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Kirk Franklin: In Praise Of Shirley Caesar's Ministry
"I picked songs that I felt first of all would really flow together, work well together and would kind of give the breadth of her musical career," says multiple GRAMMY winner Kirk Franklin about preparing his "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" tribute medley for Shirley Caesar. "I hope that I did a good job."
Caesar received a 2017 Special Merit Lifetime Achievement Award and has won 11 GRAMMY Awards, beginning with her first nomination for Best Soul Gospel Performance for 1971. In reflecting on her career, Franklin describes Caesar as having "a charisma back in the day, back in the 60s and 70s, that she kind of brought a sense of entertainment to the table," while being quick to point out she has the same dynamic style today.
Franklin also credits her outreach and evangelism through music, by leading with entertainment to reach listeners with a message from scripture. "I'm just very proud to see that she understood that to get the people engaged in the message, you had to feed them first," said Franklin. "You feed them with that entertainment and that 'feel good.'"
Franklin and Tamela Mann won Best Gospel Performance at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards for "God Provides," edging out Caesar and Anthony Hamilton's "It's Alright, It's OK." With his total GRAMMY wins at 12, one more than Caesar, that's another edge. But the real race these two ministers of Gospel are engaged in is driven by faith, of course.