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Gospel Singer Kim Burrell Sorry for Comments About ‘Broke,’ ‘Ugly’ People—And for ‘Offensive’ First Apology

kim burrell
Screenshot from Instagram / @kimburrelllove

When she spoke last weekend at Kingdom City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, gospel singer Kim Burrell shocked some listeners by talking about “broke” and “ugly” people. After her remarks went viral, the musician posted a written apology on Twitter, which seemed to add to the offense.

Now Burrell has removed the written statement and posted a video apology, saying, “I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart” and “I did not want to hurt you.”

Kim Burrell: Financial Woes Are ‘Just About Choices’

During her July 17 remarks from the pulpit, Kim Burrell chided churchgoers for their money problems and even their appearances. “Sometimes before we get friends we have to do an interview: How long you been broke? How many times have you changed your name on your light bill? How many of your bills are in your little cousin’s name? Do you live in a trailer home or a house?” she said while chuckling. “You understand. It’s not about status or material things. It’s just about choices.”

Burrell, 49, also said no one likes to be told they are ugly, “especially when they have realized it.” To churchgoers, she said, “All of you are beautiful, I haven’t chosen anyone to be ugly yet… You all look great. Most of you have on hats to cover that anyway.”

The Grammy-nominated musician also referred to “walking by faith without a mask and no vaccine.” She mentioned being available to speak at other churches, saying, “I’m not as expensive as I seem! I don’t know, maybe you got a little left from your PPP loan. Prayer, Praise and Power, you understand. Amen.”

One Twitter user who reposted Burrell’s comments writes, “And THIS is why people don’t go to Church. There was no Jesus in this.” Another writes, “Kim Burrell has always been a bad look for Christians. She doesn’t use her platform well or in an uplifting matter. But she is not God… your relationship with him is personal. It’s not about the church people… Don’t allow people to rob you of that experience.”

Kim Burrell Apologizes—Twice

As criticism mounted online, Burrell posted a written apology to Instagram, but that wording also sparked backlash. “As a kingdom citizen, and a woman of integrity, I acknowledge that some of my words, even if said in jest, can be offensive,” she wrote. “My intention is never to hurt anyone, but to spread love, laughter, and more importantly, the gift which God has given me in song. If anyone was offended, I can sincerely say I apologize.”

However, the statement concluded with threats of legal action if anyone misuses her image or slanders or defames her. That led one Twitter user to write: “An apology that starts with ‘if’ and includes threats to sue for slander that came from thine own lips…is an empty apology.”

After removing the written apology, Burrell posted a video to Instagram on July 20. “I’m sorry. I mean it. … Not from the letter, from my heart,” she says. Noting that the written statement was “from an attorney,” Burrell acknowledges “it did not convey right at all” and “the latter part…I know, it was offensive.”