McDonald’s USA continues its commitment to uplifting the Black community through its Black & Positively Golden movement – an initiative supported by the annual Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour.
Celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, the outing may be taking the virtual approach due to the current global health crisis but – per usual – is still assembling some of Gospel music’s best and brightest to inspire music lovers and raise funds for local Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) Chapters.
Among the highly anticipated performers is GRAMMY & Stellar Award-winning Kierra Sheard, a veteran act on the platform who is set to return to render electrifying live performances of her greatest hits.
That Grape Juice had the pleasure of chatting with Sheard recently to discuss the experience at length including surprises and so much more. Join us inside to read the exclusive interview in full.
TGJ: First, congratulations on your recent engagement (to longtime boyfriend Jordan Kelly). How’s wedding planning in the pandemic going?
K: It’s interesting. We’re having [the wedding] at my father’s church [Greater Emmanuel Institutional in Detroit]. I was able to fly my wedding planner in, but we’ve had to visit venues with our masks on, get our temperatures checked, and go through all the [safety] procedures.
It feels like the train isn’t moving sometimes, but it’s going.
TGJ: Great to hear! Now, let’s talk about the 14th annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour. For people who don’t know what it is, explain what it’s about.
K: I’m grateful every time I’m involved because it empowers our community. It’s so important we have it now as we’re dealing with all of the racism and chaos as beautiful people of color.
The message behind the project is important – even considering the educational opportunities for youth. It encourages them to believe in who they are and know the part of them they can’t change is golden; it’s from heaven.
TGJ: Absolutely right.
K: With this project you’re given a balance of faith and real-life; it’s not overly spiritualized but you can have a good time and fun. Gospel artists are collaborating from every generation. It’s timeless and I love how we’re bridging the gap.
TGJ: It’s all for a good cause too. Share a little bit about how this event is connected to the Ronald McDonald House charity.
K: That’s another thing that speaks to the significance of this project.
We all know what it’s like to have a challenge – be it financially, in our homes, children, etc. It’s a great time to give to others and be a blessing.
TGJ: You’ve been a part of this event for a couple of years. How would you say it’s evolved over the years?
K: We’re in a pandemic now. It speaks volumes of the team behind the project because they didn’t let that stop the message. The message is so necessary in this time.
They’re also making it a fun competition between the cities where the tour will “stop” – Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, etc.
TGJ: Nice! Any other surprises you can tell us about?
K: The tour will feature a virtual pre-show hosted by one of my favorite comedians, NotKarltonBanks.
The main show will be on BET.com and BET’s YouTube channel. You can expect big names like Donald Lawrence, Todd Dulaney, Ricky Dillard, The Clark Sisters, Tasha Page-Lockhart, and so many others. It’s so much talent on this lineup and no one should miss it!
TGJ: When can we catch Kierra?
K: The tour goes on until October 18, but I’m performing October 4 (Sunday). I’m excited because I’ll be there with my mom (Karen Clark Sheard) and aunts (The Clark Sisters).
TGJ: Speaking of your family, congratulations on the wonderful feedback you received for your portrayal of your mom in The Clark Sisters’ Lifetime biopic, ‘First Ladies of Gospel’ (click here to read more).
Any idea on when you’ll be acting more in the future?
K: I don’t have an idea when but I would love to act more.
TGJ: What’s your dream role?
K: To be a plus sized action figure! I want to knock jokers down (laughs)! Besides that, I don’t have an ideal role. I just want to do well.
Editor’s note: Each week, the virtual concert series and Ronald McDonald House Charities® fundraiser will celebrate the rich gospel music legacies of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Detroit while reviving the
decades-long debate about which major U.S. city produces the greatest gospel music.
Viewers of the virtual concert series can make donations to the benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities® Chapters by visiting www.rmhc.org/ICGT2020.
Click here to learn more about McDonald’s 14th Annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel tour.