Karen Clark-Sheard (born Karen Valencia Clark on November 15, 1960) is an American gospel singer, musician, and songwriter. The youngest daughter of pioneering gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark, Sheard began her career as a member of the The Clark Sisters. She is the mother of contemporary gospel singer and actress Kierra “Kiki” Sheard.
During the hiatus of the Clark Sisters, Sheard recorded her critically acclaimed and much anticipated solo album Finally Karen, which spawned her hit, “Balm in Gilead” (a re-recording of a song she originally recorded as part of The Clark Sisters back in the 1980s for their Heart & Soul album) the R&B-flavored “Just For Me” and “Nothing Without You” – a contemporary duet with R&B diva Faith Evans. Finally Karen became one of the most successful gospel albums of 1998 earning Sheard a Grammy nomination and earning her a Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for “Best Female Vocalist”.