On April 19, 2014, the world bid farewell to motivational speaker and country singer Kevin Sharp. Known best for his 1996 No. 1 Country Hit "Nobody Knows," the 46 year-old singer passed away from complications due to stomach surgery and digestive issues.
Sharp was born in 1970 in Redding, California. When he was 7 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 back to California in 1985. Starting in 1989, he began to experience dizziness and fatigue. He was later diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and given little chance of recovery. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation (a foundation which helps grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses), Sharp met record producer David Foster (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion & Natalie Cole) with whom he soon became friends. After two years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, his cancer went into remission by the early 1990s, although he permanently lost all of his hair as a result of the radiation treatment.
Foster later introduced Sharp to A&R representatives and by 1996, Sharp was signed to Asylum Records. His tenure at the fledging Nashville label was met with initial success. His debut single, a re-cut of Tony Rich's "Nobody Knows" made it all the way to Billboard's Country Chart at no. 1, staying on the pinnacle position for 4 straight weeks. His debut album "Measure of a Man" managed to lock in the Billboard Country Album chart at a lofty no. 4 position. Success continued for Sharp when two more singles "She's Sure Taking It Well" and "If You Love Somebody" became top 5 hits. Later, Sharp became a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and was awarded the foundation's Wish Granter of the Year Award in 1997. He was also named New Touring Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association, and nominated for Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.
However, Sharp did suffer from the proverbial sophomore slum when his second album "Love Is" only garnered two minor hits "Love is All that Matters" and "If She Only Knew." Finally, Sharp dropped from Asylum's roster. But he remained a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2004, he wrote an inspirational book, titled "Tragedy's Gift" and his first independent album "Make a Wish" followed a year later. Considered by fans his most critically acclaimed record, "Make a Wish" features the singles "I Think I'll Stay" and "Your Love Reaches Me."
At the time of writing, a service honoring the Life and Career of Kevin Sharp is planned for: Saturday, May 31, 2014 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm The Nashville Palace 2611 McGavock Pike Nashville, TN 37214
If you would like to share your memories of Kevin, you can email [email protected]
If you would like to send a card to the family, please address it to:Remembering Kevin Sharpc/o Elaine Sharp2795 E. Bidwell St#100-515Folsom, CA 95630