Produced by Lou Adler and Terry Young, with Contributions from Chris Martin, Diane Warren and More, Beautiful Scars is a Testimony to Clayton’s Grace, Gratitude and Upbringing in the Church

Read the New York Times Profile The Unstoppable Merry Clayton 

“Her incredible strength isn’t only in her voice”

Listen to the NPR Morning Edition Interview Merry Clayton Bares Her Beautiful Scars

Listen to Beautiful Scars Here

Today, Motown Gospel/Capitol CMG/Ode Records is proud to release Beautiful Scars, the first new album by Merry Clayton in over twenty-five years, and a riveting collection of songs that celebrate God’s grace in the face of hardship and tragedy.

Co-produced by Clayton’s lifelong friend, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Lou Adler, and legendary Gospel vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter Terry Young, Beautiful Scars brings Merry back to her roots, growing up singing at New Zion Baptist Church in New Orleans, her father Reverend A.G. Williams Sr. Clayton's parish.  

Beautiful Scars is more than just a title, it's a phrase that encapsulates the last seven years of Merry’s life. In 2014, mere months after 20 Feet From Stardom — the phenomenal film in which she stars — won the Oscar for Best Documentary, Merry was involved in a devastating car accident that claimed both of her legs, requiring a five-month hospital stay, four years of diligent rehabilitation, and ultimately proved that “her incredible strength isn’t only in her voice,” according to a recent New York Times profile.

Merry began discussing the possibility of recording again with Lou Adler while still in the hospital.  “I’ve been through the fire and the rain, but I made it,” she recalls saying. “I want people to know that there is healing and deliverance through anything. But you’ve got to trust God — put yourself in His hands.” 

Known as one of the most recognizable voices of all time, Merry has graced recordings and stages with legends such as Ray Charles (she became a Raelette at age 16), The Rolling Stones (“Gimme Shelter”), Carole King (Tapestry), Joe Cocker (“Feelin’ Alright”), Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama”), Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Who, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley and countless more. 

Merry made this record with the simple goal of showcasing her love for God and music. “This record was divinely planned, every piece of it: every song, every musician, every singer,” she recently told Rolling Stone. “I knew that God wasn’t finished with me yet, and that he had another plan in mind. If he hadn’t had another plan, I wouldn’t have come through the way I did. Because I absolutely came through that accident. I came through shining like gold.”

Praise for Merry Clayton

“Her incredible strength isn’t only in her voice.”-  New York Times 

“A hard won comeback.”- Rolling Stone

"Merry Clayton personifies the word ‘indomitable.’"- Billboard

"The devotional tone of Beautiful Scars brings Clayton full circle"- The Guardian

“Clayton draws heavily on her roots on Beautiful Scars, singing testimonials to love, gratitude, trust, faith and, most of all, healing.”- Associated Press

"A testimony that unfolds like an extended sermon."- ESPN Undefeated

“It is all there — the joy, pain and determination”- NBC News

“Joy and gratitude emanate from every note”- San Diego Union Tribune

"Beautiful Scars is a precious gift, and every song shines brightly with love and faith and the knowledge that we can make the world a better place when we humble ourselves and embrace our “beautiful scars.”- No Depression