Sunday Best winner Le’Andria Johnson is seemingly done with her gospel roots, as a recent expletive-filled rant against the church cost her a spot at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
“You know what I’m tired of though? … I’m tired of being Le’Andria Johnson that y’all know of,” she says during a Facebook Live stream. “And Ima tell you like this: I could be on a Kirk Franklin level. I could be on a Mary Mary level. Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond. All the gospel greats … All the R&B. Beyoncé, Brandy. … If I played the game, I could really be on that level. I could, but I’m not ’bout playin’ no games, though.”
Johnson went on to claim she’s “tired of this sh*t,” saying she refuses to stop cursing and/ or being herself for the sake of being a gospel superstar.
“Essence Festival is a couple of days away and if y’all feel like y’all don’t want me on it, y’all don’t want me on it.”
Festival organizers heard Johnson loud and clear, cancelling her appearance during a group performance honoring Dottie Peoples.
“I’m not gonna be there because the gospel part of the Essence Festival, apparently, me speaking my right — I have an amendment right … and that’s freedom of speech. So my freedom of speech caused me not to be at the gospel part of the Essence Festival. And I’m pretty sure they don’t want me to be there because I said ‘f— Christianity, f— the church,’ I said that. Maybe that’s why they don’t want me to go.”
Johnson also blasted fellow singer Marvin Winans.
“I don’t care whose spiritual father he is. He could have been mine, but no. He wanted to go past me like I was a peasant! Walked right past me like I was a peasant … and you ain’t even know! I’m a product of you! But it’s all good, though. Now you know.”
Festival organizers have not addressed Johnson’s cancelled appearance.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.