Shirley Caesar (b. October 13, 1938) is an African-American gospel singer and Christian pastor.
Caesar was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She faced many obstacles in her youth, including racism, segregation, the death of her father when she was only eight years old, and the responsibility of caring for a semi-invalid mother.
Caesar began singing as a young girl in church. Although she was struggling in school, she remained determined, and continued with her education while developing her remarkable musical talent. She eventually graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Shaw University.
Caesar began her professional singing career with The Caravan Singers in the mid 1960s. In 1966 her solo career began to take flight as audiences learned of her soul-stirring voice.
Shirley Caesar is currently the Pastor of the Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has won won 11 Grammies, 17 Dove Awards, 12 Stellar Awards, and the Soul Train Music Award for Best Gospel Album.