R&B soul singer Chrisette Michele says she was broken to her core following backlash over her decision to perform at President Trump's inauguration last year. But now she's bounced back and has released a new gospel album.
Michele performed with gospel singer and preacher Travis Greene at the Liberty Ball, the first of three official balls held in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017, celebrating Trump's inauguration. Following her participation, the soul singer said she lost numerous fans and was even disowned by members of her family. Michele was also dropped from her record label.
The 35-year-old singer-songwriter said in a post on her Rich Hipster blog that although she was nearly destroyed by the losses she suffered and attacks against her that affected her health and led to a miscarriage, she now has a newfound faith in God.
"God is moving. It's blowing my mind. Growing up in the church, you learn that God is great. But as you get older He proves it," she wrote in her blog's introduction.
Michele said she grew up in the church and spoke in tongues as early as 9-years-old. Nevertheless, it was the backlash that she received over the past two years that solidified her faith in Jesus like never before.
"I want to record a [g]ospel album. That's crazy to me. I've always been so opposed to creating things specifically for those who are trying to live a life after Christ. I've always said, 'Let me create for the ones who don't know Him. Let me be an example of a 'real' human being who honors Him in my actions,'" she explained. "You know what happened? I fell flat on my face in front of the whole world. God had to show me that what I do for the Kingdom isn't for 'me' to shine but it's for 'Him' to shine."
Up until now, Michele's music focused on love and life, and was never overtly Christian. The New York native says she will now do what she believes God wants her to do.
"Over last two years I've gotten to know God like never before. My latest 'fail' broke me to the core," she admitted. "This time I knew that I had to stop trying to be perfect. I had to let go and let God."
Michele chose to keep her "face at His throne" and said she replaced the noise of her critics with Christian films, music and all things Christ centered.
"I covered my ears from the noise and replaced it with the music and the books, speeches and movies His children make. It was the first time in my life where I really realized why [g]ospel artists create gospel music," she continued. "They create for everyday people like you and me who are imperfect. ... We are all human and looking to God to make us whatever He desires. We all seek purpose."
Michele said at one point she thought Christians were perfect but now sees being human is what helps believers follow what God wants for them as opposed to what they want for themselves.
"I could have spent the last year-and-a-half asking God 'why me' or 'how could this happen?' But instead, I asked Him, 'where are you' and 'what do you need from me?'" she shared. "God poured so much into me while I was on the floor at His feet and I couldn't believe it. He needed me to know what it really meant to be 'down' so that I could know what my gift was for."
Michele now realized what she was called to do and wants to helps other broken people heal. She described being grateful for her critics.
"God is intentional and He never fails. What was meant to break me has now only strengthened me and my walk," she maintained. "I'm so grateful to those who tried to pull me down. God has shown me what His faithfulness means."
In October of last year, Michele took to social media and told her supporters about her battle with depression and thoughts of suicide.
"People ask me how I'm so positive after all I've been through. When you're laying in bed naked, next to a bottle of Bacardi and Xanex. When you wear pajamas morning and night," she wrote on Instagram. "When you don't pick up the phone for weeks, months. When you're afraid to look at social media."
The singer confessed feeling worthless and said she began drinking so much that she couldn't see or speak clearly. Michele remembers feeling that she did not want to wake up. Still, regardless how dark it was then she accredited God for covering her in those times.
"I promise you, I felt Him cover me like a blanket. I told Him I was out of control," she said. "I told Him I was having thoughts about leaving and not finishing all He's called me to. He listened."