Kanye West wins every Christian, gospel award at Billboard Music Awards
Kanye West has been steadily releasing new music that has veered from being overtly religious, but the entertainer's gospel album continues to gain notoriety.
The 44-year-old artist was nominated for six awards at this year's Billboard Music Awards: Top Christian Artist, Top Gospel Artist, Top Christian Album, Top Gospel Album, Top Christian Song and Top Gospel Song. He won all of them, sweeping every category in the faith-based music genre.
West's winnings were announced in the non-televised portion of the awards show, held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday. His 2021 album, Donda, took home the top album honors in both categories, and his song “Hurricane” snagged the award for Top Christian Song.
The "Jesus Walks" artist has won Top Gospel Artist and Gospel Song for the last three years and previously received the Top Gospel Album award. However, this year marks the first time he's won in the Christian artist categories, beating out Elevation Worship, for King & Country and Lauren Daigle.
The father of four has been the center of controversy this year as his feud with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and her new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, intensifies in the public eye.
He also recently made headlines after a Texas pastor filed a lawsuit against him in federal court, claiming the entertainer used part of his sermon on his award-winning album without his permission.
Bishop David Paul Moten of the Joy of the Lord Worship Center in Victoria filed a lawsuit against West, G.O.O.D Music, Def Jam Recordings and UMG Recordings alleging that a portion of his sermon is featured in the song "Come to Life" from Donda.
Earlier this month, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Dallas. Moten claimed West used his preaching for 70 seconds in the song "Come to Life" without his permission.
“My soul cries out hallelujah and I thank God for saving me,” the preacher is heard saying at the beginning of the track. He is heard praying for someone to be “loosed” of evil at one point.
A sample of the sermon is played on a loop during the tune's pre-chorus and chorus, the complaint states.
The lawsuit contends that West has demonstrated a pattern of "willfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission."
West nor his management team have responded to the accusations.
This is not the first time the popular album has been controversial. In September 2021, singer Bri Babineaux, a popular gospel singer who had several viral videos, says she didn't give West approval to use samples of her vocals featured on the Donda album.