Lauren Daigle is speaking out after being banned from participating in a New Year's Eve broadcast out of New Orleans due to her appearance last month at a French Quarter evangelistic event.
“I’m disappointed that my spontaneous participation has become part of the political discourse and I’m saddened by the divisive agendas of these times,” the Christian singer, whose success has allowed her to cross over into the pop mainstream circuit, said in a statement to a Louisiana news outlet on Thursday.
Daigle sang at the Nov. 7 "Let Us Worship" rally near Jackson Square, which was spearheaded by Sean Feucht and criticized for gathering a large crowd of worshipers in violation of New Orleans' coronavirus restrictions.
She clarified in her statement that she was not involved in the planning of that event, nor was she scheduled to take part in it. Rather, she came across the event while she was out with her friend and was “asked to sing.”
“To me, that is the very moment when music serves its higher purpose,” she said. “It’s what gives people encouragement, hope for a better future, and it’s what can usher joy into their hearts. My involvement was focused on lifting spirits, providing hope, and encouragement, during these polarizing times.”
In response to the singer’s participation, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell sent a letter demanding that Dick Clark Productions refrain from allowing Daigle to perform in the New Orleans portion of the "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" broadcast.
According to Nola.com, both Daigle and Dick Clark Productions said the “You Say” singer was actually never confirmed to be on the show. But Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser wanted her in the broadcast line-up and the state's $500,000 contribution to the festive production was based on Daigle's appearance.
"I would have been, and still would be, honored to represent our city on New Year’s Eve and although I was aware of discussions regarding my involvement, an offer was never made,” Daigle clarified in her statement.
She added that she “wept, pleading for this chaos to dissipate and for harmony to return.”
“We need unity when people are desperate, suffering, starving or out of work,” she emphasized.
Daigle ended her response by thanking her supporters who "have been a balm for my soul throughout this process.”
The controversy came on the heels of Daigle’s performance on the season finale of NBC's "The Voice" on Tuesday.