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Why Tori Kelly Once Led a Sunday Service Worship For Kanye West

Gettyimages | Leah Puttkammer
By Desmund Ullrich

The 27-year-old singer and Christian Tori Kelly has revealed how Kanye West phoned her up asking if she would be a part of his weekly faith-filled concert when it came to the California Worship Center in North Hollywood last August, and she was thrilled that he didn't just ask her to perform. Kelly revealed her experience with the Sunday Service Choir: "Kanye basically phoned me up and asked me to lend my gift to the Sunday Service Choir. I liked that he wasn't saying 'come up and sing'.”

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

Kelly accounts, “It really wasn't about that. It was so great to be a part of it singing with the choir. I wasn't expecting to get up and sing, but then there was a microphone so I thought, well, why not. The choir was almost like a flash mob for this one because they took over another church. Nobody knew that they were there and all of sudden the choir stood up in the pews and everyone was like, 'Wow what is going.’”

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Kelly's not a stranger when it comes to God, houses of worship, and spiritual decisions to worship in a different way than is typical. She grew up in a household where faith was important, she grew up singing gospel. While she is now a pop icon, she did grow up singing to worship the Lord. Back in 2017, she opened up about her Christian faith to Life Church’s “Switch” youth ministry, "My faith is everything to me...You kind of get to a point where your faith really becomes your own.”

Gettyimages | Kent Nishimura

Sunday Service was born out of West’s desire to improve himself and as Kelly explained about her own journey, make faith his own. By combining his love of music, fashion, and God, West hand-crafted his own religion. West explained Sunday Service like this: “It’s just an idea we had to open up our hearts to make music that we felt was as pure and as positive as possible and just do it for an hour every Sunday, and have something where people can just come together and feel good with their families.” Sunday Service is ever-changing, sometimes someone preaches, or sometimes they have a guest speaker. The gatherings are always centered around spiritual music.

Gettyimages | Rich Fury

During an interview with Elle, Kanye's wife, Kardashian West shared how she felt about Sunday Services, revealing that it is more like a healing experience for her husband. “It’s just music; there’s no sermon. It’s definitely something he believes in — Jesus — and there’s a Christian vibe. But there’s no preaching. It’s just a very spiritual Christian experience,” she explained.

While much has been said about Kanye West and his Sunday Services as well as the album released by the Sunday Service Choir. Many people have praised West genius for his creativity in creating gospel arrangements that become worship services at festivals and events - including an Easter Sunday celebration at last year’s Coachella.

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