“Touring” carries a different meaning for singer Karen Clark-Sheard these days.
The gospel legend and native Detroiter is on the road in the hit play “Church Girl” while promoting her fifth album, “All in One,” out this week. The release signals Clark-Sheard’s first solo project in four years and her first album on her own EMI Gospel-distributed label, Karew Records.
“This gospel stage play not only allows Karen to showcase her abilities as an actress and a singer, but also provides great promotion for her album,” says Darrel Thompson, Karew Records general manager. “Feeding off the play’s promotion also gained her exposure outside the traditional gospel media.”
Claiming a Hot Shot Debut at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums, the urban-flavored “All in One” held the same position last week. The album’s 11 tracks include the go-go-influenced lead single, “Prayed Up.” A video for the single is in the works.
“All in One” is the second release on Detroit’s Karew Records following 2009’s “A Clark Family Christmas.” Clark-Sheard and her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard, launched the label with plans to sign and develop other artists.
“This is a dream that I’ve always wanted to do,” Clark-Sheard says.
Later this year, Clark-Sheard will jump from the stage to the big screen when filming begins on an Aretha Franklin biopic. Clark-Sheard will play a singer in one of the groups Franklin was in before going solo.
“My mother (gospel pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark) and Aretha’s father were friends,” Clark-Sheard says. “So I count this as a great privilege.”
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