Are Gospel Artists Losing Their Audience By Blending In With The Secular Music Industry?
The music industry is ever-evolving and there’s certainly more than enough room for every genre of music to reign supreme, even if only for a little while.
One type of music in particular that has seemed to stand the test of time is Gospel music. In the face of everything from sex scandals to messy publicized divorces and even domestic violence, Gospel artists have proven that they can stand strong and weather the storm just as well as their mainstream music counterparts.
But, in a genre that is known for priding itself on the message in the music rather than the image of the person delivering it, are they losing their faithful following by going toe-to-toe with their secular music peers with things like reality shows, revealing interviews, and radio tours?
Destiny’s Child group member and Gospel music artist Michelle Williams treads the fine line between gospel and secular music, proving that she can hold her own on stage with her divalicious group members just as easily as she can belt out her new single “If We Had Your Eyes” to an audience full of God-fearing church goers. Most recently, Michelle even opened up about feeling like she needed Botox at one point.
Long-time Gospel music favorite Kirk Franklin made major waves a few years ago when he revealed his struggle with being addicted to freaky-flicks and even told the “Sway In The Morning” radio show in a recent interview how he once got a girl pregnant at 17 and dealt with his sister’s forced sex assault for much of his childhood. On the reality show circuit, artists like Mary, Mary and Karen Clark’s daughter Kierra Sheard have found success with reality TV fame.
So, Bossip fam, what’s your take on this? Do you feel like your favorite Gospel artists are crossing the line by intertwining their lives with that of things like reality tv and the new Hollywood gimmick of over-sharing to maintain likability? Or do you think it’s necessary for Gospel artists to continue to adapt the ways of the mainstream secular music crowd in order to relate to their audience and stay afloat?
Check out a few BOSSIP exclusive pics of Kirk Franklin performing a medley of his hits at the House of Blues in New Orleans, Louisiana for their weekly “Gospel Brunch” during this year’s Essence Music Festival below.