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Gospel singer Kierra Sheard has revealed that she once considered leaving the music industry after facing pressure from label executives to lose weight.
And they were not kind about it.
“I think the year was 2004. I was like a sophomore or junior in high school, and I used to be over 300 pounds. I remember I was trying to get signed to this record label; they basically said I looked like the Pillsbury doughboy and I shouldn’t shoot full-body images. So every time they encouraged me to do shoots from the waist up,” she told Page Six.
“They did not care about my feelings or me being a human … It’s been over 15 years and the words still haunt me.”
As far as the industry goes, Keard is gospel royalty. Daughter of gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard (member of gospel singing group The Clark Sisters) and the granddaughter of gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark, the genre is more than just a career — it’s a part of her lineage, and she refused to kowtow to the bullies.
Instead, in June 2015, she started her clothing label, Eleven60, for full-figured women, named after the month and year of her mother’s birth. More recently, Sheard portrayed her The Clark Sisters biopic.
Last month, alongside her sister, Karen Clark-Sheard, she delivered a rousing performance of her single, “Something Has to Break,” to close out the 2020 BET Awards.
And life keeps on getting better. Sheard recently announced her engagement to the love of her life, Jordan Kelly.