Shirley Caesar (born October 13, 1938 in Durham, North Carolina) is an American Gospel music singer.
At the age of 10, Caesar began singing and performing for family and friends. Her professional career began when, at the age of 18, she approached Albertina Walker about joining The Caravans. She performed with The Caravans from 1958 until she pursued a solo career in 1966 and making a name for herself in the gospel music circuit. She is known as the “First Lady of Gospel music” . She is a living legend and icon to many up coming Gospel singers.
Caesar has received numerous awards for her gospel albums. She has received a phenominal eleven Grammy Awards, for recordings including Stand Still, Shirley Caesar Live…, He Will Come, Sailin’, Rejoice, Celebration and He’s Working It Out For You. Between 1981 and 1995 she received seven Dove Awards for Black Gospel Album of the Year for Live at the G.M.W.A., Live…In Chicago, Celebration, Christmasing, Sailin’, Go and Rejoice. She has also received two Black Gospel Song of the Year Awards for “He’s Working It Out for You” and “Hold My Mule.”
Caesar graduated from Shaw University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1984. She also received honorary doctorates from Shaw University and Southeastern University.
Caesar is a minister of her church in North Carolina. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has been married to her husband Harold Williams since 1983.
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