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Gospel fans around the world have been anxiously awaiting the premiere of Lifetime’s biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. Press for the film was altered due to the coronavirus outbreak but the network and its producers pressed on and turned their campaign to a digital one.

For weeks, social media has been inundated with promotion for the film, with its stars doing interviews from home and other notable music influences urging fans to tune in. The hard work paid off as viewers have been praising the film throughout its live airing. Other biopics from Lifetime have not been well received, leaving the depiction of the gospel legends a fan favorite.

Viewers have heavily criticized Lifetime’s biopics before

Fans have not been happy with the network’s portrayals of their favorite stars in the past. The majority of viewers complaints have been directed toward casting, with most viewers voicing their concerns over the lack of diversity and hiring actors who do not bear any resemblance to its real-life characters in its films.

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The network’s biopic for Aaliyah received harsh criticism for the casting of Missy Elliott and Timbaland. A review of the film written for Complex Magazine called the network out for their choices.

“Who made the choice to make Timbaland Gluten Free, and Missy Elliott thinner and lighter than she’s ever been,” the review asked. Much of the issues surrounding the biopic also involved Aaliyah’s family not having input as they were against the film being produced from the start. 

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Though the biopic for rap supergroup Salt-N-Pepa has yet to hit the air, fans expressed disappointment over the casting decisions for the film once promotional photos were released. The allegation of the network being colorist resurfaced. Pepa later revealed that she preferred her daughter to portray her but the role was ultimately given to another actress. 

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What was depicted in Lifetime’s ‘The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel?’

According to a Billboard interview, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel was 15 years in the making. The film was executive produced by music heavyweights Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, and Missy Elliott, as well as the sisters. 

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The film was shot in Canada and follows the rise of the quintet from their start in their family church choir under the direction of their mother – Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Moss Clark is noted as a renowned choir director responsible for popularizing the famous three-part harmony she taught her daughters. 

The Clark Sisters went on to win Grammy awards and cross over onto mainstream charts. Along the way, they experienced abuse, family turmoil betrayal, and more – which were all covered in the televised film. 

Viewers loved Lifetime’s ‘The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel’

While previous biopics on the network did not fare well with fans, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel proved to be a hit. Viewers loved everything from the casting – to the music – and the script. Social media buzz has proved that the film is a winner.

“The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel was good. The actors and actresses did a great job. Kudos to everybody involved in this movie,” one viewer wrote with clapping emojis.
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#TheClarkSisters movie on @lifetimetv was amazing! I needed that. I laughed and I cried. Amazing,” wrote another.

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“My God… that was a good movie! Well done, Lifetime! #TheClarkSisters @lifetimetv,” another chimed in.

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With all of the chatter on social media, those unfamiliar with the legendary group were curious to see the film.

“I don’t know who #TheClarkSisters are, but y’all make me wanna watch this movie,” one wrote. 

Celebrities also gave their two cents online about how amazing the film was.

“That. Was. Amazing. …just a glimpse into the price they paid and the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ,” gospel singer Anthony Brown captioned a photo of the film’s cast on Instagram.

Tyler Perry also gave the film two thumbs up, writing, “This #theclarksisters movie on @lifetimetv is just what my soul needed tonight!! The gospel comes alive as it comes out of the voice of a Clark sister. I love these ladies for real!!!”

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Encore showings of The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel will air throughout the next week on Lifetime.