As an award-winning vocalist, entertainer, cancer survivor and now one of the country's top speakers, Kevin has seen and done it all.
With a platinum debut album, "Measure of a Man," scores of award nominations and a string of chart topping hits, including "She's Sure Taking It Well," "If You Love Somebody," and the highly acclaimed "Nobody Knows" - which held the top spot on Billboard's Country Singles chart for an astonishing four weeks, marking the best debut by a new male country singer in five years - Kevin is no stranger to musical success. But Kevin has experienced his share of heartbreak as well, which is evident in the emotional portrayal of his songs that has become his trademark with fans and critics alike.
Kevin Sharp grew up in Weiser, Idaho in a musical family of seven children. Between farm chores and running the local diner, the family would sing at area church functions. The moved to Sacramento, California as Kevin was entering his second year of high school. A gift athlete who excelled in several sports, Kevin began experiencing fatigue and unexplained pain that was later diagnosed as a rare form of bone cancer (Ewings Sarcoma) that had spread to his lungs. A senior in high school, Kevin was told that his chance of survival was slim. Uncertain if he would live six months, Kevin was introduced to the Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. They honored his wish of meeting producer/performer David Foster, whose friendship sustained Kevin through two grueling years of chemotherapy, experimental drugs and radiation treatments, as well as opening a door for Kevin to pursue his goal to become a successful country artist. To everyone's surprise, Kevin went into remission in 1981. He has never forgotten the generosity of the Make A Wish Foundation, and currently acts as a national spokesperson for the group. He was also honored with the prestigious "Wishgranter of the Year" award, which singled him out for the devotion, dedication and inspiration he provides the children. To date, Kevin is the only wish child to become the wish request of other wish kids, making his wish experience come full circle.
Kevin has carried this same dedication into his musical career garnering numerous award nominations including "New Male Vocalist" from the Academy of Country Music, "New Male Touring Artist of the Year" from the Country Music Association/SRO, "Favorite New Country Artist" from the American Music Awards, Billboard Magazine's "Best New Country Video" and TNN/Music City News "Male Star of Tomorrow." He was on Billboard Magazine's Top 10 list for both County Artist and Country Album, picked up a trophy for the CMT "Rising Male Video Star of the Year" and was crowned "Sexiest Man" by Sacramento News and Review. His amazing story has been showcased by media outlets including "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee," "Entertainment Tonight," "Good Morning America," "The Dr. Phil Show," and national publications such as USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and People Magazine.
Dan Barnes - Guitar
John Shaw - guitar and keyboard
Jim Klingler - Drums
Jimmy Cheshire - Bass
Travis Henson - Guitar
If You Love Somebody
She's Sure Taking It Well
There's Only You
Make A Wish
Measure of a Man
Country-Western singer Kevin Sharp to appear at fundraiser
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Kevin Sharp has traveled full circle from a Make-A-Wish recipient as a teen-ager given six months to...Kevin Sharp has traveled full circle from a Make-A-Wish recipient as a teen-ager given six months to live to the man he is today: a country music recording artist and motivational speaker who has returned the favor and served as a wish maker to terminally ill children.
Sharp’s involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation was a life-changing event for him and he’s returning to his hometown to return the favor by performing a benefit concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Win-River Casino Event Center. Summer Schappell, an aspiring teenage country singer from Lakehead, will open the show.
Sharp, who was born in Redding and briefly called Cottonwood home as a toddler, hit his stride at Bella Vista High in Fair Oaks, a Sacramento suburb. He sang in musicals and excelled in several sports but especially loved playing football as a “small but fast” running back.
By the midpoint of his senior year, however, he was limping dramatically and frequently relying on crutches to get around. Shortly after graduating in 1988, “my body shut down completely. I was literally on my parents’ floor without sleep for three weeks. I literally couldn’t do anything, the pain was so severe,” Sharp said by phone from his home near Nashville, Tenn.
He was ultimately diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and was told he had six months left to live. “When you first hear the word ‘cancer’ it’s devastating,” Sharp said.
He was introduced to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he asked to meet his musical hero, record producer David Foster, the man who discovered Celine Dion and Josh Groban and produced stars like Michael Jackson, Prince and Barbra Streisand.
That one-hour meeting became a life-changing event for Sharp, who credits Foster with helping him find the strength to withstand two grueling years of chemotherapy, experimental drugs and radiation therapy.
“Friends and families as a whole gave me a reason to survive,” Sharp said.
He called the chemotherapy and radiation “a necessary evil, it’s fighting fire with fire,” but said Make-A-Wish and the experience of meeting Foster proved to be the key difference makers.
“They were the most valuable treatments. Living and surviving and conquering come from those things that treat the heart, soul and the mind,” said Sharp, who also credited his faith. “Coming from strong Christian family was a huge bonus. I don’t know how people make it through life in general, much less a devastating situation, without it. Facing life with a bad leg, no hair, not being able to have children, all of those things that foundation of faith is a big reason I’ve survived.”
Sharp’s cancer went into remission in 1981 and he began pursuing his passion for music. “If I didn’t have my love of music, it would have been unbearable. Competitive athletics was gone, and without the love of music, I don’t think I’d be here,” Sharp said.
Sharp took a job at the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara and began working on a demo tape, which he shopped around to various talent shows and later to Foster, his Make-A-Wish connection.
