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Kierra Sheard Says Aunjanue Ellis ‘Merked My Grandmother’s Role’ In ‘The Clark Sisters’

If there was one thing the saints could agree on after watching The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel on Lifetime was that Aunjanue Ellis played the heaven out of the role of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark.

The series followed Clark, along with her five daughters, as they created the iconic Clark Sisters sound, eventually earning their way into the history books as the most celebrated and highest-selling female group in Gospel history.

Grammy Award-winning Gospel singer Kierra Sheard, who portrayed her mother Karen Clark Sheard in the television movie that captivated Black Twitter on Saturday night, told ESSENCE that she was proud of the way her aunts, but particularly her grandmother, was portrayed on the small screen.

“Aunjanue Ellis, she merked my grandmother’s role and she did it so well to where there were moments where I was just kind of crying to myself in my dressing room,” Sheard recalled. “And I would say, ‘I wish my grandmother was here to see this.’ Because she just made her come alive so well.”

Being a child in the family, Sheard admitted there was a lot of her grandmother’s story that she simply didn’t know—including that she “had challenges in her marriage” to her grandfather, Rev. Elbert Clark.

“I didn’t know the dynamic or the details of the relationship until I got older, but to me he was still Pop Pop,” she continued. “It was never, no, ‘You’re divorced from Grandma,’ and they never let us feel that.”

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