LDS Music World
"Sometimes it hits me that I'm doing what I love and it's like a dream come true," Kevin
says, "It's usually when I'm in the car or riding on the bus between cities and I'm looking out the window, thinking 'Man, I'm really doing this.
This is the real thing.'"
Look at the past year and it's easy to understand why Kevin feels as if he's
living a dream -- a platinum debut album, a string of chart-topping hits, award nominations, a high-profile tour, the BMI song of the year for "Nobody Knows" an upcoming made-for-TV movie of his
life and a new release, LOVE IS. Dreaming?
has worked hard at achieving the success that was little more than a vision several years ago.
"Love is so many different things to all of us," Kevin
"Throughout my life I've learned the importance of loving and being loved.
Whether it be love gained or love lost, the experience is incredible.
A big part of what I hope to do through my music and this album is to show the importance of loving one another, because truly LOVE IS all that really matters."
can't sing songs he
doesn't believe in and the well of experience he
draws from is deep and powerful.
Trophies are nice, but the award Kevin
values most is the "Wishgranter of the Year" annually bestowed by the Make A Wish Foundation
, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
Kevin, who is national spokesman for the group, was singled out for the devotion, dedication and inspiration he provides the children.
"A boy named Matthew gave me the most valuable thing I will ever get in this life -- no award, nothing could match what he
did for me," recalls Kevin
career took off in January 1997 with the success of "Nobody Knows", which held the top slot on Billboard's country singles chart for four weeks.
It marked the best debut by a new male country singer in five years.
It was an auspicious start to his
musical career and the culmination of a lifelong dream.
grew up in Weiser, Idaho -- home of the National Fiddle Festival -- in a large, musical family.
Between farming chores and running the local diner, the family would sing at area church functions.
They moved to Sacramento, Calif, as Sharp
was entering high school.
A gifted athlete, Sharp
started experiencing fatigue and unexplained pain.
was a senior when doctors identified the problem -- a rare form of bone cancer that had spread to his
Hi chance of survival was slim.
would live six months, Kevin
was introduced to the Make A Wish foundation
They asked his
is a believer in the power of music.
had seen music move congregations of worshipers, bond his
family together at difficult times and even inspire his
high school football team.
Music had always been anintegral part of his
life and he
turned to it again.
Kevin wanted to meet producer/composer/performer David Foster.
"Anything that ever touched me he
had something to do with -- he
either produced it, arranged it, or performed it," Sharp
The relationship would sustain Kevin
through two grueling years of chemotherapy, experimental drugs, and radiation.
Much to everyone's surprise, he
went into remission in 1990.
Once cancer free, Kevin
unbridled enthusiam and energy on his
performed at the Great America Theme Park in Northern California, he
started a singing telegram business, and he
sang at funerals.
kept recording his
own demos with an eye toward a record deal.
One of his
tapes landed back in Foster's hands after Foster's sister, 143 A & R executive Jaymes Foster, discovered it in a bin of music.
The label offered Kevin
Gratitude, loyalty, obligation, and honor are tenets he
live by and Kvin has not forgotten the dark days.
As a spokesman for the Make A Wish Foundation, Kevin appears in national radio and television ad campaigns; he has lent his name to a research facility at the Tulane Cancer Center in New Orleans, and raised money for St. Jude Children's Reasearch Hospital in Memphis.
mission of creating special memories and smiles for wish kids by meeting with them during soundcheck when he's
the first to tell you that he
has "friends," not fans.
even changed the name of his
fan club to "Friends Club" to reflect his
personal affection and appreciation for the people who enjoy his
is making "friends" wherever he
has exceeded all expectations on the road.
consistently draws full houses, standing ovations, and huge autograph lines.
first self-promoted show, Kevin
sold more than 2,000 seats in less than one hour.
"It has been the best yearof my life," he