Tagged with "clark"
Maurette Brown-Clark - The Dream Tags: dream maurette brown clark true worship music word life production new quality music

Maurette Brown-Clark, Gospel’s newly crowned “Princess of Praise & Worship” has been blessing the world with her soul stirring, heart felt alto voice since 1990. The journey that lead this thirty-something year old wife, mother of three, to her third album, The Dream, began while growing up in Long Island, New York.

One of four children (one sister and two brothers), Brown-Clark was raised by two music loving parents in a household steeped in Jesus, the church, love of family, and the power of music as a ministry.

Little did her parents know that having her sing with her siblings in the family group, and making sure Brown-Clark took piano lessons would be the foundation of a recording career and life’s ministry for this singer, songwriter, and producer.

Maurette Brown - Clark was musically influenced by her parents and some of New York’s greatest gospel artists, including one who lived just two towns over, Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Brown-Clark says, “He would come over to our church Little Zion and I would be mesmerized.... just blown away! I was a teenager back then...didn’t know it...couldn’t quite put my finger on it...but it was the anointing. And I knew that’s what I wanted. How Donnie was affecting me, that’s how I want to affect people. Although, I was later influenced by CeCe Winans and my mentor, Richard Smallwood, Donnie affected the way that I wanted to live for Jesus, through my music.”

After graduating from high school, Brown-Clark furthered her studies and graduated from the University of Maryland. At this point she began to question her life and reason for existing. She pondered, “I went to college, I did okay, I’ve got my degree in business, I’m working, got a piece of car, got a piece of an apartment…life is good! And then I thought, ‘This can’t be everything.’ I just started looking at my mortality. I asked myself, ‘What do I want to leave behind? Why am I here now?’ Now, sixteen years later, I truly believe that it is for His glory. I’ve realized that I have one life to live and I’m here to try to win souls for Christ. And the best way that I know how to do that is through my music. Before it was just something to do...now it is a calling and a passion.”

Recognizing the calling God had placed on her life, she remained in the Baltimore area after college singing as a solo artist. Word quickly spread about this petite gifted singer with a unique, strong alto voice, armed with a powerful conviction for Christ. During this time she didn’t have a recording contract, but held that desire in her heart and began honing her craft, singing wherever she could minister, networking and producing a demo tape. She knew that all things happen in God’s own time, not hers.

While singing in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area, she would see international gospel recording artist Richard Smallwood at events. There was talk in gospel circles that Smallwood had a dream about a choir he was inspired by God to put together and they would record with him. Also that he dreamed every individual member of it. A friend told

Maurette Brown-Clark

The Dream pg. 2

Brown-Clark that she was one of the choir members that appeared in Smallwood’s dream and that he was looking for her. She says, “My friend told me, ‘Richard Smallwood is looking for you....here’s his number, call him.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, right...do I owe him money?’ But I nervously dialed the number...And I went to that first rehearsal. He’s been stuck with me ever since!”

After she recorded with Vision (Smallwood’s group) and gained notoriety for her anointed performance as co-lead on their classic song, “Angels,” labels took notice. She soon signed her first major deal with Verity Records and released her debut solo project, How I Feel in 1998. It spawned the hit, “Breaking of Day.” Shortly after, Verity Records released her from its roster; Ironically, She received a Stellar Award for that project. It would be a few years before she signed with Atlanta International Records (AIR Gospel) and recorded another studio album, By His Grace, which was released in 2002. Disappointment loomed again. By His Grace met with critical acclaim, but didn’t reach the heights the label had expected. In her heart she knew it didn’t capture all of her. And for the second time, she was facing the possibility of being released. An executive at AIR Gospel believed so much in her that he went to bat for her with the owner and convinced him to give her another chance to record a CD her way, live, and with some of the best writers and a top producer.

