The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel broke all of the records and took over Twitter when it premiered on Lifetime Saturday, April 11. Kierra “Kiki” Sheard auditioned for and nabbed the role of her mother, the beloved gospel powerhouse Karen Clark-Sheard in the film that garnered over 2.7 million viewers. In a conversation with ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! Podcast, Kierra highlighted how much the experience meant to her.

“It was a great experience. And I would say that was actually one of the most empowering moments for me, because sometimes, you know how we do things for years and years, but there are still moments in our careers where we doubt ourselves and we’re like, ‘I’m not sure I’m cut out for this.'”

Executive produced by Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliott, the film tells the inspiring story of one of the most revered gospel groups in history. Sisters Jacky, Twinkie, Dorinda, Karen, and Denise became a group formed by their mother, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Their record-breaking albums brought messages of hope and faith not only to the church but to the secular world and bridged a gap that very few crossed in the 70s and 80s.

Kierra Sheard, a singer songwriter and businesswoman in her own right found comfort and confidence in being part of the project as she worked to overcome her own fears and deliver an honest performance.

“It was emotional for me too. And I think that’s why it delivered the way it did, because it became personal for me. It wasn’t me just acting. And that’s what I enjoy most about this film is that while I was acting, there were moments where I really could take them personal,” she says.

With over 700,000 #TheClarkSisters interactions on social media on the day of its premiere, it’s safe to say that Kierra and the entire cast’s performances resonated with audiences everywhere.

To hear her full interview, listen below.

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