Foster liked what he heard and introduced Sharp to talent scouts and Sharp was ultimately signed by Asylum Records in 1996. His debut album, “Measure of a Man,” was released the same year and the album’s lead-off single, “Nobody Knows,” spent 4 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Two other singles, “She’s Sure Taking It Well” and “If You Love Somebody,” charted in the top five.
Sharp tells stories with his music, and he also shares his own story as a speaker. “I kind of stumbled into it, but it’s something I’ve always done — sharing my life. My music and my life are one and the same. There’s nothing in my music that contradicts with my life.”
“It’s important that the audience knows a little about me. It’s (performing) become a platform I’ve always wanted it to be. There’s only so much inspiring you can do in a bar. It can be fun, but there’s something about when people can hear what you’re saying,” Sharp said.
Inspiring Hero Joins the Denver Event
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As I see it, a hero is someone who faces tremendous adversity in life and becomes a better person wh...As I see it, a hero is someone who faces tremendous adversity in life and becomes a better person who makes a difference in the lives of others because of it. Kevin Sharp is one such hero. Let me tell you about his story...
Kevin Sharp grew up in Idaho in a musical family of seven children. Between farm chores and running the local diner, the family would sing at area church functions. They moved to Sacramento, California as Kevin was entering high school. A gifted athlete who excelled in several sports, Kevin began experiencing an unusual fatigue and pain.
After seeing several doctors, Kevin's life was devastated with the news that he was suffering from bone cancer which had spread to his lungs. A doctor sat down with Kevin and his parents and explained that, unfortunately, there was a greater than 80 percent chance that Kevin's life would end within six months. In an instant, all the hopes for the future of this young man seemed to be washed away.
As Kevin began to courageously undergo chemotherapy treatment, he was introduced to the Make-A-Wish Foundation which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. As a musician and performer himself, Kevin greatly admired a composer/performer/producer named David Foster, who had collaborated with and mentored iconic stars such as Barbra Streisand, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Madonna and Andrea Bocelli.
Kevin's wish was simply to meet David Foster, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation made that dream come true. In fact, Kevin and David became good friends who kept in touch throughout the course of his chemotherapy, radiation treatments and other medical procedures. All the while, Kevin kept alive his ultimate dream and goal which was to record an album of his own. This dream helped inspire him and gave him strength to face the daily and painful treatments. Deep down inside, Kevin never stopped believing that he had a future.
"Never give up on your life. Never give up on your dreams."
To everyone's surprise, Kevin's illness went into remission and he began to feel healthy and strong once again. Without wasting any time, he made a demo tape and sent it to David Foster to ask for advice about how he could become a better singer and performer. To his surprise, David signed him to his first record deal! And his debut album, titled "Measure of a Man," went platinum producing a string of chart-topping songs, including the highly acclaimed #1 hit "Nobody Knows" which held the top spot on the Billboard chart for four weeks.
Humbled, even astonished, by his achievements, Kevin continued on with dedication and faith. His musical career was soon garnering numerous award nominations including "New Male Vocalist" from the Academy of Country Music, "New Touring Artist of the Year" from the Country Music Association/SRO, "Favorite New Country Artist" from the American Music Awards, Billboard Magazine's "Best New Country Video" and TNN/Music City News Awards "Male Star of Tomorrow." He was on Billboard Magazine's Top 10 list for both Country Artist and Country Album and was given a trophy for the CMT "Rising Male Video Star of the Year."
Word of his inspiring story spread, and was soon being shared by media outlets including "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee," "Entertainment Tonight," "Good Morning America" and national publications such as USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and People Magazine. Kevin's life story is also being developed by a Hollywood studio as the basis for an inspirational movie.
Kevin went on to write a book about his experience called "Tragedy's Gift" which encourages all people to never give up on life or on their dreams. And, he has never forgotten the generosity of the Make-A-Wish Foundation; now he serves as a spokesperson for the charity. He even wrote and donated the organization's theme song, simply called "Make A Wish."
For his contributions, he has been honored with the prestigious "Wishgranter of the Year Award" which recognized his devotion, dedication and the inspiration he provides to children facing life-threatening illnesses. Kevin is also in the unique position that he is the first wish child to become the wish request of other kids, truly making his wish experience come full circle.
Meet Kevin at our Transformation Event in Denver
I'm happy to share the news that Kevin Sharp will be one of our featured speakers in Denver where he'll talk to us about his inspirational story and the life lessons he's learned along the way. In addition, he'll perform a couple of his chart-topping hit songs with us live, during the afternoon of Friday, October 16. (For complete event information, click here.)
More good news: Kevin will be joining us LIVE this week on Transformation Talk Radio. So be sure to join us for Transformation Talk this Thursday evening at 7:00 PM on the West Coast (10:00 PM on the East Coast) right here at transformation.com (just click the Radio tab at the top of the page to listen in live and join the chat during the show). You can also call in to talk to Kevin and I during the show; the number is (347) 308-8056.
What we learn from Kevin Sharp can truly give us the hope, faith and courage to be a hero in our own lives – transforming adversity into positive energy, as well as tragedy into triumph. And that is perhaps the most important and powerful thing any of us will ever do to make our own lives better, and to make a difference in the world around us.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.