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Thursday
Mar212013

‘We’re Still Saved’: R&B Divas Stars Kelly Price & Lil’ Mo Slam Sanctified-Secular Music Divide

By Jennifer Williams:: EEW MAGAZINE BUZZ

Singers Kelly Price (L) and Lil' Mo attend the BET Celebration of Gospel 2013 at Orpheum Theatre on March 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Maury Phillips/Getty)TV One's "R&B Divas: La" stars Lil’ Mo and Kelly Price are fed up with the sanctified-secular music divide.

While on the red carpet at BET’s “Celebration of Gospel,” they let it be known that their choice not to sing exclusively about Jesus, does not mean they lack an authentic relationship with Him.

“We’re on R&B Divas LA, but we’re still church, we’re still saved,” said Lil’ Mo.

“All day!” Price echoed her sentiments, with a succinctly and sassily stated confirmation during the divas’ promotional appearance and interview at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, CA Saturday, March 16.

Last month, TV One announced that, in addition to its successful Atlanta “R&B Divas” reality show, the LA cast had been officially added.

Currently, production is underway on the eight-episode series, slated to premiere during the third quarter of 2013. Alongside Kelly Price and Lil’ Mo, “R&B Divas: LA” will chronicle the lives and careers of Chanté Moore, Dawn Robinson, Claudette Ortiz and Michel’le Toussaint.

“[We’re] Still turned up on the Lord,” Lil’ Mo added, as Stellar Award-winning gospel artist Kierra Sheard conducted the interview.

“Still?” Price frowned in response, taking issue with the intimation that shifting the focus of their music away from faith in Christ, was somehow synonymous with walking away from their faith altogether.  

“[We] ain’t never left,” interjected Price, who got her start singing in the children’s choir at age 2. In 2006, the R&B/Soul singer released her first gospel album, “This Is Who I Am” on the GospoCentric label, but went back to R&B in 2011.

“The way I was raised, we were traditionally Christian. Both my mother and father were preachers and we were always involved within the church,” shared Price in an interview with UK website Soul Culture.

“So even though I had always been singing, it was still a bit of a shock to the family to hear that I’d [be] singing R&B and not gospel or something religiously related. No one saw it coming.”

Unlike other genres, gospel devotees view artists, not as performers, but as ministers. So then, “straddling the fence”—Christianese for those with one foot in the church and the other in the club—is deeply frowned upon.

It is doubtful that Price and Lil’ Mo, as gifted and sincere as they may be, will be able to change these deeply ingrained views and values.

RELATED: R&B and Gospel performers join forces for BET's Celebration of Gospel

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Reader Comments (9)

"I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves." (Psalm 69:30-31) There is no scripture that says we must sing Gospel, but to me, that would go along with bringing glory to God through your life. However, each person has to stand and give an account for themselves.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLady

The jury's still out on this one for me. I can't judge them. I don't know their lifestyles. But I will be praying for these two very gifted and talented women.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

Hmmm... interesting article. But I think no man can serve two masters like Matthew 6:24 says. For most people it boils down to an economic thing. But should money be the determining factor in whether or not you are strictly ministering God's word through song? I don't about that. I like both of them but I think the secular-gospel mashup is a unhealthy trend. Just me.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBerea

@Berea: I think that most people want to sing about all the issues of life. Kelly and Mo don't sing about raunchy sex and such. They sing about the different issues that pertain mainly to women and al that we experience in life. I remember listening to albums like "Soul of A Woman" and "Mirror Mirror" and thinking how the words and lyrics on some of the songs brought healing and hope to dark situations. I am grateful for ladies like this. While I am a spiritual woman and love Jesus Christ with all of my heart, I can't neglect the the fact that I am still a human being with real feelings and go through everyday trials that a saved woman and a heathen woman will go through. It's just good to know that there are still classy ladies in the world who shine their light in darkness.

Another point I wanted to make was that not every Christian works for a Christian company to earn cash. Hard working Christians work for Muslims, Buddists, Atheists, gays, etc everyday making them thousands... millions.... and billions... does that bring glory to God? I don't know these ladies motives, but I'm sure when these ladies put out gospel, they're not excepting as much of a return as they would with a secular album.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNR

Asking and answering the wrong question.

Salvation = Romans 10:9: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

If they did what ^this scripture^ says, then yea and amen.

Philippians 2:12: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

The underlying question appears to be about SANCTIFICATION/HOLINESS. But nobody can really know if one is sanctified/living holy because we're not with each other 24/7, esp. these celebrities.

These celebs keep falling into the trap of trying to justify their secular music choices with the gospel audience. It's a useless, unwinnable argument. I suspect they keep trying to appease the gospel music audience to keep them in their back pocket in case they have to make a(nother) gospel album when the secular sales start dwindling (again). BTW, I bought Kelly Price's gospel CD; it was ok. It's not in my regular rotation. I still enjoy her Christmas CD. I don't know who Lil' Mo is....

(Musical) gifts are given without repentance (Romans 11:29). How one chooses to use those God-given gifts could indicate sanctification. "That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;" (1 Thessalonians 4:4).

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTreasure

You know them by there fruit i know kelly abd seen her fruit dont know little mo but all that matters is does God know them or will He say i knew you not? Not sure

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranon

I don't know what people are on, what kind of Bible they read.....but the Bible I read, I haven't seen at any time where Jesus and the devil did the tango....except maybe when the Archangel Micheal kick the devil out of Heaven! Jesus and the devil don't dance.....we must choose our partner....It can't be both!

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEva

I agree with NR. Not sure about Lil Mo but Kelly Price has done songs that aren't about God but are real life situations that we go through such as "He proposed" and I don't think God would frown at the fact that you want to celebrate such a special moment (if the man is truly from Him of course) in song. Now of course things talking about sex me down and calling women out of their names is a different story but I can't recall Kelly ever making such music.

March 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCH

What makes "Gospel" so unique is the fact it's about Praise, worshiping and getting to know the true and living God. A singer is just that...a singer. There are many kinds of music and songs of course, but gospel is about "ministering" the word in song! I think we know what is the standard, but we're trying to please both ourselves and God, it still boils down to whom will you serve.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEva

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