- TICKET NEWS
Gospel stars The Clark Sisters granted Mary J. Blige the rights to their life story because they knew she understood the trials and tribulations they had overcome during their careers.
Blige has teamed up with Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott to produce a TV biopic about the Grammy-winning siblings' rise from their humble start in Detroit, Michigan, to becoming the highest-selling female gospel group in history, all while battling a series of personal and professional highs and lows.
The veteran bandmembers reveal they have long been approached to have their lives adapted for the screen, but it was only when they learned Blige was involved that they agreed to sign up for the project.
"The most important thing was to have somebody who understands our heart; who understands what we do, and if anybody understood, Mary understood," Jacky Cullum Chisholm explained in a group interview for U.S. talk show Strahan & Sara.
Gushing about the impact The Clark Sisters had on her own life and career, Mary said, "They're not just singers, they are really healers. They helped me through so much... They're the real deal.
"When people are so anointed and they have this angel effect, you wanna know what was their story, what's their life like?"
The film, titled, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, stars Christina Bell, Shelea Frazier, Raven Goodwin, Angela Birchett, and Kierra Sheard as the singers, with actress Aunjanue Ellis playing the family’s matriarch.
Kierra's casting as Karen Clark was particularly poignant for the musicians because she is the 58 year old's daughter.
Karen shared, "It was really exciting to see (Kierra portraying her), and then we had... even more (of a) connection when she called me and said, 'Mum, how do you sing this? How do you move your head?' Those things, it's just amazing to see."
The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel is set to premiere on U.S. network Lifetime next year (20).