Kevin Grant Sharp (December 10, 1970 – April 19, 2014) was an American country music singer, author, and motivational speaker. Sharp came on the country music scene in 1996 with his first single "Nobody Knows", which topped the Billboard country chart for four weeks. The same year, Sharp released his first album, Measure of a Man.[1]

Kevin Sharp
Birth nameKevin Grant Sharp
Born(1970-12-10)December 10, 1970
Redding, California, U.S.
DiedApril 19, 2014(2014-04-19) (aged 43)
Fair Oaks, California, U.S.
GenresCountry
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1996–2014
LabelsAsylum, Cupit
Associated actsTony Rich
WebsiteOfficial website

Having survived a rare form of bone cancer in his teenage years, Sharp became actively involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He wrote an inspirational book about his life and his fight with cancer, and occasionally toured the United States as a motivational speaker.

BiographyEdit

Early yearsEdit

Sharp was born in 1970 in Redding, California. When he was seven years old, his family moved to Weiser, Idaho, to open a restaurant. Sharp performed in local musicals in high school, and stayed active in music after his family moved to Sacramento, California,[2] in 1985. Starting in 1989, he began to experience dizziness and fatigue. While still a high school senior,[2] he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.[3] The cancer had already spread to his lungs and he was given little chance of recovery.[1][4] Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, Sharp met the record producer David Foster, with whom he soon became friends.[4] After two years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, when still in his early 20s, the cancer went into remission by the early 1990s, although he permanently lost all of his hair as a result of the radiation treatment.[1][4]

Musical careerEdit

After remission, Sharp worked at Great America in Santa Clara, California, while working on a demo tape, which he sent to various talent shows, and later to David Foster.[1] Foster introduced him to A&R representatives and, by 1996, Sharp was signed to Asylum Records. His first album, Measure of a Man, was released in September 1996. The album's first single, a cover version of the R&B artist Tony Rich's "Nobody Knows", spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.[3][5] He became a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and was awarded the foundation's Wish Granter of the Year award, in 1997.[5] He was named New Touring Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association and nominated for Top New Male Vocalist award by the Academy of Country Music.[4]

In 1998, Sharp collapsed backstage at the TNN Music City News Country Awards, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, due to problems with steel rods in his hip. As a result, he had to cancel several tour dates.[6] Measure of a Man produced two more top 10 country singles, "She's Sure Taking It Well" and "If You Love Somebody". However, the album's fourth single, "There's Only You", only peaked at No. 43. His second album, Love Is, released in 1998 on Elektra/Asylum, failed to produce any successful singles, and Sharp was eventually dropped from Asylum's roster.[7]

Sharp continued to perform as a musician, as well as a motivational speaker, and was also a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sharp wrote a book, Tragedy's Gift, and published it in 2004.[4] His third album, Make a Wish, was released on the independent Cupit Records label in 2005, although none of its four singles charted.[4]

DeathEdit

Sharp died on April 19, 2014, at the age of 43, due to complications arising from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues.[8]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak positions Certifications
US Country
[9]
US
[10]
US Heat
[11]
CAN Country
[12]
CAN
[13]
Measure of a Man 4 40 1 2 79
Love Is
  • Release date: June 23, 1998
  • Label: Asylum Records
38
Make a Wish
  • Release date: July 26, 2005
  • Label: Cupit Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

SinglesEdit

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
[16]
CAN Country
[17]
1996 "Nobody Knows" 1 1 Measure of a Man
1997 "She's Sure Taking It Well" 3 4
"If You Love Somebody" 4 7
"There's Only You" 43
1998 "Love Is All That Really Matters" 51 63 N/A
"If She Only Knew" 61 Love Is
2001 "Beautiful People" N/A
2005 "Your Love Reaches Me" Make a Wish
"I Think I'll Stay"
2006 "You Are the Reason Why"
"God Bless the Children" (with Wayne Warner and the Nashville All-Star Choir)[18] Turbo Twang'n
2007 "Make a Wish" Make a Wish
2011 "Let Me Rock You to Sleep"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
1996 "Nobody Knows" Jeffrey Phillips
1997 "She's Sure Taking It Well" Norry Niven
"There's Only You"
1998 "Love Is All That Really Matters"
2005 "I Think I'll Stay"
2006 "You Are the Reason Why"

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Kevin Sharp biography, allmusic.com. Accessed April 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Kevin Sharp, '90s country singer who beat teen cancer, dies at 43". Los Angeles Times. April 21, 2014.
  3. ^ a b CMT.com: Kevin Sharp: Leave It To Mr. Fix It Kevin Sharp
  4. ^ a b c d e f Tragedy's Gift - A Cancer Survival Story - Kevin Sharp
  5. ^ a b Make-A-Wish Foundation: Supporters: Wish-Granting Stars
  6. ^ Kevin Sharp: Sharper Than Ever
  7. ^ Notice of death of Kevin Sharp, cmt.com; accessed April 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Chuck Dauphin (April 20, 2014). "Country Singer Kevin Sharp Dies at 43". Billboard. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
    - IANS (April 21, 2014). "Nobody Knows singer Kevin Sharp dies at 43". biharprabha.com. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Kevin Sharp Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Kevin Sharp Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Kevin Sharp Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Kevin Sharp - Country Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  13. ^ "Kevin Sharp - Top Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Canadian albums certifications – Kevin Sharp – Measure of a Man". Music Canada.
  15. ^ "American album certifications – Kevin Sharp – Measure of a Man". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  16. ^ "Kevin Sharp Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  17. ^ "Kevin Sharp - Country Singles". RPM. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Nashville All Star Choir". Wayne Warner. Retrieved November 28, 2019.

External linksEdit