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Kelly Willard
Background information
Birth name Kelly Willard
Born 1957
Origin United States
Genres CCM, Jesus music
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Singing
Years active 1978-present
Labels Maranatha Music
Autumn Records
Associated acts Maranatha Singers
Website KellyWillard.com

Kelly Willard (born in Winter Haven, Florida) is a Contemporary Christian Musician best known for her praise and worship recordings. She was featured as a soloist on projects from Integrity, Vineyard Music, and Maranatha! Music. In addition she sang duets and background vocals with artists like Twila Paris and Keith Green; and did nine solo projects.[1]

Willard began playing the piano at the age of five and composing her own songs at the age of thirteen. She accompanied the church choir, playing and singing in nursing homes, and traveling with a part time gospel group on weekends. At the age of sixteen Willard moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she accompanied such groups as The Jake Hess Sound, The Archers, and Seth. She credits her vocal development to Harlan Rogers.[2]

Willard married at eighteen, joined Harlan Rogers & Friends, and traveled the mid-west until 1977, when she moved to Southern California to be a part of the then current flow of Jesus musicians ministering and recording there. She played keyboards and sung background vocals on projects for such artists as Karen Lafferty, Bob Bennett, Tommy Coomes, Roby Duke, and Lewis McVay before Maranatha! Music approached her to record her own solo project.[2]

After the birth of her children, Willard homeschooled them in the 1990s and later took care of her mother who was suffering with Alzheimer's. In her own words 2004 was, "the worst year of my life." Both parents died, her marriage of 29 years came to an end, and her 18-year-old daughter Haylie, struggling with depression, took her own life. She moved to Florida and become part of a church support community there.[3]

Her latest album Paga' was a seven-year project which featured 18-year-old son Bryan on bass, and 15-year-old Haylie in a duet on the song "Beautiful Jesus". The title refers to the Old Testament priests who would take incense behind the curtain and burn it as an atonement. This is called paga in Hebrew and it means "to make intercession". "When Jesus became our sacrifice, he made the way for our prayers, praises, and worship to become like that incense to the Lord. I wanted this album to draw people to the Lord and take part in that intercession."[3]

Discography

  • 1979 Blame It On The One I Love
  • 1981 Willing Heart
  • 1983 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
  • 1986 Message From A King
  • 1991 Lookin' Back 1976-1986
  • 1991 Garden
  • 1993 Bless My Little Girl
  • 1997 Homesick For Heaven
  • 2007 Paga'

References

External links

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