Remembering Shawn McLemore | In Words, Music, Photos, Videos
Gospel recording artist, Shawn McLemore, grew up in Los Angeles, California. Having been exposed to music while growing up in the church, the naturally talented singer became inspired to let his talent be known at an early age. His life in the industry can be traced back as far back the 1980s in film and the early 1990s, during a time when contemporary gospel music was transitioning to a hip-hop-influenced sound. We remember his versatility as an artist with these highlighted moments of his career.
(1986) Co-starred in the film, Summer Camp Nightmare
The film featured Mclemore as Hammond Pumpernil, a member of a group of teen campers that revolted against their camp director and took it over for themselves. He also appeared in the 1988 L.A. gang film Colors, which starred feature film icons Sean Penn and Robert Duvall.
As the 1990s dawned, McLemore graduated from West LA University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in musical education. This was when he began focusing more on his music career.
(1989) Featured on “Long Time Coming,” Ron Winans’ Family & Friends II project
(1990) Released a new jack swing project under the name Big Mack
Big Mack, Mclemore’s new jack swing era persona, released an LP on Def Jam/Columbia Records in 1990, Tick Tock (Ring My Phone) reaching number 78 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles Chart. The collaboration included backing band members: Rashad Coes, Andre Land and the hip-hop legend DJ Pooh.
(1992) Provided backing vocals to rap legend Yo Yo’s West Coast classic hip-hop album, Black Pearl
(1995) Organized the Inspirational Sounds Mass Choir of Houston, TX
The group was composed of various members of the Houston gospel music and church community. Live was released in 1995 and featured memorable songs like Magnify Him, which he co-wrote with Luke Austin and had future gospel legend Kim Burrell on lead. It was on the Texas record label, Pearl Records.
(1996) Featured on John P. Kee’s hit album Stand
(1997) Wait on Him released on Verity Records with New Image
(2005) Featured on gospel legend Ron Winans’ final project
(2007) Sunday Morning: The Live Experience, was released
His first solo album, Sunday Morning: The Live Experience, was released on February 13, 2007 by Worldwide Music. It featured a traditional sound with a contemporary approach.
(2008) Featured on Hezekiah Walker’s It Shall Come to Pass Reprise
(2010) Stand: The Shawn Mac Project, was released
His next album, Stand: The Shawn Mac Project, was released in 2010 by Worldwide Music/Black Smoke Music and featured choir classics like If I Have the Faith and Your Grace and Mercy.
Featured on hit song I Believe by James Fortune, featuring Zacardi Cortez
The James Fortune and F.I.Y.A. song, I Believe, featuring Mclemore hit number one on the Billbaord Gospel Chart and received a 2011 Soul Train nomination for “Best Gospel Performance.”
(2011) Released a fourth album, One Percent Miracle: Any Minute Now
In conjunction with the success of I Believe, he released a fourth album, One Percent Miracle: Any Minute Now, on the Black Smoke Music label. The album spoke to many of life’s challenges and triumphs and left listeners with a stronger sense of hope, motivation, and inspiration.
(2014) Joined the supergroup, Five Men
In 2014, he joined the group Five V Men, which featured Christopher Williams, Wess Morgan, Melvin Williams, and Doug Williams. Their debut project was released on Blackberry Records.
(2015) Starred in “Baby Hold on to Me” stage play
In addition to his music and film career, McLemore was a mainstay on stags across the country as an actor. He was featured in Tyler Perry’s If Loving You is Wrong and Hell Has no Fury Like a Women Scorned, Come Out of the Rain, I Need a Man, Momma Don’t, Don’t Get God Started, Sneaky, Momma I’m Sorry, Listen to Your Woman, Friends and Lovers Casino – Confessions. One of his biggest roles that he was most proud of was in “Baby Hold On To Me”, where he was the late R&B legend, Gerald Levert.
(2020) Released his final music video
Amid health concerns, Mclemore released Sunday Morning Remix on Black Smoke Music Worldwide. The upbeat video featured the Houston community that would later honor him with a benefit concert. His Night of Love featured Kathy Taylor, Zacardi Cortez, Earnest Pugh, Kerry Douglas and more hosted by Lexi Allen at Community of Faith Church, April 2021.
Aside from all of his accomplishments, McLemore found his greatest joy in his family. His death was announced on October 9. He’s survived by his wife, Rhonda McLemore and daughter ShaRon McLemore. A Celebration Tribute is scheduled to be held October 15, 7pm and the Celebration of Life will be held October 16 at 11am. Both will be Greater Grace Church, located at 10800 Scott St. Houston, TX 77047. He will be greatly missed by the Houston Gospel community and his family.