During a moment of testimony in her Tiny Desk (home) Concert, Pastor Shirley Caesar declares, “I’m beginning to feel something moving on the inside.” It is impossible to witness a performance from the “First Lady of Gospel Music” and there not be a moment where the spirit moves her to dance, punctuated — in true gospel fashion — by a band led by her longtime organist and music director, Michael Mathis.
As one of the most iconic figures in traditional gospel music, Pastor Shirley Caesar has amassed 18 Dove Awards, 14 Stellar Awards, 11 Grammys in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award, and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. During her seven decades-long career, she has collaborated with fellow traditional gospel figures including Inez Andrews, Dorothy Norwood, Dottie Peoples, Milton Brunson, and her mentor Albertina Walker, as well as contemporary artists such as Kirk Franklin, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Anthony Hamilton, J. Moss and Tye Tribbett.
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