the One of the top female gospel groups in the country, The Clark Sisters have spent the last three decades singing, preaching and pioneering contemporary gospel music all over the United States. These four talented sisters – Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell, Jacky Clark Chisholm, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Karen Clark Sheard – carry on the legacy of their mother, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, a choral director gospel legend in her own right who earned three gold records during her musical career. The group is credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream, influencing countless artists in the fields of gospel, pop, R&B, jazz and hip hop.
Born and raised in Detroit, they began performing together (along with fifth sister Denise) in church services, usually singing songs written and arranged by their mother. They recorded their fist album, Jesus Has A Lot To Give, in 1973. After signing with Sound to Gospel Records, they released such albums as Unworthy, Count It All Joy, and He Gave Me Nothing to Lose. Their popularity soared with the release of the live recording Is My Living In Vain, which topped the Billboard gospel charts for more than a year and yielded hits including the title track and “Expect Your Miracle.”
Their next release, You Brought the Sunshine, became a hit not only in church houses, but in dance clubs including New York’s Studio 54. In 1983, the song peaked at #16 on the Black Singles chart, #27 on the Club Play chart, and #80 on the Hot R&B chart, driving the album to Gold sales. Shortly after this, sister Denise left the group to become a minister and start a family. The sisters would continue as a foursome and also pursue individual careers for several years, reuniting in 2007 to record Live… One Last Time. This album garnered the group three 2008 Grammy Awards, including Best Traditional Gospel Album, Best Gospel Performance for the single “Blessed and Highly Favored,” and Best Gospel song (“Blessed and Highly Favored, Karen Clark Sheard, songwriter). With a discography of over 15 albums and multiple Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Awards, they are one of the largest selling female gospel groups of all time.