Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lexi Show Gets a Little Spicy

Lexi is on a roll with her highly-acclaimed, cable TV talk show The Lexi Show.

After debuting her new season with a highly controversial one-on-one interview with urban gospel/R&b singer Ton3x, Lexi returns with an even greater episode. This time around, Lexi sits down to chat one-on-one with Pastor Tony Smith, an Atlanta preacher who has become the latest YouTube sensation of bold, brash and unapologetic preachers. His bold statements, rolled up with attacks on popular church leaders like Bishop T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Joyce Meyer and Bishop Eddie Long, has giving him a brutal edge of saltiness over the controversial Rev. David Manning of the New York-based ATLAH Ministries.

Things even got heated when Smith tries to mimick Lexi's decorum and professionalism. Lexi bites back, with a little Wendy Williams grit, when she says "You gonna start with me tonight? I'm not the one." The moment is spectacular.

Watch all three parts and get a good dose of church humor and religious domination.

Lexi (Official Website)

Stellar Awards First Round: Now Online

Get in on the nomination process. If you love gospel and you have time, head to the online ballot and cast your votes. Online voting is available to the public during the 1st round of the 25th annual Stellar Awards. Only one vote per email address.

Vote for your favorites at:

It's a pretty long ballot and, for most of the choices, you must vote for 10 candidates with your first preference being the number one pick. From what I gathered, artists with multiple mentions included Israel Houghton, Mary Mary, Donald Lawrence & Co., Hezekiah Walker & LFC, Malcolm Williams & Great Faith, Phillip Carter & SOV, Shari Addison, Melinda Watts, Lee Williams & the Spiritual Q.C's and Vickie Winans. But remember, this is just the preliminary stages.

Stellar Awards (Official Website)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Update: Deitrick and GospelPundit Working Together

We kinda smelled this one coming. At least I did.

EJ Gaines, the forerunner for popular gospel blog and former industry intern, will sit and chat with Deitrick Haddon over his recent homophobic rant on his Twitter page involving gospel artist Tonex'. The coverage, first broke ground at GospelPundit when Gaines felt it was unacceptable and unnecessary for that type of language to be made in the gospel field. The original post, which featured over 70 comments from concerned gospel fans, has since been removed "pending a discussion that Deitrick wants to have with me." said Gaines on his Twitter page Saturday morning. "While I don't take responsibility for Deitrick Haddon's comments, I'm more concerned with bringing unity to this industry."

That might be the objective, EJ. But we believe it's a little more than that. Maybe you're just giving an olive branch to your fellow co-workers and employer.

Another addition to the story:
Deitrick Haddon's Twitter page, originally made public for his fans and supporters, has now been protected his tweets from outside viewers. What once was public is now private.

Below is a picture of what you will find when you click on Haddon's Twitter page; that's if you're not a follower already.

In the Twitterhood: Deitrick Haddon Sparks Debate on Homosexuality ( - link no longer active)
Deitrick Haddon (Twitter)
Gospel Pundit (Twitter)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Deitrick Speaks Out: "Not a Sissy Bone In My Body"

On his Twitter page, gospel artist Deitrick Haddon decided to chime in on the popular online debate surrounding homosexuality in the church. Apparently it created major attention when EJ Gaines posted a thread on his site, Now with over 50 comments at Gaines' site and other blogs jumping into the heated conversation, Gaines extracted from the Twitter content some of the homophobic language from Haddon's statements.

"All Gospel singers are not gay as I don't have a sissy bone in my body."

Apparently outraged from Tonex's recent conversation with gospel artist Lexi on her Word Network cable show The Lexi Show, Haddon also commented, "Listen people. God loves everybody but he hates sin! God destroyed Sodom & Gomorah because the city was gay! You think he wants it in his church?" He did repeat on several Twitter posts that he was not a gay basher or homophobic, but his usage of the word" sissy," a derogatory term for "homosexual" upset a number of bloggers and readers.

"God is not pleased with the anger we exhibit, and the venom we spew," Gaines stated in his editorial. "Just because we say “I’m doing it for YOU, Lord.” We condemn other religions for committing hateful acts in the name of God, we have seen (as a nation) racial oppression premised on people’s errant interpretation of Scripture. And we’ve not liked it....let's do better."

In response to Haddon's comments, Tonex' spoke to popular urban gay blog Loldarian .com and said that he was a "little bit disappointed with the response. I think the term "sissy" wasn't necessary but as a brother of mine, no love is lost here."

Not all stand in EJ's corner. A number of Haddon supporters and anti-gay protesters are also becoming more and more vocal with their stance on homosexuality and Tonex's decisions to speak out about his sexuality. BIGG C left these words, "Come on people, please. Why are we so soft on sin, God aint., yes he’s a forgiving God, but he ain’t soft on the sinning. Homosexuality is sin, fornication is a sin, lying is a sin. It aint being hateful if we call someone out who is wrong, if we base it according to the word of God. DH shouldn’t have to apologize for nothin’. He’s not hatin” or being hypocritical."

Daservant posted, "Ohhh I get it now…SISSY…has been elevated to the big ‘N’ word. Never knew…thought it was just like any other word used…not of the caliber as N*GGER OR F*GGOT OR CR*CKER!, man SISSY is not that serious!!"

Amazingly, the controversial content was removed Wednesday from Haddon's Twitter page and shows no sign of the conversation ever taking place. No word if it was removed due to possible orders from his music label, Verity Records, or its parent company, Zomba.