It all came to fruition on September 17, 2004 when she recorded the highly anticipated, The Dream, her third album, at the Empowerment Church, in Baltimore, Maryland. There were technical problems at the live recording which resulted in the air conditioning being turned off in a packed house with over 2,000 people sitting there, sweating and fanning, yet staying glued to the edge of their seats as Brown-Clark fought through the adversities and blessed the crowd with the fire in her soul on anointed song after song. Brown-Clark says, “I just feel like the enemy was allowed to take his best shot the night of the recording...the power went out...and he’s been taking his best shot the entire few years since the recording and I just hope that I’ve been found waiting right.”

Brown-Clark was eagerly anticipating The Dream’s release in 2005 when another major career twist hit her. Atlanta International Records (AIR Gospel) was acquired by the Malaco Music Group & Select-O-Hits. She found herself with yet another label, this time with her most personal and prized project to date in the palms of another set of hands. Brown-Clark says, “I’ve had health challenges, label challenges, my third record with a third record label. So I’ve had to explain to three sets of people who Maurette is, what my vision is...and hoping that they catch my vision.”

Maurette Brown-Clark

The Dream pg. 3

God’s favor is still shining on Brown-Clark and her hopes are high being at her new label home, Malaco. A label that gets her and the vision she has for The Dream.

The Dream is a 13 song powerful CD that was produced by top gospel producer Asaph Ward (Kim Burrell, Men of Standard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Evelyn Turrentine Agee, The Tommies). It features four songs written by Brown-Clark, the Richard Smallwood penned Praise and Worship song, “Lord We Praise Your Name” and a re-make of the Donnie McClurkin & New York Restoration Choir classic, “We Worship You.” Other writers on the project include hit making Stellar Award winning writer Jonathan Nelson (“Healed” by Donald Lawrence), Anthony and Eddie Brown. Brown-Clark says, “I wrote some of the songs and then I went out to other artists and songwriters that I knew, loved, and that wrote my heart. They wrote as if they were up in my house living with me...hanging out with me. And so I feel like I literally wrote all of the songs.”

The Dream’s title track has special meaning to Brown-Clark because it embodies God’s calling, the purpose of her life, and a dream she had in the 1990s that showed her leading others to Christ through her music ministry.

The Dream is myriad of Gospel music styles, crossing denominational lines and is poised to cross the lines of Gospel and Christian radio formats. Its inspiring music ranges from Praise and Worship, Contemporary Gospel, Contemporary Christian , to Jazz infused songs, and of course Traditional Gospel, all purposely recorded to touch a heart, inspire a life and lead a soul to Christ.

Brown-Clark says, “This CD is user friendly, just like the Internet, for whoever listens to it. The songs on The Dream are for everybody. But they are going to hit you differently at different points in your life depending on what you’re going through.”

Whether it’s, the upbeat first single and anthem of praise, “One God,” the moving title track “The Dream”, or the soul stirring song that encourages anyone who ever felt like giving up, “It Ain’t Over,” the rock tinged “Has God Done Anything For You?” the down home church tune, “Sovereign God,” and soon to be Sunday School and Children’s choir favorite, “I Am What God Says I Am” featuring Brown-Clark’s six year old daughter Jada, or her jazzy version of the church classic, “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.” The Dream will uplift you wherever you are.

Written by Lin. Woods

Source: Malaco Records

Warrior Princess in Gospel - Karen Clark-Sheard Tags: Karen clark sheard gospel.music word life production new quality entertainment

Grammy Award winner Karen Clark Sheard is all about family. In fact, family has always been key to her success as one of music’s most dynamic vocalists. Whether it’s an inspirational R&B track or a down-home gospel groove, Clark Sheard’s multi-octave vocal range and dizzying vocal gymnastics with and without the legendary Clark Sisters have inspired a host of today’s brightest pop divas such as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Faith Evans among others. It all started as a child when Sheard was trained to sing by her mother and has come full circle with her 20 year old son, J. Drew Sheard II, producing tracks on her first CD in four years, All in One (Karew Records), a slick set of urban-flavored gospel.

All in One is also Clark Sheard’s first CD on her own label, Karew Records. “This has been a dream of mine for seven years,” she says of the new enterprise that is distributed by EMI Gospel. “We’ve been on record company after record company. You get under these companies and they don’t know you like you know yourself. They are making the decisions and I said, `God, one day I’m going to have my own record company and make my own decisions.’ I have my family on my record company but I’m going to be reaching out to young people to help pursue their dreams too because there are so many talented artists out there who have not been heard yet.” The label is run by Karen and her husband, J. Drew Sheard (Pastor of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit, MI).   “My mother said on her dying bed: “I want you all to keep going no matter how old you get,” Clark Sheard recalls. “My husband is the engine behind this car in pursing my dream. I’m also collaborating with my son, J. Drew II. It’s like the next generation of this family is taking its place. It’s like God hasn’t forgotten about us and is continuing this legacy that started with my mom.”

Clark Sheard’s mom was pioneering Gospel choir director Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, who formed her five daughters into the Clark Sisters when Karen was barely a teenager. Starting in 1973, they recorded nationally and hit pay dirt when their signature song "You Brought The Sunshine" hit #16 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1983. Over the years, the sisters have recorded 15 albums and crafted enduring gospel anthems such as “Endow Me,” “Pray for the USA,” “Name It Claim It” and “Is My Living in Vain?” In 1997, Clark Sheard launched a solo career with Finally Karen on Island/Def Jam. An out-of-the gate smash, it sold nearly half a million copies, garnered four Stellar Awards and a Grammy nomination. Clark Sheard continued her solo streak with other hit CDs before reuniting with her sisters, the Clark Sisters, for their #1 comeback CD Live…One Last Time (EMI Gospel) in 2007.


The lead single for the Clark Sisters’ return was “Blessed and Highly Favored.” The song, written and led by Clark Sheard, shot to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart for seven weeks and earned her a Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Gospel Song.  “That was the beginning of me really finding myself as a writer,” she says proudly. “I felt so incapable previously because I was surrounded by such phenomenal writers like my sister Twinkie. I’ve always looked up to Twinkie because of the gift that God has given her… I said one day I’m gonna get like that… Then, God gave me that song and the success over that one song [showed me] I’m in my element now… That’s when I realized that God has ordained me officially as a writer now.”

Clark Sheard brought those newly revealed composing skills to five of the eleven tracks on All in One. She and her producer son J. Drew II wrote the initial radio single “Prayed Up.” The pulsating track boasts a Go-Go backbeat and an urgent cry for prayer to combat the problems of every day life. The CD is truly a family affair. In addition to J. Drew II producing, Clark Sheard’s daughter Kierra Sheard (known for her 2004 multi-format crossover smash “You Don’t Know”) provided background vocals on the set and sings with her mom on “Lord Take Me.” Clark Sheard’s niece Angel Chisholm also sings and co-wrote on the song, along with Clark Sheard’s son J.Drew II. “Lord Take Me” is a contagious pop song reminiscent of Akon’s West African rooted sound; It is performed as a trio recording Chisholm, Kierra and Clark Sheard, and is a perfect coda for what portends to be one of the hallmark musical releases of 2010.

Clark Sheard’s cousin J. Moss and his PAJAM production team produced and co-wrote five songs for the project while his brother Bill Moss Jr. played piano on the worship ballad “Because of You.” Dorinda Clark Cole of the Clark Sisters joins her baby sister on the neo-soul groove “He Knows.”

“Everyone used to say I just love the Finally Karen CD,” Sheard confesses.  “So, I kept saying I want to do something like Finally Karen but for the times we’re living in now. So, that’s where I went with this new CD. I wanted to reach my young people but then I have some music the old church mothers can rock to.”

