Local News

Gospel Singer Uses Rap to Spread Word

Posted February 2, 2007 10:51 a.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2007 10:58 a.m. EST

— Shirley Caesar , an 11-time Grammy award-winning gospel singer and preacher, is taking a new approach to make sure her message is still being heard.

These days, the Durham native is using rap to spread the word to everyone, especially young people.

"I've been preaching Jesus to them and now I've got to come down on their level and talk to them where they are," she said.

Caesar's ability to remain a force in gospel music is one reason the Triangle Urban League is honoring her with its first lifetime achievement award.

"Everybody wants to be appreciated and I want to thank North Carolina, the Triangle-area Urban League for showing some love," she said.

Caesar has shown love to the community all her career.

"All of these years, I've taken anywhere from portions to half of my income, and I've given it back to the community to be a blessing one way or the other," she said.

Caesar just kicked off a nationwide tour. She will perform some hits from her album, "I Know The Truth," on her own independent label Shu-Bel Records.

"I'm going to do my own rapping, and I'm going to go way back and get oldies like 'Jesus, I Love To Call Your Name,'" she said.

Although her four-decade career shows no signs of slowing down, Caesar is thinking about her legacy.

"I'd like to be remembered as the person who cared," she said.

Caesar will receive her award at the Triangle Urban League's Legends Gala presented by WRAL-TV on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Embassy Suites in Cary. WRAL's Gerald Owens and Pam Saulsby will serve as emcees for the evening.