debut set debuted at #1 on gospel charts. Filled with gems like ‘Praise Offering’ and ‘Let Go’…
Like her mom and aunts did in the 80s and 90s, Kierra seemed set in following her family’s footsteps of successfully decorating traditional gospel themes with radio friendly sonic dressings. Cuts like ‘Let Go’, ‘You Don’t Know’, and ‘All I Am’ could’ve easily spun side-by-side with the R&B offerings of the time while still allowing Sheard to stay true to her message.
‘All I Am’
Such formula has proven itself continuously successful for the songbird even three albums later. Now, as the oldest of the Sheard clan readies her 2013 release (said to feature work from brother J. Drew Sheard, Babyface, and more), it appears she’s poised to take such stylings to the next level.
This, in conjunction with a BET reality show (‘The Sheards’) premiering April 7th, may make this year see the ‘Bold Right Life’ beauty take on new life on charts and overall presence in media and the like. As we await to see what the year will bring for Kierra, we reflect on where it all started with ‘I Owe You’ and can say even then we knew…this girl is a star!
Kierra & Karen Clark Sheard at Soul Train Awards (‘You Don’t Know’ live)