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There is something extraordinarily powerful about hearing a child declare with complete conviction, “If God says, ‘Go,’ you do what Christ tells you to do and go!”  At just nine years old, Kierra “Kiki” Sheard belted out these very words on her famous mother’s (Karen Clark Sheard) gospel song, “The Will of God,” and by the look on little Kiki’s face, I can see and feel that she means what she’s sanging.

Out of the mouths of babes!While today I still tear up when I watch her incredibly moving childhood performance (about half of the YouTube video’s 500k+ hits are probably from me), my first introduction to Sheard’s music was her all-grown-up, first solo album, 2004’s I Owe You​, that I stole from my older sister my Freshman year of college. Nine years, four albums, two Stellar Awards and a Grammy nomination later, the 25-year-old chart topper and her powerhouse voice are still at it. But while it’s common knowledge that the girl can blow, I was surprised to learn that the seemingly self-assured Sheard has had a lifelong struggle with her weight.

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