New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell demanded that Lauren Daigle be removed from the annual New Year's eve celebration, reports say.
As reported by The Christian Headlines, the inclusion of the Grammy Award singer, who also happens to be a Christian, caused a dispute between several state officials and the New Orleans Mayor.
The Christian pop star has made a career singing songs that speaks of hope, faith, joy and overall positivity. But now, she finds herself in a political crossfire after spontaneously joining worship leader Sean Feucht in a prayer rally concert in New Orleans.
Mayor Cantrell of New Orleans criticized Daigle's involvement in the upcoming New Year 's Eve celebration saying that the pop singer had put city residents at risk of contracting COVID-19 after performing with Feucht in an outdoor worship event. The mayor adds that the worship service that happened in French Quarter happened without a permit.
"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.
"This is not who we are, and she cannot be allowed to represent New Orleans or the people she willfully endangered."
In a letter addressed to the organizers of the event, Dick Clark Productions, Cantrell expressed his feeling towards Daigle.
"Ms. Daigle cannot and should not be rewarded with national media exposure and a public spotlight."
What followed is Daigle being removed from the lineup.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry defended the Louisiana-born and bred singer against Cantrell's comments to which he was "shocked and dismayed."
Landry wrote to Daigle in defense to her:
"The Louisiana Legislature reinforced the rights of individuals to worship freely by adopting the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act."
"... State and federal law protect your right to assemble in a public square to worship and protest. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch has recently explained that the 'Government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis.' ... Additionally, you are entitled to protection from tortious interference with your private contractual relationships."
Landry also adds that all Daigle did is "sing one song" and that her cameo participation was not advertised in advance because the invitation to sing to the event came while the Christian pop artist was riding her bike making her appearance all spontaneous.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, as per WDSU, also wrote a statement in defense of Daigle and critized Cantrell saying that for the last four years, Louisiana and its Office of Tourism has sponsored ABC's 'Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve' that resulted to record-breaking tourism with 53 million visitors to Louisiana.
"Lauren is also the state's voice of the Sunshine Tourism Recovery Plan. Tourism is the 4th largest industry in our state generating over $19 billion in revenue for our economy."
Despite his effort to make concessions, Nungesser was still unable to get approval from Cantrell and the latter still sent the letter to Dick Clark Productions demanding that Daigle be removed from the New Year's Eve production.
"I am shocked and disappointed that the Mayor would attack one of our own in this manner."