All in One picks up where Finally Karen left off and breaks new ground for contemporary gospel music. “I’m the sister who takes risks in my performances and in saying some things,” Clark Sheard chuckles. For instance, she wonders if God knows of “my weakness when I feel like I want to choke somebody” on the funky slow jam “He Knows.” She says, “That song was written by J Moss and he knows me..;  If anybody knows me, he does.  He’s like a brother to me. He said, “this sounds just like you.” I have said to him many times, “I just want to choke you!” Yeah, that’s just real. I’m just speaking what everybody’s thinking. That’s why the album is so youthful. I’m using the new generation in my family to reach this new generation of young people.”

All in One reaches the young and young-at-heart alike with a series of neatly crafted songs with pop-friendly refrains, transparent messages of faith and equally bold urban beats. Clark Sheard and her niece, Angel Chisholm wrote “Crazy Praise” which makes a nod to disco with its refreshing retro soul groove. The two also wrote the uplifting track “Hold On” which carries a catchy tribal drum tempo.

In between these sweat sessions, Clark Sheard cools down with stately worship ballads such as “Because of You” and “Have Your Way.” Clark Sheard and J. Moss co-wrote the bustling “What He Did” that fuses a Sunday morning church vibe with a rock edge for a driving declaration of God’s goodness. The warm and inviting mid-tempo track “I Made A Choice” sparkles with the engaging lilt of smooth jazz. “Good” is a soulful proclamation of God’s benevolence (in the vein of the best Mary J. Blige ballads), while “Blessings is a mid-tempo jam with an old school flair.

Off stage, Clark Sheard proves that All in One is not just a CD title but also a way of life. “With me being a mom, a writer, and operating as a pastor’s wife, it can be challenging but I enjoy it,” she confides. “Just like I enjoy being an artist. I know all of the difficulties and roadblocks that come with it. On days that I have bad times in this industry, instead of giving up, I think about people like Faith Evans who told me she grew up on the Clark Sisters’ music. Or when I hear Mariah Carey tell me that some of my songs really brought her through some issues, that lets me know not only do they admire my talent but that it’s a ministry as well.  I think about things of that nature and it keeps me going. I have great respect for them and it gives me a boost to say I can’t stop.”

Source: Official Website

The Clark Sisters are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Tags: clark sisters pioneers contemporary gospel true worshippers word life production feature blog

The Grammy Award Winning Clark Sisters have been singing for as long as they can remember, with music as natural a part of their lives as the air they breathed.  With a compelling, commanding fusion of styles as diverse as blues, jazz, R&B and classical, sisters Jacky, Twinkie, Karen and Dorinda created a sound that was new, fresh and entirely their own.

Truly a landmark work, the live recording comprises nearly two-and-a-half hours of both new material—almost all original—and an absolutely stunning, 21-song medley of Clark Sisters classics that leaves the listener literally breathless by is final fade.  Produced by Donald Lawrence, another of Gospel’s great, enduring talents, the project is an epic undertaking of unprecedented scope which succeeds—boldly and brilliantly—at every turn.

The sisters exude joy and exuberance on “Livin’,” a rollicking R&B joyride, written by Lawrence expressly for the Clarks, and featuring a pitch-perfect, trademark ensemble vocal.  Reflecting on the No.1, multi-format smash, “You Brought the Sunshine,” which, in 1981, sent the Clarks soaring into one of the most fabled careers in Gospel music, Jacky Clark Chisholm recalls the night in early 2006 when she first heard “Livin’.’

“The first time that Donald played ‘Livin’ for us, we felt exactly like we did the first time that Twinkie played ‘You Brought the Sunshine’ for the rest of us,” she says. “We were blown away!  It’s such a happy song, and we just could not stop singing it!  It’s us, plain and simple.  When we look back—and all around us today—we are proud, and so grateful, to God and so many wonderful people, and happy to be living the life He’s given us.  And Donald wrote a song for us that just perfectly expresses that.”