Haddon, married to gospel singer Damita Haddon, topped the gospel charts in 2006 with Crossroads. In 2008, he released his most recent project Revealed, which featured the R&B crossover hit "Love Him Like I Do," featuring guest appearances from Mary Mary and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard.

In conclusion, maybe Haddon needs to learn a valuable lesson from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), tennis champion Serena Williams and hip-hop icon Kanye West about civility. There's a time and a place to say things. Artists needs to get back to what they do best...stop preaching and promoting their ideologies and get back to making good music. Do we buy their music because of how good they preach or how great their music is? Right now, we can't tell.

Read the other comments from Haddon's Twitter posts below.


Monday, September 14, 2009

YPJ Calls for Order

Since Tonex opened up about his closet on the Lexi Show, Facebookers and Twitterers have opened up dialogue about the state of gospel music and the need to do something about the most recent buzz topics in the gospel industry today (i.e., the PJ Morton/Tye Tribbett secular vs. sacred debate on CNN, the Mary Mary & Ne-Yo collaboration, Whitney Houston's emergence as gospel star with "I Look to You").

Seems like YPJ wants a piece of the action. And he's calling all cars to the scene of the crime.

Don't know who he is? Well, we don't either. But he's making some noise with his viral Facebook video calling on major gospel artists (including Deitrick Haddon, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Tonex', Tye Tribbett, Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Kierra Sheard, and Donnie McClurkin) to rise up using the spirit of prevention with the hopes to create a healthy dialogue about these and soon-to-come situations.

A brief snippet on YPJ's profile: he's part rapper, part preacher and a Tye Tribbett admirer. His biggest moment in the gospel spotlight was his cameo appearance on Israel Houghton's A Deeper Level project where he raps on "Surely Surely."

It would have been nice if he didn't have to call out the Who's Who in gospel music in the video. Some are in trouble, some are not, some are superstar gospel artists and some are just trying to move away from a murky past. YPJ, on the other hand, does his hardest to bring all the junk into one video. It just seems that the guy, who so happens to be an artist himself, is in desperate need of attention. If he's any good at doing music, I think YPJ needs to focus on the greater good and perfect his gift. The desperate need to bring everybody into one room to try to unify (something that is probably impossible to do in these end times) is like trying to morph Republicans and Democrats into one single political party. YPJ, get in the studio and try to make some music. That's if you can.

In the video, YPJ summons gospel artists to come together and talk about these matters at his state of the art facility.

"I offer you my facility. I have a 2,000 seat sanctuary, 88,000-square foot plaza, which has the accommodations necessary for those of you who may be celebrities and stars, if you need different dressing rooms, whatever you got, whatever you need, I can handle it. I'm offering my facility for free."

By the way, at his request, YPJ is urging gospel audiences and fans to "repost the daily." Not just the message. He wants you to spread the word about the messenger and his video. How clever.

To view the video, you must be a member of Facebook.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Tonex' Opens Up About His Sexuality

Always considered a maverick and controversial, Anthony C. Williams, II, best known to the gospel world as Tonex' with a list of gospel hits under his belt including "God Has Not 4Got" and "Make Me Over," opened up to talk show host Lexi on the season premiere of the Lexi Show - which aired nationally on the Word Network. The interview dealt with the hard questions and reflected back on familiar territory including the jaded events surrounding The Naked Truth, child molestation and his four-year marriage. On the show, Tonex', who has always been embattled with rumors about his sexuality, addresses the subject by confirming that he is "attracted to the same sex."

Amidst the tough responses and disgruntled viewers that remain disappointed at Tonex's decision to open up about his life, he spoke about the hypocrisies of the black church and its unfair treatment towards the LGBT community. "The church has completely faggotized everybody who's gay, sends them to hell over the pulpit and the church literally screams "hooray" and are happy about that. And yet, we celebrate the pastor who has a clean record and a clean look, but yet he is still doing the same thing that the same gender loving people are doing."

He also raised a powerful piece of logic "People can say 'See, I knew it all along," Tonex muttered. "If you knew it all along, this is the same guy who was taking you into the presence of the Lord. This is the same guy that wrote those songs. I'm no different."

Previously, on many occasions when addressed about his sexuality, Tonex' denied the rumors. "I take ownership of that," Tonex' now admits.

Several online media journalists are already labeling Tonex' has being the only gospel artist to date to speak out about their homosexual tendencies. The information is inaccurate. In 2008, Ray Boltz, a popular Contemporary Christian/gospel singer and Dove Award winner, came out the closet. But Tonex's views and decision to speak out openly on the matters are entirely different from Donnie McClurkin or even Terrell Carter (a Tyler Perry co-star who recently was outed online by an ex-boyfriend with several personal pictures depicting an intimate relationship, but has yet to address the allegations in the media). Tonex' instead becomes transparent and finally delivers a honest and courageous thing; something most gospel recording artists are too afraid to do.

Cell phones and Twitter pages should be blowing up right now. Surely, Tonex' should be commended for blowing the whistle on what we knew all along about the gospel industry, but were too afraid to talk about. Certainly, the hypocrisy from closeted preachers, ministerial actors, homophobic-and-hateful ministers of the cloth still possess a mighty dominance in the house of God. And that shouldn't be so.

Tonex's (now spelled Ton3x) last album, released on Battery Records and distributed through parent company Zomba, received some attention for its subject matter and mature lyricism, but is considered by critics to be one of his safest pop-oriented albums to date.

Watch Part II of the interview below.

Parts I and III can be viewed at Lexi's YouTube channel page.

Lexi Television Channel (YouTube)