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The Clark Sisters
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 United States
The Clark Sisters are an American gospel vocal group consisting of four sisters: Jacky Clark Chisholm , Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell , Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark Sheard. The Clark Sisters are the daughters of gospel musician and choral director Mattie Moss Clark. They are credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream and are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Their biggest crossover hits include: “Is My Living in Vain?”, “Hallelujah”, “He Gave Me Nothing to Lose”, “Endow Me”, their hit song “Jesus Is A Love Song”, “Pure Gold”, “Expect a Miracle”, and their largest mainstream crossover gold certified, “You Brought the Sunshine”. The Clark Sisters are renowned for their vocal stylings, dubbed as “The Clark Sound.” They incorporate high and fast melismas, acrobatic trills and riffs, and deep, soulful growls, or “squalls”.
The sisters are also known for the individual distinctive sounds that they contribute. Jacky (contralto) is known for her soft, smooth, deeper vocals. Dorinda (mezzo-soprano), the “jazzy” sister, inputs scats and riffs. Uses her piercing soprano vocals that can be cleary heard on early tracks. Also known for her runs and high melismas. Karen (soprano) is known for her unique riffs, runs, growls, scats, very vast vocal range, ability to belt whilst in the whistle range, and has also been known to implement an “echo” in her live performances. Twinkie is known for her complex runs, riffs, powerful mixed-voice belts, soulful squalls and deep growls. Twinkie (Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano/Alto/Contralto/Tenor/Baritone) is credited with being the “heart of the Clark Sisters.” Early in the group’s development, Twinkie was the chief songwriter, music and vocal arranger, producer, and also possessing a wide vocal range from soprano to a low baritone.
The Clark Sisters have won three Grammy Awards. With 16 albums to their credit and millions in sales, the Clark Sisters are the highest-selling female gospel group in history.