Six years ago, gospel giant Kim Burrell, who is considered one of music’s most revered voices, received major backlash for making homophobic comments in a fiery sermon that quickly went viral.
While appearing on the September 29 episode of The Tamron Hall Show, Burrell opened up about her fall from grace, which not only caused her career to suffer, but also put a strain on her longtime friendship with fellow gospel singer Yolanda Adams.
Kim Burrell urged parishioners to “choose” their friends wisely in shocking sermon.
In 2016, Burrell made headlines for making a sermon that featured language many deemed as homophobic.
Speaking to the congregation, she said, according to Ace Showbiz,”You choose up. Find you some value, you know? Sometimes before we get friends we have to do an interview: How long you been broke? How many times have you changed your name on your light bill?”
“How many of your bills are in your little cousin’s name? Do you live in a trailer home or a house?” she added. “It’s not about status or material things it’s just about choices.”
Burrell later apologized for her comments on Instagram but also defended herself.
“As a kingdom citizen and a woman of integrity, I can acknowledge that some of my words, even if said in jest can be offensive,” she said in a statement. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but to spread love, laughter and more importantly, the gift which God has given me in song. If anyone was offended I can sincerely say I apologize.”
“With that being said, the irony is that those who are criticizing my statement are displaying the very thing they have accused me of, however, it’s not been humorous or in jest….Slander and defamation are not taken lightly especially if it affects my name, image, or brand.”
On 'The Tamron Hall Show', Burrell addressed the viral sermon, which she says caused longtime friend Yolanda Adams to turn on her.
While appearing on The Tamron Hall Show, Burrell addressed the uproar from the viral video.
“I’ve been in church too long, I’ve been holding onto my faith too long to deliberately hurt people,” she said. “I’m not in any way mentally, spiritually, physically challenged to the degree that I have to choose people to be mean to.”
She went on to suggest that the backlash caused her falling out with longtime friend Yolanda Adams, who distanced herself from Kim after the video made headlines.
“I was disappointed, because we’ve all shared the same stage, back rooms, and green rooms, and some of their public display in conversation is somewhat opposite of what it is behind stage,” Kim explained.
“I would’ve much preferred, especially dealing with gospel, Yolanda Adams, we’re both from Houston, Texas, to pick up the cell phone and say, ‘Hey, I have a career to save, and I can’t agree with your stance right now, I need to say something different to my public.’ I would’ve preferred that.”
Hall quickly came to Yolanda Adams' defense.
In response to Kim Burrell’s comments about Yolanda Adams, Tamron Hall makes it clear that the “Open My Heart” singer is a good friend of hers.
“Yolanda is a friend of mine as well. And I’m also from Texas,” Hall said before redirecting the commentary.