All Glown Up
Upscale Magazine|April 2020
All Glown Up
Kiki Sheard is all grown up. With a reflective new album and an iconic role in a Lifetime movie about her family, the gospel heir apparent shares just how the blessings keep happening.
By E. Monique Johnson

Many little girls grow up wanting to be just like their mothers, but few actually get to walk in their literal footsteps. Then again, there is nothing ordinary about Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. When Kierra landed the role-playing her mother, Karen Clark Sheard in Lifetime’s original feature, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel (premiering April 11), she was a little intimidated by the part.

“First of all, it was an incredible honor to play this legend. I’ve always made sure that although she’s Mommy to me, I never forget that she is the Karen Clark Sheard. She’s a legend,” says Kierra. “It helped me grow as a singer, too. It stretched me because her vocal ability is unreal.

“She’s like a unicorn. I would get lightheaded from trying to hit her high notes,” Kierra recalls. “I had to now study whom I’ve heard singing my entire life. I had to study her art, study her craft.”

Kierra did more than just master the elder Clark Sheard’s vocal stylings; she also leaned on her legendary mother, Karen Clark Sheard, for advice.

“I think that was one of the things all the actresses appreciated about the Clark sisters is that they allowed us to ask the questions we needed to know in order to portray them the best within that role.”

And what guidance did her mother have for her on her role as the youngest Clark sister? “The best advice that she gave me was to not overthink it,” Kierra says. “She told me, ‘You know me, I’m your mom.’ She told me to have fun with it.”

Kierra did have fun but also gained a different view of the woman who raised her.

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April 2020