Shari Addison

Shari Addison

    Whether it's coincidence or pure publicity strategy, the first and second place contestants from Sunday Best launched their much anticipated debuts on the same date, January 13, 2009, and for the same record company. Both the show's winner, Crystal Aikan, and runner-up Shari Addison, were two major reasons why the BET talent showcase boasted its biggest ratings numbers for their gospel programming.  Long before Addison made her national TV debut, she already was a well-versed entertainer.

    The Chicago native started singing at age three with much encouragement from her mother, a minister of music at Calvary Baptist.  Utilizing her voice whenever she could, Addison had won other talent competitions in the past.  But once she reached the top two on Sunday Best, her life has radically changed.

    Addison could be called a late bloomer in the Gospel industry, but she boasts a mature vocal presence that appears to be comfortable with any song or music arrangement that is handed to her.  This is evident on her Verity Records self-titled debut, which is guided by some of gospel's top notch behind the scenes personnel, such as Kevin Bond & Donald Lawrence. 

    While most contestants enter TV reality show competitions to chase and fulfill their lifelong dream, the forty-five year old Addison had already established a career for herself as an actress, singer and music ministry duties at Bright Star Church of God in Christ (COGIC).   However, once she took the Sunday Best stage, numerous luminaries such as Pastor Shirley Caesar and R&B vocalist Stephanie Mills praised the Chicago native's compelling performances. 

    Even though Addison was just a runner-up and missed out on the grand prize of a new automobile, she was given an additional responsibility as a gospel music ambassador.  She was booked on other BET programs - Bobby Jones Gospel and the annual Celebration of Gospel installment that featured Patti LaBelle and Caesar.  With those impressive accomplishments in mind, Addison came full circle as she was invited back to an old-stomping ground in Summer of 2008 - the annual Chicago Gospel Festival where she was first introduced in 2000.

    So while the show Sunday Best introduced the rest of the world to this talented singer, Shari Addison has been giving "Sunday Best" to her Chicago congregation and friends for years.  And with this new, larger stage in front of her, Addison becomes, in her mid-40s, one of the exciting "new" artists to hit the scene.

    By Peggy Oliver

    Available Music