Queen Latifah dances as Shelea Frazier, Christina Bell, Kierra Sheard, Angela Birchett and Raven Goodwin, perform live onstage following the Lifetime's "The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel" panel during the A&E Networks TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington.
Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Queen Latifah dances as Shelea Frazier, Christina Bell, Kierra Sheard, Angela Birchett and Raven Goodwin, perform live onstage following the Lifetime's "The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel" panel during the A&E Networks TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington. Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige and Missy Elliott talk about 'The Clark Sisters'

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published May 13, 2020

Share this article:

Lifetime has become the go-to channel for movie biopics on some of the most iconic figures in the world. 

On the music front, we’ve already seen "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B", "Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart", "Britney Ever After" and "Whitney" to mention a few.

Now viewers will get a glimpse into the lives of the five sisters - Jacky Clark Chisholm, Denise Clark Bradford, Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Karen Clark Sheard -  behind the legendary American gospel group, The Clark Sisters.

A scene from Lifetime's movie, "The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel". Picture: Supplied

And who better than to have legends like Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige and Missy Elliott as executive producers of the movie, which chronicles the female gospel group’s trailblazing journey into not only becoming the highest-selling group but by also crossing over to the mainstream scene, too. 

Of course, their achievement was also marked by personal loss, rejection and betrayal. Being in the spotlight, while intoxicating, became toxic as sibling rivalry reared its ugly head. 

The producers shared their thoughts on the movie, which stars Aunjanue Ellis as Mattie Moss Clark, the family matriarch.

Queen Latifah shared: “I think the Clark Sisters are one of the most influential gospel groups ever. They have been with me since my childhood years.” 

“When they first came out normally you hearing disco, you hearing club music, even hip-hop in its early years, you hearing R&B, there is this gospel record that is playing in the middle of that called, ‘You Brought the Sunshine’. They can step into any genre of music; they choose to do gospel. That’s what they were called to do. But they are an amazing group period,” she continued.

 “I can’t tell you about the countless conversations that we have had, myself and Mary J Blige and Missy Elliot. Don’t let us get on the subject of the Clark Sisters. 

"When we talk about the harmonies they do on certain records when we talk about the influence that they’ve had on our lives, when we talk about the ups and downs that we go through and how their music helps to bring us through and then we have a whole spiritual conversation.”

Queen Latifah, from left, Shelea Frazier, Christina Bell, Kierra Sheard, Angela Birchett, Raven Goodwin and Holly Carter at Lifetime's "The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel" press conference. Picture: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Mary J Blige added: “I can remember being a little girl, 7-years-old, the first gospel singer or singers that I heard that I wanted to sing along to and made me believe something was the Clark Sisters. The harmonies are just unexplainable. 

"It was important for me to make this film and join forces with my sisters Queen Latifah and Missy, we owe it to them. We owe it to the Clark Sisters because they have given us so much of their lives, they trained us to sing, they trained us how to believe. 

"These women are human, and you know we’re like they are so angelic, they’re so anointed but they had to go through something and sacrifice something in order for us to feel like we do when we hear them.”

“They really just have an anointing that just spoke to my life.”

Last but not least, Missy Elliot admitted: “Lifetime, is a great place for the Clark Sisters because they have always told the story of powerful women and of course these women are legendary.”

“The Clark Sisters have contributed so much to the Missy Elliot sound. My harmonies could never be like them at all, but they have influenced so many people like myself. 

"I was introduced to the Clark Sisters in high school I had a little red car, I had taken a house speaker and wired it up to my radio and I would pull up to the school the Clark Sisters playing. 

"I know the people at my school probably was like she is crazy; one minute she got the gospel playing and then she rapping on the side of the car. Clark Sisters always stayed in my tape deck.”

*"The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel" airs on Lifetime (DStv channel 131) on Sunday, May 17 at 7.20pm.

Share this article:

Related Articles