Four years ago, Christian rap star Lecrae was named Artist of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards, and he performed and presented on its stage two weeks ago.
As of Monday, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back any time soon.
Lecrae is among several prominent musicians showing their support for Kirk Franklin and his boycott of the Dove Awards.
Franklin is boycotting the show after his acceptance speech at this year’s ceremony was edited for television, removing his comments on Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old who was shot and killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer.
In a video posted to social media Monday morning, Frankin said that this was the second time his speech at a Dove ceremony had been edited to remove a statement on officer-related shootings.
At the 2016 awards — following the killing of five police officers at a protest in Dallas — he said, “When police are killed, we need to say something. When black boys are killed, we need to say something. And when we don’t say something, we’re saying something.”
His boycott post has received thousands of comments, including one from Lecrae.
“I only came (to the Doves) cause you came,” the rapper told Franklin via Instagram. “You know I’m out.”
Franklin’s supporters also include rapper Aaron Cole, who was named Best New Artist at this year’s Doves — “We out then,” he wrote.
“I’ve felt the same way about this organization since the first time I was apart (sic),” wrote gospel star Todd Dulaney. “And it wasn’t until this year that my wife and I made the decision that we would rather not be (a part) of anything that they are doing.”
There’s also two-time Dove Winner Marvin Sapp (“I stand with you bro”), “American Idol” alum Jordin Sparks, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, R&B artist Luke James, TV star Niecy Nash and Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi.
Rappers Tedashii and GAWVI, who shared the stage with Lecrae at this year’s Doves, commented as well.
“(I’ll) just wait if any top white Christian artist supports Kirk on this,” GAWVI wrote.
Contemporary Christian stars including Jeremy Camp and Natalie Grant praised Franklin’s message.
“Love and respect you so much,” Grant wrote. “Thank you for using your platform to speak truth in love, and always with a spirit of humility. You’re consistently calling us towards unity.”
In his video, Franklin said the goal of his boycott was “reconciliation and accountability.” A few famous commenters have expressed hope that he and the Gospel Music Association can indeed reconcile.
“Love and respect your stance, respect, and character evidenced again by this,” said singer Tauren Wells, who was named Best New Artist at the 2018 Doves. “Reconciliation is possible.”
Fellow Doves winner Mandisa pointed out the “unity” she saw on this year’s Dove Awards, including Cole’s Best New Artist win, and the collaboration between CeCe Winans, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.
“I actually felt that the enemy was losing ground in his fight for division in the #BodyOfChrist,” she wrote.
“I know (Gospel Music Association president Jackie Patillo’s) heart, and I believe God will ultimately use this for good.”
SOURCE: Nashville Tennessean – Dave Paulson