|Birth Day:||October 13, 1938|
|Birth Place:||Durham, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
She made her first gospel recording in 1951 at age 12.
Caesar first began singing and performing for family and friends. She began singing as Baby Shirley Caesar all over the Carolinas as invitations poured in. She could only perform on weekends due to being in school during the weekdays. Her professional music career began in 1958 at 19, when she approached Albertina Walker about joining The Caravans, one of the most popular gospel groups at that time. Albertina wanted the vocally talented young Shirley Caesar in her group after hearing her sing a solo. Caesar decided to halt her education to join the group.
Caesar recorded and performed with Albertina Walker, Cassietta George, Inez Andrews, Delores Washington, Josephine Howard, Eddie Williams and James Herndon while in the Caravans. Her biggest hit with the Caravans was the song "Sweeping Through the City" followed by "No Coward Soldier". After eight years with the Caravans, she decided to leave after being offered a solo recording contract with Hob Records. Her first LP on the Hob label was entitled I'll Go, backed up by the Institutional Radio Choir and includes the classics "Oh Peter, Don't Be Afraid" and "Choose Ye This Day". Other hits soon followed with recordings such as "Satan, We're Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down", "God's Not Dead, He's Yet Alive" and the classic "Don't Drive Your Mama Away". In 1971, Shirley won her first Grammy Award for her recording of "Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man", and in 1975, her recording of the song "No Charge" became an instant hit and her first gold record. Despite this success, she wanted to reach larger audiences and felt this wasn't being achieved with Hob Records, so she decided not to renew her record contract with them, which ended that same year.
To reach more people with her music, Caesar signed with a secular record label called Roadshow Records in 1977 and released the debut album entitled First Lady. The producer of the album titled the album First Lady because Caesar was the first female to ever record on the label. The album contained songs with strong gospel lyrics, but many within the gospel community felt that the music itself was "too worldly," and many gospel DJ's refused to play it on their radio station. One song, however, "Faded Rose", later became a Caesar classic. Overall, the album sold poorly, but the "First Lady" title caught on within the gospel industry, and concert announcers, DJ's and gospel promoters everywhere started introducing her as "The First Lady of Gospel Music", a title that has been associated with her ever since. The second and final album she recorded for Roadshow was From the Heart in 1978; it was poorly received for the same reason. Caesar searched for a gospel label and finally decided to sign with Word Records in 1980 and went on to win several more Grammy Awards during the next several years and beyond. She stayed with Word records for many years and recorded some of the biggest hits of her career such as "God's Got It All in Control", "Hold My Mule" (which later went viral as a Thanksgiving-related Internet meme under the title "You Name It"), "He's Working It Out for You", "Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name" and "You're Next in Line for a Miracle".
Between 1981 and 1995, she received seven Dove Awards for Black Gospel Album of the Year for Live at the G.M.W.A., Celebration, Christmasing, Sailin‘, Live ... In Chicago, Go and Rejoice. She received two Black Gospel Song of the Year Awards for "He's Working It Out for You" and "Hold My Mule". She has performed with such performers as Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Dorothy Norwood, Faith Evans, Dottie Peoples, Arnold Houston, Kim Burrell, John P. Kee, Kirk Franklin, Tonex, and Tye Tribbett among others. Shirley Caesar is also an actress. She acted in movies, such as Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) with Larenz Tate and Little Richard, Fighting Temptations (2003) with Beyoncé and Cuba Gooding Jr. and The Unseen (2005) with Steve Harris. She also acted in an episode of The Good News in 1998 as Aunt Shirley. Caesar also appeared onThe Parkers in 2004.
Caesar finally accomplished her dream of completing her education after many years. She returned to school and graduated from Shaw University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1984. She also spent time studying at the Divinity School of Duke University and has received honorary doctorates from Shaw University and Southeastern University.
Caesar is the 10th child of 13 children, all her siblings are now deceased, Her father Jim Caesar was a well known local gospel singer but he died suddenly when Shirley was seven years old . Her mother Hallie Caesar was a semi invalid due to a lame leg. Caesar had a special bond with her mother and took care of her until her death in 1986. Caesar married Bishop Harold I. Williams in June 1983. The couple were co-pastors of the 1,500-member Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, until his death on July 4, 2014. Caesar is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She cites her mother as a strong influence in her decision to give so selflessly of herself. Caesar has committed a sizable portion of all concert sales to her outreach ministries. Recently she has cut back on preaching and has appointed an executive pastor at her church and he provides weekly sermons to the congregation while Caesar serves as senior pastor but Caesar continues to record and perform in concert all over the country . She also continues to hold her annual outreach ministries conference . The outreach ministry provides food, clothing, shelter, toys for children and financial assistance to those in need. When asked what would she still like to accomplish, she says, "I would like to do more acting "...
She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Caesar was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010. She performed for President Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House in 2015 along with Aretha Franklin.
In 2016, Caesar found herself back at the very top of the Gospel Billboard chart with her newest CD release Fill This House.
In May 2016, the National Museum of African American Music honored Caesar with the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award in Nashville, Tennessee in advance of the planned 2018 opening of the historic museum.
Shirley was married to Bishop Harold I. Williams from 1983 up until his death in 2014.
Currently, Shirley Caesar is 84 years, 3 months and 15 days old. Shirley Caesar will celebrate 85th birthday on a Friday 13th of October 2023. Below we countdown to Shirley Caesar upcoming birthday.
Happy 81st Birthday to Shirley Caesar! | WGRB-AM | Sonya Blakey
Today, October 13th is the "First Lady of Gospel Music's" Birthday!
Pastor Shirley Caesar Celebrates Her 79th Birthday Today!!!
Pastor Shirley Caesar Celebrates Her 79th Birthday on Today!