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Kanye West Shares Faith-Based Performance at 'Strength To Stand Conference' in Tennessee

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter
By Chanel Love

Kanye West and the Sunday Service Choir took to the stage to perform faith-based musical selections at the Strengh To Stand Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on Jan. 19. There were 12,000 students in attendance at the conference where the 'Jesus Walks' rapper led his choir as they chanted Hallelujah in unison and proclaimed "he saved a wretched like me." This is just one in a series of appearances by West and his 135-member choir who will be performing with Televangelist Joel Osteen for a major rendition of Sunday Service at NY Yankee Stadium in May 2020.

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Kanye Continues Sharing Faith-Based Music

Giphy | jakemartella

Kanye West surprised fans and naysayers alike back in January 2019 when he debuted the weekly Sunday Service series and announced that he would be making a Gospel album. According to The Fader West's Sunday Service sermons combine his love of fashion, art, Jesus Christ, and music. Since his decision to take a detour from his hip-hop roots, Kanye West has released two music projects rooted in his Christian faith and continues to perform alongside his choir to packed crowds.

Jesus is Born

Gettyimages | L. Cohen

In December 2019, Kanye West produced and self-released the Jesus Is Born album by The Sunday Service Choir. The 19-track project features live performances of Gospel tracks including a soulful rendition of previous Kanye track "Ultralight Beam" from his Life of Pablo album. The choir even takes on some classic Gospel tracks and puts a fresh spin on them. Each of the 19 tracks featured on Jesus Is Born fit within the bounds of the Gospel genre and include live instrumentation, rich vocal harmonies, and testimonials.

Jesus Is King

Gettyimages | Rich Fury

Prior to the release of Jesus is Born the gifted producer who has often referred to himself as a musical genius dropped Jesus is King. The self-produced album combines production elements from his secular past and displays Kanye's adept ability to pull samples from all genres of music spanning soul to house music. He pairs these influences with faith-based lyrical content to create a work of art. In true Kanye fashion, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart selling 264,000 copies according to The New York Times .

Unsplash | Axel Antas-Bergkvist

Whether Kanye West will continue making secular music following this switch to Gospel is up for debate. The artist continues to make appearances and nod to his commitment to his faith. In a recent Sunday Service Choir appearance at the Awaken 2020 conference in Tempe, Arizona Kanye West gave a testimonial as the choir hummed Jesus Walks ominously in the background. ". . .see I've been to the mental hospital and back [Pause] working for the devil."

He went on to say that his faith saved him from alcoholism noting that there had been times in the past when he'd drink from a bottle of vodka in his office refrigerator midday. The crowd cheered in the background as he continued and someone nearby in the audience proclaimed "this is unreal!"

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