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Gospel singer apologises for calling churchgoers ‘broke’ and ‘ugly’ during sermon

US gospel singer Kim Burrell has apologised after facing criticism for a sermon she gave in which she made disparaging comments about people’s living conditions and looks.

In her speech at an unknown branch of Kingdom City Church last weekend, Burrell referred to members of the congregation as “broke” and “ugly”.

In a now-deleted statement posted to her Instagram, Burrell responded to the controversy, reports Distractify, saying: “As a Kingdom citizen, and a woman of integrity, I acknowledge that some of my words, even if said in jest, can be offensive.

“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 apologise.”

She continued: “With that being said, the irony in this is that those who are criticising my statement are displaying the very thing they have accused me of however, it’s not been humorous, or in jest.”

She concluded: “Those pages wherein vile comments and false narratives have been created have been noted, reported, and hopefully silenced. Again, I will apologise if anyone thought that my humour was malicious, but I will not under any circumstance tolerate harassment, slander, or for my character to be defamed. Best to all.”

On Wednesday, Burrell followed up with a new apology in the form of a video on Instagram, claiming her first apology was written by an “attorney”.

“Hello everybody. This is Kim Burrell. I’m sorry. I mean it. I mean that. Not from the letter, from my heart,” she said in the clip. “I released a letter two days ago. It did not convey right at all, and I must tell you this — it was from an attorney that asked me to do it.

“The latter part, y’all know I know, it was offensive… It was not my intent for it to be but it was her wording to say, ‘They need to be aware.’ I said, ‘Nah.’ My friends called me and said, ‘No, there are still people who are hurt from the part of them they love about you.’”

Elsewhere in her sermon, Burrell praised churchgoers for not wearing a face mask or getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The singer has caused controversy in the past for making homophobic comments. Her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017 was cancelled after a video emerged of her using the word “perverted” in reference to gay people at a sermon she gave in Houston, Texas.

Musician Pharrell Williams, who has collaborated with Burrell, came on the show to discuss love and acceptance in light of her comments.

“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on,” he said.

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