“Blessed and Highly Favored,” written by and featuring Karen, is a breathtaking, high-wire walk of a performance, which—of even greater significance—cements her place as one the great songwriters of her era.  The seeds for what would become Live – One Last Time, were first planted by Karen’s husband—and the group’s de facto manager—Bishop J.Drew Sheard.  When he suggested the foursome reunite to give both posterity, and the flocks of still-faithful Clark Sisters fans, a taste of some new “sisters” material, as well as new, live renditions of a large number of Clark standards—most long out of print—all four warmed quickly to the idea.  The group approached the multi-Grammy-winning Lawrence about coming onboard, and he accepted immediately.

Live – One Last Time was recorded in July, 2006 on the Sisters former label: EMI Gospel, before a sell-out crowd of 6,000 in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.  Though the sisters had established successful solo careers since last recording together, in 1994, they approached the reunion uncertain if their identity as a group still had any drawing power at the box office.  They didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

After what will surely be marked as a landmark event in Gospel music history, the sisters encore with the still-smoking, “You Brought the Sunshine,” which the crowd—even though showered with one signature song after another—clearly knew still lay in store.  Jacky, Twinkie, Karen and Dorinda deliver it with the same freshness and exuberance of four young ladies, in a Detroit living room years ago, with both the world—literally—and a world of possibilities still before them.

Since the release of  “One Last Time” the Clark Sisters have been the recipient of many awards. They received four Gospel Stellar Awards for Gospel Artist Of The Year, Gospel Group or Duo Of The Year, CD Of The Year, Traditional Group/Duo Of The Year. On February 10, 2008 the Clark Sisters received three Grammy Awards in the following categories: Best Traditional Gospel Album, Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song (for “Blessed and Highly Favored” written & composed by Karen Clark Sheard, who received an additional Grammy Award as writer). They also had the honor of performing at the 50th Grammy Awards with legendary Aretha Franklin. They give all glory and honor to God for all the marvelous things he’s done.

After a break from recording, in 2010, the Clark Sisters recorded their newest, phenomenal project; A holiday offering entitled: The Clark Sisters’ Family Christmas. This is their 1st cd recorded on their new label: Karew Records, a label jointly owned by their baby sister, Karen Clark Sheard and her husband, Bishop J.Drew Sheard, with distribution by EMI CMG. The holiday cd was also the very 1st cd produced on Karew Records. The cd is an incredible live album which features: the awesome Kierra Sheard, & talented producer JDrew Sheard II(JDS)(Karen & Bishops’ daughter & son), along with wonderful gospel crooner Jmoss, and Bill Moss Jr.(the sisters 1st cousins).

Only God knows what will come next from these legendary, anointed icons…

Source: Karew Records

Dorinda Clark-Cole is an incredible anointed gift to ministry Tags: dorinda clark cole anointed gift ministry true worshippers word life production feature blog

She has been called “the Rose of Gospel,” “the church girl,” and “evangelist” but more than anything else, three time Grammy award winner Dorinda Clark Cole is a fired up sister for Christ and one of the most gifted vocalists in the music world today.

Her Story

The second from the youngest of The Clark Sisters, Dorinda attributes her fiery, convicting singing style to her mother, Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, who saw the gift of singing and preaching in her at an early age. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, when other children their age were playing outside, Dorinda and her sisters had to work on their now famous familial harmonies.  She says, “We made a lot of sacrifices.  My mom was a stickler for making sure we rehearsed before we went out to perform.  If we had an engagement on a Saturday or Sunday, during the week she would call us in and say, ‘Hey ya’ll I need you to come in here and rehearse.’ That’s when mom started really putting the discipline in us.  She would say, ‘Karen, I want you to take that microphone and sing this note…and now Dorinda, I want you to talk a little bit.’ When Karen the youngest turned five we started recording. She saw the gifts and talents within us and started shaping and molding us.  She taught us discipline along with how to use our gifts. We still have those gifts today.  It was all in preparation for what we do today as recording artists, writers and producers.” The gift of talking that Dorinda’s mother saw in her as a little girl has evolved into a phenomenal preaching ministry that goes hand in hand with her singing ministry. “I can’t get around the both of them; I can’t leave the stage without saying something…and even when I preach, I can’t leave without singing a line of something,” she laughs.Today this gift has made room for her to serve in ministry to God's glory, while juggling her life as a wife, mother of two; Nikkia and Greg Jr. and grandmother of one DJ.


