After years living a turbulent life, singer Shawn Christopher feels she has been given a second chance at redemption.
Christopher, formerly a lead singer with the rock/soul group Sonia Dada and a backup singer for Chaka Khan, has turned to gospel music to sing about the joy she has found. She sings on the weekends at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington and is working on the release of her gospel solo album in the spring.
“I changed from the inside out,” said Christopher, 55. “Had to say I am sorry to the people I hurt … Fortunately, they gave me another chance to prove that I was a new person. Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to make amends and show the love of Jesus to other people.”
Christopher, who grew up on Chicago’s West Side, said her faith and her family and friends have brought her a measure of peace after a long and troubled career in the music business.
Christopher’s singing talent was discovered in the fifth grade, when she sang the classic hymn “Ave Maria” at a Christmas pageant.
“My teacher recommended me for the holiday program and for additional voice training programs outside of school,” she said. “The problem, though, was they wanted me to sing opera, and all I wanted to do was R&B.”
Christopher’s school career ended soon thereafter.
“I hated school. We never meshed. … Life is my school,” said Christopher, who at age 13 had her first child. Though she ultimately went back and graduated from grammar school, she dropped out of high school.
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SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Nancy A. Simon