Kanye West has been named Gospel Artist of the Year for a third consecutive year by Billboard.
The award is creating controversy as social media users, and gospel music listeners disagree that Kanye West makes gospel music and that he is deserving of the title. According to Billboard on Thursday, West is ranked Billboard’s No. 1 gospel artist of 2021, and he is also the top male artist in the genre. He previously held the top spot for 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Kanye’s 2021 title is due to his 10th studio album Donda, which has raked in a number of No. 1 titles for the rapper in various categories. Among the No. 1 titles Kanye hold is the No. 1 Top Christian Album and No. 1 Top Gospel Album for Donda.
Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, was also the top streamed gospel artist and received No. 1 titles. Among these is No.1 Christian artist, Gospel Artist, Hot Christian Songs Artist, Hot Gospel Songs Artist, Hot Gospel Songs Producer, Hot Gospel Songs Writer.
The album also got the No. 1 Hot Gospel Song for his single “Hurricane” on the Donda album.
The other artists in the genre who have been named in the leading are Maverick City Music and Cece Winans.
Gospel music listeners, however, disagreed with Billboard’s award.
“Donda is NOT a gospel or Christian album STOP with the BS,” one person said on Twitter in response to the article.
“The Clark Sisters are rolling over in their graves seeing this,” another said.
“Somewhere Kirk Franklin is giving the side-eye,” another said.
Others pointed out that calling ‘Donda’ a Christian or gospel album was, in essence, disrespecting the sacrosanctity of the religion as Kanye had invited one of the biggest Satanists, Marilyn Manson, on stage while he performed and also to be a part of the album.
Others, however, celebrated the rapper’s ins as they noted that his own conversion to Christianity was “winning souls for Christ.”
Kanye West has been producing music considered gospel since his last Jesus is King album, released in 2019.