On Tuesday’s episode of Tamron Hall, the titular host dove deep into some of the most buzzworthy headlines in entertainment.
One of the show’s guests was Dante Bowe, a former member of the Grammy-nominated gospel ensemble Maverick City Music.
The singer shared his side of the story regarding his unforeseen departure from the group.
During their interview, Hall pointed out the pressures of the Gospel music industry and the strict conduct the artists are expected to follow. She read off the lists of actions Bowe allegedly did that was out of bounds: “Dancing to explicit music, wearing a shirt showing off a nude body, and posting a nude photo on social media.”
The talk show host then read the reactions from Bowe’s fans who were disappointed.
“Thought you were supposed to represent Jesus,” one fan said.
“I understand you’re supposed to be given second chances and be merciful BUT at the same time Dante Bowe is literally choosing to be controversial,” another person reacted.
Bowe, who was 22 years old when he signed his first record deal, cleared up the misconceptions.
“I blew up overnight. And with that comes mistakes and different things like that. Some of the things aren’t true, some of the things are. You know, specifically the only thing that I’ve found a problem with is just the nude photo and it was an accident because it wasn’t a salacious photo at all, it was my progress when I was losing weight.”
The salacious photo in question is a since-deleted picture Bowe posted on his Instagram story with his tank top rolled up to his underarms, revealing his stomach and chest.
“You know I was trying my best to get in shape and so it wasn’t a sexual photo, if you know what I mean,” he said.
Bowe added that he intended for the image to remain in his personal photo library as a way to document his fitness journey.
“It was devastating to me because I know my fans and I want to always be an example, not just an example of a believer, but just an example of a good person,” he said. “I don’t want anyone — children or anyone — to see that.”
A year ago, Maverick City Music announced they would be putting their relationship on “pause” with Bowe via an Instagram post. In the shocking statement, the group claimed that Bowe exhibited “behavior inconsistent with our core values and beliefs.”
While they wished him well and offered him “full commitment and support,” the post led fans to assume their dismantle was over Bowe’s questionable actions on social media.
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In a recent interview with Business Insider, Bowe said his departure was unrelated to the photo.
“We weren’t working together that much in the first place, and not for any other reason other than my career was taking off,” he said. “I had a number one single and like you said, I had all these Grammy Awards and I was getting plaques and all these different things. And I was on tour actually.”
In his interview with Business Insider, the singer doubled down that the photo was merely a visual reminder of his successful workouts, though he wishes he would’ve gone about the situation differently.
“I hate that it happened…However, I think all that stuff happens to grow you and teach you about yourself, and teach you about what Jesus is all about, which is grace and mercy,” he said.
Over the summer, Bowe dropped his self-titled solo album, which features an eclectic group of artists like Vic Mensa and Jekalyn Carr. His first single “Wind Me Up” with Anthony B was the number-one most-added song on R&B radio. Upon its release, the artist spoke with TODAY about stepping outside of the box creatively.
“This project represents my creative evolution and a bold step towards pushing boundaries,” he said. “Through soulful melodies, infectious beats, and deeply-rooted lyrics, I’ve crafted a sonic journey that bridges the gap between different musical worlds.”
Have you listened to it yet? In the meantime, check out Bowe’s appearance on The Tamron Hall Show below!