Kevin Sharp was born in 1970 in Redding, California. When he was seven years old, his family moved to Weiser, Idaho to open a restaurant. Sharp performed in local musicals in high school, and stayed active in music after his family moved back to California in 1985. Starting in 1989, he began to experience dizziness and fatigue. He was later diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and given little chance of recovery. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation (a foundation which helps grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses), Sharp met record producer David Foster, with whom he soon became friends. After two years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, his cancer went into remission by the early 1990s, although he permanently lost all of his hair as a result of the radiation treatment.
After remission, Sharp worked at Great America in Santa Clara, California, while working on a demo tape, which he sent to various talent shows, and later to David Foster. Foster introduced him to A&R representatives, and by 1996, Sharp was signed to Asylum Records. His debut album, Measure of a Man, was released in November 1996. The album’s lead-off single, a cover of Tony Rich‘s “Nobody Knows”, spent four weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. He became a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and was awarded the foundation’s Wish Granter of the Year Award in 1997; He was named New Touring Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association, and nominated for Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.
In 1998, Sharp collapsed backstage at the TNN Music City News Country Awards, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, due to problems with steel rods in his hip. As a result, he had to cancel several tour dates. Measure of a Man produced two more Top 5 country singles in “She’s Sure Taking It Well” and “If You Love Somebody“. However, the album’s fourth single, “There’s Only You”, peaked at No. 43. His second album, Love Is, also failed to produce any successful singles, and Sharp was eventually dropped from Asylum’s roster.
Sharp continued to perform as a musician, as well as a motivational speaker, and was also a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2004, he wrote an inspirational book, titled Tragedy’s Gift. His third album, Make a Wish, was released on the independent Cupit Records label in 2005, although none of its four singles charted.
Sharp died on April 19, 2014, due to complications arising from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues; he was 43 years old
- December, 10, 1970
- Redding, California
- April, 19, 2014
- Fair Oaks, California
Cause of Death
- due to complications arising from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues