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Lauren Daigle Finds Solace in Support After Mayor Demands She Be Banned from New Year's Celebration

12-20-2020
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Lauren Daigle performs "You Say" at the Billboard Music Awards on May 1, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Lauren Daigle is breaking a more than week-long silence after demands for her removal from an annual New Year's Eve celebration in New Orleans. 

The "You Say" singer says that the support and kind words from her fans have been a "balm for my soul throughout this process."

On Dec. 9, Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) claimed Daigle violated New Orleans' coronavirus restrictions when she participated in an outdoor worship service in November. 

Cantrell wrote a letter to Dick Clark Productions demanding they prevent her from being part of the celebration. "She harmed our people, she risked the lives of our residents, and she strained our first responders in a way that is unconscionable — in the midst of a public health crisis," Cantrell wrote.

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Louisiana state leaders like Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry backed Daigle calling Cantrell's letter an attack on her expressed faith. 

"Your rights to protest and worship are enshrined in the First Amendment," Landry wrote. "I vow to do everything in my power to protect them."

A source close to Dick Clark Productions told CBN News Daigle was never part of the event's lineup or offered a position. 

Daigle confirms this in her own statement but goes on to say the political squabble was deeply troubling.

"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," she said in a statement to The New Orleans Advocate

"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. I have 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 said.

On November 7, Daigle spontaneously joined California worship-leader Sean Feucht during his "Let Us Worship" rally in Louisiana's French Quarter. 

Someone in the crowd recognized her and asked her to sing. 

"I love the city of New Orleans. Its music, culture and creative people are unlike any other, and its rich history should be celebrated. That is what my work within the city has always focused on — my deep desire to see New Orleans and its music scene flourish," Daigle said.

"To be clear, I had no part in creating or planning the event that took place in the French Quarter last month. I was not scheduled to perform, and I was not a part of its promotion. Out riding my bike with a friend, I saw NOPD barricades set in place and uniformed police officers providing protection for a gathering of people that had come to pray. I was asked to sing," she continued.

"To me, that is the very moment when music serves its higher purpose. 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 a post to Twitter, Feucht responded to Mayor Cantrell and called for her resignation. 

"Mayor Cantrell owes Lauren Daigle and every Jesus-loving Christian an apology for her religious bigotry. No politician should be allowed to viciously attack a citizen for her faith and worship," he wrote. 

"It's an abuse of power and if Mayor Cantrell doesn't have the humility to apologize for her injustice, she should resign," Feucht said.

Daigle says she is still open to the idea of performing at the New Years' Eve event.

"I have a deep and profound love for the state of Louisiana, for the city of New Orleans and the people that reside here. I want to thank everyone who has offered kind words and support. They have been a balm for my soul throughout this process," she added.

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