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Gospel singer Shirley Caesar makes Walk of Fame

HOLLYWOOD — Eleven-time Grammy-winning gospel singer Shirley Caesar received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame June 28 in connection with her 50th anniversary as a solo artist.

“Never even in my wildest imagination … growing up in Durham, North Carolina that one day my name would be enshrined in a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Caesar said. “Unimaginable.”

Caesar went on to thank fellow gospel singers Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin, who had spoken earlier in the late-morning ceremony in front of the Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, and Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the Walk of Fame.

Gubler called Caesar “a musical trailblazer who has influenced a wide range of artists across genres.”

“Her career has made an indelible mark on American music and the sounds of gospel,” Gubler said.

The star is near those of fellow gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans.

Caesar was born on Oct. 13, 1938, in Durham, North Carolina and began her recording career as “Baby Shirley” when she was 13 years old.

Gospel legend Albertina Walker invited Williams to join The Caravans when she was in college. Williams performed with the Chicago-based group for eight years.

Caesar began her solo career in 1966 and has recorded more than 40 albums. Her most memorable hits include “No Charge,” “Hold My Mule,” “Jesus I Love Calling Your Name,” “I Remember Mama” and “He’s Working It Out For You.”

Caesar’s most recent album, “Fill This House,” was released on June 3.

Caesar won her first Grammy in 1971 for best soul gospel performance for “Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man From Galilee.” Her most recent was in 2000 for best traditional soul gospel album for “You Can Make It.”

Caesar is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the recipient of 18 Dove Awards, which honor outstanding achievement in the Christian music industry, and 14 Stellar Awards, which honor gospel music artists, writers, and industry professionals.

Caesar has performed for every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter.

Caesar and her husband, Harold I. Williams, were co-pastors of the 1,500-member Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, until his death on July 4, 2014. Caesar was a member of the Durham City Council from 1987-1991.

 

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