Shirley Caesar is a well-known American Gospel music singer who has won 11 Grammy Awards and 7 Dove Awards for Black Gospel Album of the Year so far. Shirley has been singing for over seven decades and is widely known as The Queen of Gospel Music and The First Lady of Gospel Music. She has released forty albums so far and has featured in three gospel musicals and 16 compilations. Let us have a brief look at the life, career, and net worth of Shirley Caesar in 2019.
Early Life & Biography
Shirley Ann Caesar was born on 13th October in the year 1938, in Durham, North Carolina, the United States to James Caesar and Hannah Caesar. She started to sing at quite a young age and recorded her first song when she was 12 years old. As her childhood and teenage days were dedicated to singing, she completed a degree in Business Administration at Shaw University only in 1984. Caesar also holds honorary doctorates which she received from the Shaw and Southeastern University.
Shirley Caesar married Harold I. Williams, a Bishop in 1983. The couple was together since then until the death of Harold in 2014. They were also co-pastors of the Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in North Carolina.
Career, Awards & Nominations
Caesar’s professional career took off when she was 19 years old in 1957. She approached Albertina Walker to join The Caravans and was eventually added to the group as Albertina found Caesar very much talented. She performed and recorded for The Caravans until 1966 after which she began to pursue a solo career.
She released the albums My Testimony, and I’ll Go and made a name for herself in the world of Gospel Music. She went on to appear on many gospel shows, and television shows are winning seven Dove Awards in the category Black Gospel Album of the Year between 1981 and 1995.
Caesar has collaborated with Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Dorothy Norwood, Kim Burrell, and many others, and has also acted in the films. Why do Fools Fall in Love, Fighting Temptations, and The Unseen.
She has so far won 11 Grammy Awards, 18 Dove Awards, 14 Stellar Awards, (McDonald’s) Golden Circle Lifetime Achievement Award, NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, Essence Award, SESAC Lifetime Achievement Award, and was honored by The Recording Academy in 2017 also with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was inducted into the North Hall of Fame of Carolina Music in the year 2010 and the Hall of Fame of Gospel Music in the year 2000.
Net Worth & Earnings
The Queen of Gospel Music has amassed huge wealth through her successful career as a singer and a songwriter. The sales of over 2.2 million copies of her works and other notable television and film appearances contribute largely to her net worth of $18 million.
From a girl who started to record at 12 to an 80-year old legend, Shirley Caesar has dedicated the whole of her life for Gospel Music which is why she is rightly called as The First Lady of Gospel.