From one gifted singer to another: Kierra Sheard ‘prayed’ to control nerves during song tribute to Brandy
Article By LaTonya Harris // EEW Magazine // Entertainment
Gospel singer Kierra Sheard said, she was “nervous as jacks” while paying tribute to one of her biggest vocal inspirations, R&B singer Brandy Norwood, and prayed to God for help.
The 32-year-old preacher’s daughter took center stage at the 2019 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Thursday, Aug. 29th, where Brandy received the BMI President's Award for her contributions to music and songwriting, and her influence on entertainment.
After the deed was done, on Instagram, Kierra, a dedicated member of the Church of God In Christ (COGIC), and widely-respected Christian soloist in her own rite, got reflective about the events leading up to the tribute.
According to her, she “studied” 40-year-old Brandy’s voice, “trying to find her tone,” which proved to be a daunting task. In rehearsal, the frazzled Stellar Award-winner admitted that, due to the pressure of the big moment, she “kept bombing the song. So, that made me even more nervous.”
When the jitters became overwhelming, Kierra, who knows where to go when she needs help, did what she does best, aside from singing.
“I prayed, and God was with me once again,” she said.
From the look and sound of things, prayer—along with coaching from GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel composer and songwriter, Donald Lawrence—worked great. Kierra gained the confidence she needed to sing “He is” from Brandy’s 2002 Full Moon album, and earned a standing ovation from the honoree herself.
Brandy, a multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter-actress, rose to fame in 1994 at age 15 with her multi-platinum, self-titled debut album. In 2018, she became the first 90s artist to score 1.5 billion streams across all digital platforms. As an actress, Brandy starred in the sitcom, Moesha, and made history with Disney's adaptation of Cinderella as its first African American princess, starring alongside her idol, the late Whitney Houston.
“This was a dream to have sung one of my favorite songs to one of my favorite celebrities,” Kierra said of the moment, adding, “Everyone doesn’t get the chance to tell one of their biggest inspirations, you love them. I did!”
As the 2019 honoree, Brandy joins previous recipients Curtis Mayfield, Ludacris, Toni Braxton and Will.i.am.