Chicago screenwriter brings The Clark Sisters' inspiring gospel story to TV

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's a new movie about five sisters born and raised in Detroit who became the most successful female gospel group in history.

From humble beginnings - abuse, rejection, betrayal, sibling rivalry, a mother who pushed and pushed - all this in the world of gospel music. "The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel" is a story screenwriter Sylvia Jones wanted to tell.

"I felt a kinship, as much as you can feel a kinship as a regular person to superstars," Jones said. "These were women who grew up in the church, I grew up in the church. They grew up in a fractured home with a single mother, same here. It was five sisters, with me it was four sisters. Heavily involved in the church, my family was heavily involved in the church. There were so many kindred spirit things that felt more alike than different - except for the superstardom and the killer voices and all that kind of stuff."

The sisters, who still perform, are credited with bringing gospel mainstream. Jones, once was part of our ABC7 family, did intensive research to get their story.

"It was a fun process and I felt like I got to use my journalism chops in Hollywood," she said.

Jones also worked on this with Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot and Queen Latifah.

"You look at the three of them and say, 'Oh my God, I'm a fan, I'm a fan.' And they look at them and say, 'Oh God, I'm a fan, I'm a fan,'" she said.

"The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel" premieres on the Lifetime Channel on Saturday, April 11.
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