Published on June 8th, 2017 | by John Campanario
Black Music Month Luminary: The Clark Sisters
The Clark Sisters as a group consists of Jacky Clark Chisholm (b. 1948), Denise Clark Bradford (b. 1953), Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell (b. 1954), Dorinda Clark-Cole (b. 1957), and Karen Clark Sheard (b. 1960).
The Detroit natives are credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream and are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. The Clark Sisters are the biggest selling female gospel group of all time with 16 albums, three Grammy Awards, and an Essence Award.
The Clark Sisters enjoyed massive crossover success with the release of You Brought the Sunshine. Reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster (Jammin’),” the song became a hit in church houses and on dance floors, including New York’s Studio 54. “Sunshine” was picked up from its original independent gospel record label Sounds of Gospel and distributed by both Westbound Records and Elektra Records. In 1983, the song peaked at #16 on the Black Singles chart, #27 on the Club Play Charts, and #80 on the Hot R&B Charts driving the album to Gold sales. The sisters have three Billboard #1 records and six top 10 releases to their credit.