When Kandi Burruss revealed she wanted to record gospel music on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” most viewers were shocked at the genre switch. Kandi, a Grammy award-winning producer and former Xscape bandmate, explained that she had a relationship with God and felt compelled to record a gospel song after a successful years-long career in R&B and pop music. Viewers immediately brought up her line of sex toys, Bedroom Kandi, and her X-rated weekly Ustream show, “Kandi Koated Nights,” as evidence that she had no business dabbling in gospel territory. They also were quick to reference her child out of wedlock and the fact that she lived with boyfriend Todd way before he popped the question.
Anticipating the criticism, Kandi posted the following on Instagram about her song “Stay Prayed Up” featuring Marvin Sapp:
On this episode of #RHOA you see part of the gospel song I was working on. I knew when I decided to do it that I would be criticized. That’s to be expected. I’m a single mom that had a child out of wedlock, I speak openly about sex on #KandiKoatedNights, I have #BedroomKandi, etc… I’m very honest about who I am. My great grand father & my grandfather were Bishops in The Church of God Holiness. I believe in God but I have always struggled with the rules of the church, just like a lot of people. The song “Stay Prayed Up” is like a testimony for me. Hopefully people with a similar struggle can relate.
Those that relate to Kandi’s struggle believe that her song can inspire and uplift people, even if her personal life is not above reproach. Others feel that Kandi’s lifestyle compromises her ability to minister to people and serve as an example of how Christians should live.
Similar arguments were made about Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child, who recorded gospel music after recording secular songs with the top-singing girl group and wearing revealing clothing; she was rejected by many in the gospel community because of it.