lauren daigle
The religious singer-songwriter is making Christianity cool again. (Illustration by Luca Bowles, Kingston University)
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lauren daigle

Will the ‘You Say’ singer lead a worship session for the Lolla crowd?

Lollapalooza 2019 is just around the corner (Aug. 1 – Aug. 4 to be exact), and the lineup is composed of popular talents like Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne, J Balvin, The Chainsmokers and many more.

To public surprise, though, “You Say” singer Lauren Daigle, who primarily identifies as a Christian singer-songwriter, also made the cut amidst pop-star sensations.

Who Is Daigle?

Whether you’re a future Lollapalooza attendee searching unfamiliar artists or an avid Daigle Spotify streamer, here are a five fast facts you should know about her as a musician.

1. She was raised in a musical Louisiana home, and her mother often called their household “the music box.”

2. After pursuing a degree in child and family studies at Louisiana State University and doing mission work in Brazil, she discovered her calling to music.

3. With the support of her friends and family, Daigle competed on “American Idol” in 2010 and 2012, making it through “Hollywood Week” in the 2012 season.

4. A series of lucky events, background-vocal singing and workshops led to her signing with the label Centricity Music in 2013.

5. Daigle’s big break in the music industry spurred from her single “You Say” in 2018. The song charted in the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 44 and has curated international fans from Christian and non-Christian backgrounds alike.

Her first two albums, “How Can It Be” and “Behold: A Christmas Collection,” both topped the American Christian charts. A few of her other singles, such as “First” and “Trust In You,” were also widely successful in the Christian community.

Christianity at Lolla?

Obviously, Lollapalooza selects only the best talent to showcase at the festival, and Daigle, with her soulful, Adele-like vocals, definitely fits the artistic criteria. However, the majority of her music thematically revolves around her faith, so how exactly will it live up to the Lollapalooza crowd’s expectations?

If Daigle and her team choose a faith-based set, it wouldn’t be the first time a secular music festival has heard Christian worship music.

Last year in spring 2018, Justin Bieber led worship at a Churchome event on the Coachella festival grounds. Even though he was not officially on the festival lineup, he managed to raise praise and convert a hungover morning of headaches into a celebratory Sunday service. With Bieber’s recent history of being open, and arguably evangelistic, about his faith both live and online, it is no surprise that videos from his Coachella performance exploded on social media.

The new wave of Christianity in the Los Angeles area — thanks to Bieber and other large media influencers like Chris Pratt and Selena Gomez — continues to trend. It is almost as if the updated, contextualized form of the religion has become cool to youth and young adults alike.

Laura Turner of Vox claims, “This form of Christianity involves fashion, music and, of course, celebrity, since modern American evangelicalism has always spread in part by being adjacent to power.”

However, even though Southern California Christianity is advancing in congregation numbers and religious sustainability, how will the Midwest respond to Daigle’s potentially God-focused Lollapalooza set? Her latest appearances on secular media shows have had mixed reviews — to say the least.

Within the past year, the “You Say” singer has debuted on numerous acclaimed television shows, such as “The Ellen Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” all while popularizing Christ’s love on her platform. Unfortunately, despite her impressive performances, religious critics have lambasted Daigle for avoiding the topic of her faith on the shows.

“You’re very talented, but you’re being blinded by fame,” said one of them, according to ChristianLeaders.com. “How is she letting her light shine … if she didn’t even declare Jesus Christ and the gospel at all,” said another. “She just came on there to sing.”

Many other optimistic fans, on the contrary, commended her confidence to take pride in her faith and encouraged her cross-platform performances — as they should.

Daigle’s faith-filled appearances in secular environments ought to be recognized not only as a public expression of a strong-rooted personal belief system but also as a resolute desire to spread the holistic love, peace, hope and joy that the Christian faith teaches.

“I was in a meeting with this sweet lady who said to me, ‘I don’t know much about this Christian stuff, but all I know is that hope thing that you’ve got going on, I want a record of that,'” Daigle said in an interview with Billboard. “Someone just nonchalantly saying that opened my eyes to see that’s what we’re all starving for. We’re starving for hope. We’re starving for joy in the world right now.”

Daigle’s pursuit of the global expansion of hope remains eager and steady. Her ultimate goal is to promote authenticity, acceptance and inclusion of Christians and non-Christians alike.

“I want to let authenticity be the thing that people hear and that people connect to, and that people don’t feel left [out],” she said in the same interview. “The Christian fan base doesn’t feel left [out], but the non-Christian fans don’t feel isolated or excluded, because that’s the exact opposite of what I would want as well. It’s balancing that, and that purest form of balancing that is just staying genuine, staying authentic to who you are and who God created you to be.”

A traditionally religious artist breaking into the pop-music industry on both festival and music-chart levels is something extraordinary. Likewise, the increase of worldwide diversity and peace are ever-growing. Daigle thrives in her calling to bring that peace to nations through her artistry, and her use of an influential, celebrity platform to promote it is worth honoring.

Whether or not Daigle brings Lollapalooza to church is irrelevant so long as she remains true to her authentic persona. Her divine vocals will inevitably draw a crowd, regardless of the audience members’ religious connection to the lyrics.

So, Lollapalooza fans, get excited for Daigle. Get excited for her peaceful presence, her joyful character and — most of all — her powerhouse music!

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