28 Grammy nominations, 11 Grammy wins, 14 Dove Awards, and a host of other accolades. American gospel singer-songwriter, Shirley Caesar is indeed a giant in the world of spiritual music. Dubbed “the First Lady of Gospel Music,” Shirley’s career has spanned over six decades. She was born Shirley Ann Caesar-Williams in Durham, North Carolina in 1938. Her father was the lead singer in a gospel quartet and he had a profound impact on her future career. When she turned ten, Shirley joined her father and his group on stage for the first time. In 1958, Shirley joined The Caravans, a female gospel group that was started by Robert Anderson. Singing for the group helped her launch her career. And in 1966, she decided to go solo, starting her own gospel group The Shirley Caesar Singers. By 1969, the group landed a record deal with HOB records.            

Shirley’s career only went up from here. She earned her first Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance in 1971 for her rendition of Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man from Galilee. She went on to win several other awards including a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Choir and Best Soul Gospel. In her pursuit to spread the gospel, Shirley became a pastor and has traveled far and wide to ensure she reaches her goals. She has an Outreach Ministry that caters to the neglected and those in need in the community. Shirley Caesar has certainly made a difference in the world through her music and evangelism.