You Don't Know
Kierra "Kiki" Sheard is an American Grammy Award nominating contemporary gospel singer/songwriter and actress. Her first album "I Owe You" (2004) topped the Billboard Christian Albums chart and was nominated for three Stellar Awards, and she won a Dove Award for the album's lead single "You Don't Know." The second album "This is Me" (2006) brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album and won the Dove Award for Urban Album of the Year. She went on torelease "Bold Right Life" in 2008 and "Free" in 2011. The music prodigy has acted in the films "Preacher's Kid" (2010) and "The Love You Save" (2001, TV).
Childhood and Family:
Born Kierra Valencia Sheard on June 20, 1987, in Detroit, Michigan, Kierra "Kiki" Sheard is the daughter of Bioshop J. Drew Sheard, and Karen Clark-Sheard, a founding member of the Grammy Award winning, gospel legendary female group, The Clark Sisters. Her maternal grandfather is the late pioneering gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark (1925-1994). Kierra graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, from which she received bachelors degree in English with a minor in Psychology.
Kierra "Kiki" Sheard started singing in the choir at her father's church, Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, when she was six years old. She went professional four years later by performing two tracks on her mother's 1997 debut solo album, "Finally Karen." One of those songs, "The Will Of God," won a Stellar Award in the category of Best Children's Performance in 1998, thanks to the strength of her vocal performance. Kiera went on to sing back up for her mother, aunt Dorinda Clark-Cole, and The Clark Sisters. In 2002, she appeared on her aunt's eponymous debut album. In the following year, she was featured on the tracks "You Loved Me," a gospelized live cover of Jill Scott's signature song "He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)," and "Don't Change" of her mother's third album, "The Heavens Are Telling." Kierra eventually signed a recording deal with EMI Gospel.
Kierra's first studio album, "I Owe You," hit the music stores on September 7, 2004. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. The album also charted at No. 4 on the
Billboard Gospel Albums, No. 29 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 115 on the Billboard 200. The album's
lead single "You Don't Know" was a smash hit, and burst into the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop at No. 84. The song won a
Dove for Urban Recorded Song of the Year at the 36th GMA Dove Awards in 2005. Kierra received three Stellar nominations for
Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, Urban Song of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year for her album.
"Just Until...," a collection of remixes of songs from "I Owe You," was released by her record label in Japan in December 2005 and globally on August 2, 2005. The album reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Gospel and No. 82 on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. It was nominated for a Dove Award for Urban Album of the Year in 2006. The upbeat gospel single "Let Go" emerged as a surprise international hit. Release only in Japan, the song rose to No. 1 on both the Japanese overall/combined international and domestic radio charts.
"I called the album 'This Is Me' because its more of the music me and my friends listen to. I grew up in the church, hearing and singing traditional Gospel, which I still love and will always be a big part of who I am. But when the Clark Sisters, then later, artists like Kirk Franklin, and Mary Mary stepped out and put the Gospel message to a contemporary sound, a lot of people, particularly the young, realized this was music they could relate to, and when they were then willing togive it a listen, the message started getting through as well." Kierra "Kiki" Sheard
The second studio album "This Is Me" was released on June 27, 2006. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Albums. It also peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Christian Albums, No. 16 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 90 on the Billboard 200. The album bought Kierra a Dove for Urban Album of the Year in 2007 and a 2006 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. Kierra wrote and/or co-wrote several tracks on the album like "Faith," "Have What You Want,"
"Change," "No, Never" and "Hear This."
Kierra's third studio album "Bold Right Life" followed on October 27, 2008. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Gospel Albums, No. 9 on the Billboard Christian Albums and No. 114 on the Billboard 200. The lead single "Praise Him Now" reached No. 9 on the Hot Gospel Songs and "Love Like Crazy" charted No. 57 on the Japan Hot 100 Singles. "Bold Right Life" was nominated for a Dove Award in the category of Urban Album of the Year at the 40th GMA Dove Awards in 2009.
A compilation album called "KiKi's Mixtape" was released on September 23, 2009. The The album contains three new songs, two remixes, two singles from her previous two studio albums, and a bonus song "This Christmas" featuring labelmate Marcus Cole.
2010 saw Kierra branch out into the big screen with a small butmemorable turn as Litha in "Preacher's Kid," a drama directed and written by Stan Foster and starring Letoya Luckett, Durrell Babbs and Tammy Townsend. The film won a Black Reel for Best Independent Film in 2011. She played Thoreen in the television film "The Love You Save" (GMC, 2011), opposite Robin Givens, Kareem J. Grimes and Denyce Lawton.
On October 18, 2011, Kierra released the fourth studio album "Free" on her family's gospel label, Karew Records. The singles "Mighty" and "You Are" were released respectively in June and September 2011.
GMA Dove: Urban Album of the Year, "This is Me," 2007
GMA Dove: Urban Recorded Song of the Year, "You Don't Know," 2005