Lauren Daigle Dropped From ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ After Appearance at Sean Feucht Rally
Christian pop star Lauren Daigle has been removed from the lineup of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the iconic musical countdown to the New Year on ABC, according to a report by New Orleans news station WDSU.
The move comes after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell raised concerns about Daigle’s appearance at Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” rally and concert last month in the city, where Daigle lives and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve plans to film its countdown for the Central time zone.
In a letter to Dick Clark Productions, published by New Orleans radio station WWL, Cantrell wrote that she could not “in good conscience” support Daigle’s involvement in the broadcast.
Earlier this week, Daigle, a two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, also performed her crossover hit “You Say” on the season finale of NBC’s “The Voice.”
“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,” Cantrell wrote.
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Feucht’s event in New Orleans’ French Quarter did not have a permit and violated public health guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the mayor. The event put New Orleans residents in danger and threatened the city’s progress in combating the pandemic, she wrote.
It was part of the “Let Us Worship” tour, a series of “worship protests,” led throughout the pandemic in cities across the country by Feucht, a worship pastor associated with controversial Bethel Church in Redding, California, and failed congressional candidate.
A video tweeted Nov. 7 by Feucht shows Daigle singing the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” at the demonstration in New Orleans. Nobody appeared to be wearing masks or social distancing.
A column about the event days later in the New Orleans Advocate noted Daigle’s appearance and asked, “What in God’s name were they thinking?”
After speaking with Daigle, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has said the whole thing is a misunderstanding, according to local media reports.
Daigle was not officially part of the event and is not responsible for the crowd of a few hundred people who gathered in the French Quarter, Nungesser told WWL.
Instead, the singer explained to him she had been riding her bike nearby when she heard people praying for hospitality workers and stopped to join them, he said. She then was invited to sing.
The lieutenant governor described the mayor’s actions as “retaliation” against Daigle and fretted they cost Louisiana the opportunity to be part of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” in a written statement.
“In the long run, this action will not only hamper any efforts for New Orleans to recover from the pandemic, but also every city in the state which offered to host the event, and the state as a whole,” Nungesser said.
A city spokesperson told WDSU the production still planned to broadcast from New Orleans.
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” has been a New Year’s staple since 1972. Now hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the 2021 production—without its usual live audience—will feature more than five and a half hours of music from artists like Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter and Cyndi Lauper.