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Kim Burrell faces backlash after sermon on ‘perverted homosexual spirit’

Gospel singer dropped from Ellen DeGeneres Show after video emerges online, while collaborator Pharrell Williams condemns ‘hate speech of any kind’

Gospel singer Kim Burrell has faced criticism from the entertainment industry after video footage surfaced in which she gives a “homophobic” sermon.

The singer, whose vocals appeared on Frank Ocean’s song Godspeed, is shown in a video giving a sermon that refers to “the perverted homosexual spirit”.

“That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion and has deceived many men and women, and it has caused a strain on the body of Christ,” Burrell, a pastor at Love and Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, Texas, said in the video which surfaced online on 30 December. It is unclear when the footage was filmed.

The singer, who was due to sing with Pharrell Williams and Janelle Monáe on the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, has now been dropped. “For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show,” read a tweet from the presenter on Tuesday.

Following the circulation online of the video of the sermon, Frank Ocean’s mother, Katonya Breaux, tweeted: “Son, can we crop Kim Burrell’s voice out of your song?”

Pharrell, meanwhile, posted on Twitter: “I condemn hate speech of any kind”, although he did not refer to Burrell. Monáe reposted his message, also stating: “I unequivocally repudiate any and all hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. Actually I’m tired of that label. We all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity.”

Burrell, who has collaborated with artists such as Missy Elliott, R Kelly, Stevie Wonder and George Clinton, has since responded to the leaked footage on a Facebook Live broadcast, claiming that the “enemy” had posted only a select extract of the original speech. “I love you and God loves you but God hates the sin in you and me,” she said.

“I never said all gays were going to hell. I never said LGBT … I said ‘sin’,” she added. “I make no excuses or apologies. My love is as pure as it comes.”

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