4. Kanye West
In early 2019, Kanye West, whose name is now officially, “Ye,” began holding private concerts he called “Sunday services,” In April of that year, he held his first public Sunday service on Easter at the Coachella music festival.
The “services” essentially started off as concerts with a Christian flavor. A choir performed gospel songs, as well as renditions of Ye’s own music. The events featured celebrity guests and even pastors, including Rich Wilkerson Jr. of VOUS Church in Miami, Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and Pastor Adam Tyson of Placerita Bible Church in the Los Angeles area. At the time, Tyson expressed his belief that Ye’s spiritual transformation was genuine and said it was important to encourage the rapper in his faith.
Ye also brought his service to Jamal Bryant’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.
In October 2019, Ye told The Late Late Show host James Corden, “God’s always had a plan for me, and he always wanted to use me, but I think he wanted me to suffer more and wanted people to see my suffering and see my pain and put stigmas on me and have me go through all the experiences, the human experiences. So now when I talk about how Jesus saved me, more people can relate to that.”
The following month, the American Bible Society (ABS) offered 1,000 free Bibles to any of Ye’s fans who wanted to learn more about Christianity. ABS ended up receiving requests for 6,000 Bibles. That same year, the rapper released the gospel album, “Jesus Is King.”
When Ye initially began his Sunday services, some of his critics pointed out that in the fall of 2018, he had been the creative director for the Pornhub Awards. Ye also drew criticism for comparing himself to God, as well as for inviting shock-rocker Marilyn Manson to make an appearance at one of his “services.” Manson is known for his anti-Christian lyrics and has also been the center of multiple sexual abuse allegations.