Dorinda has been evangelizing and juggling hundreds of speaking engagements annually for over twenty years, along with her singing career and being a wife and mother. She ministers nationally as well as internationally in countries such as England, Japan, Germany, France, Korea and South Africa. She made history in South Africa, having been the first woman to minister in the pulpit to over 4,000 people. Dr. Cole has followed in her mother's footstep by having several leadership roles in the International Church of God in Christ. She currently serves as Assistant to the Elect Lady of the Evangelism Department of the Church. She is also member and administrator at the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop J. Drew Sheard.

And to add to that, she is the new host of TCT Network’s Dorinda Show, co-host of TCT’s Celebrate on the Road, former Stellar Awards host, guest judge on Verizon's "How Sweet The Sound" national televised competition, the former spokes model for Donna Vinci Clothing and her “Rose Collection” is now distributed by Terra Mina Fashions. She has since partnered with MR. SONG, an immaculate fashion designer of Detroit, in creating The Bloom Collection, a couture collection of hat adorning accessories. She is also the Founder and CEO of Lifeline Productions Inc., which holds an annual Singers & Musicians Conference. In September 2004 she received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Mt. Carmel Theological Seminary of Fresno, CA.


In June 2002 Dorinda released her self-titled album Dorinda Clark- Cole on Gospo Centric Records/Zomba Label Group. This was followed in August 2005 by her sophomore album The Rose of Gospel on Gospo Centric Records/Zomba Label Group. The album debuted in Billboard’s Top 5 and garnered a Grammy Nomination for the Best Traditional Soul Gospel album & won 2007 and 2009 Stellar Award for the “Best Female Artist of The Year”. Her third project Take It Back was released in April 2008 on Gospo Centric Records/ Zomba Label Group. Her latest release, an EP Album titled In the Face of Change, included BAMM, which was a “Verizon Select”. In early spring of 2009,  Dorinda received the honor of performing Nothing but the Truth for the Sojourner Truth unveiling on Capitol Hill for 1st Lady Michelle Obama and other officials. Dorinda's solo career  continues to progress with a newly established deal with Light Records in 2010.

As a member of the world renowned Clark Sisters, Dr. Cole won three Grammys in 2008. Live - One Last Time won the Best Traditional Gospel Album. Its album track "Blessed & Highly Favored" won the Best Gospel Performance as well as the individual Best Gospel Song. With the group she appeared nationally on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ABC's "The View", Bobby Jones Gospel, Lift Every Voice, Gospel Superfest, TBN’s Praise the Lord, The Stellar Award and The Lady of Soul Awards.


However, she hasn’t always been at such a joyous place in her life. Dorinda was once a wounded soul who contemplated suicide and now testifies about that very trying time in her life. She recounts, “At that time my mother was not with me to help me get through that rough time. We were always dependent on our mom because she was always there… I didn’t understand why it was happening to me…It was very devastating.  And it caused me to go into a state of depression…I just couldn’t take it anymore and I got into my car and I began to drive to the river.  I was about to drive my car off the bridge. And while I was right there…the enemy was speaking to me, so I had a war going on. I began to drive and accelerate up to 80 miles per hour. God spoke to me just as plain as day and said, ‘Dorinda, are you going to let everything that has been invested in you go down the drain?’ And when I heard God’s voice, I began to take my foot off the accelerator and the car started coasting right to the bridge.  And the Lord whispered to me and said, ‘Peace be unto you.’  And that’s when I grabbed the steering wheel and I said, Lord I thank you. I began to weep and cry.  So if it had not been for God keeping me, right then I would have been doomed and consumed. I want it to reach those who are strung out on drugs.  I want them to be able to hand it over to other drug abusers and say listen to it and have it bless their lives.”

Source: Official Website: http://www.dorindaclarkcole.net/dorinda.html

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