WATCH: Kim Burrell Talks With Tavis Smiley About Losing People Close to Her, Grief and How Church Teachings Once ‘Debilitated’ Her

Kim Burrell

It has been a difficult few years for award-winning Jazz-Gospel vocalist Kim Burrell.

According to the 43-year-old, due to personal heartbreak, her newest album, A Different Place, showcases a more vulnerable, unmasked side of who she is.

“This took two and a half years mainly because I had reality checks,” said the Houston-based singer, self-taught pianist, and pastor of Love & Liberty Fellowship Church International in a new interview with PBS host Tavis Smiley.

Those reality checks of which she speaks came in the form of deaths of those closest to her.

“I had the loss of Whitney [Houston] who people didn’t even know how close we were until after she passed away,” said Burrell. “Then my brother died and my stepdad died. Then a year and six months later my mother passed away. Then one of my closest and best friends passed away [at] only 43 years old.”

Following the devastating string of losses, the daughter of a pastor, whose 1995 debut album Try Me Again catapulted her career, found herself feeling alone and weak while mourning “five or six people who were major components to my mental strength, my emotional strength, my spiritual strength.”

Because of Burrell’s believe that Christians should be joyful at all times, she struggled with this dark period in her life.

“Coming from the church, if I can just be kind of real with you—coming from the church, the intentionality of their teachings reached in areas that has caused me to have a good life by choice, but then there were something that debilitated me,” she said.

“I guess it could have been very much because of my perception or misunderstanding, but it caused me to hide and give a mask and it made me feel that I needed to present to the world all the time that all is well. God is good. How often is God good? All the time.”

Burrell added, “But it’s hard to really feel the goodness of God when you really, when you have no other choice but to be sad.”

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SOURCE: EEW Magazine
Jeanette Hall