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February 28th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

February 14th, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Gospel singer Kim Burrell remembers praying with Whitney Houston

By Allen Huntspon, CNN

(CNN) - Every week for 13 years, Whitney Houston called her friend, gospel artist Kim Burrell, who she adored like a sister. When Houston struggled with personal issues, Burrell would pray with her.

The world saw Houston, who died Saturday, share the stage with Burrell during BET's 2011 Celebration of Gospel, in what signified the return of a music legend as they sung Houston's hit song, "I look to you."

And that's what Burrell says Houston often did – she looked to God.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Music • TV-CNN Newsroom

Nicki Minaj did what?
Hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj arrives at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.
February 13th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

Nicki Minaj did what?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Even with a superstar memorialized and a Beach Boys reunion, it was a confusing high church sendup, complete with exorcisms, that stole the show at Sunday night's Grammy Awards.

When Nicki Minaj walked the red carpet in a red shawl that harkened back to Little Red Riding Hood, along with a man dressed as the pope in a white cassock and pointed white miter hat, it was a foreshadowing of what was to come on the stage at the Staples Center for the 54th Grammys.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Music

February 12th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

At church where Houston got start, congregants gather to mourn and reminisce

By the CNN Wire Staff

NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) - As the sun rose the morning after Whitney Houston's death, congregants at the Baptist church where she began her singing career as a member of the junior gospel choir gathered to mourn, pray and share stories of the pop superstar.

The Houston family has been "inseparable" from New Hope Baptist Church, Pastor Joe A. Carter said in an interview Saturday night, and Whitney would continue to visit throughout her life.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Music • Uncategorized

January 9th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Young cancer warrior meets Christian singer idol via Kyra Phillips

By Sydney McIntosh, CNN

(CNN) - Not many people start fundraising at age seven, but that's what Tori Svenson did. She heard about a three-year-old with a brain tumor in her hometown and wanted to help, so she competed in a "Relay for Life" beauty pageant to raise money for the girl.

Just as Tori was about to hand over the proceeds, she learned that she, too, had a brain tumor.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Music • TV • TV-CNN Newsroom

My Take: Let Lennon be Lennon and forget Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green performing in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
January 2nd, 2012
03:09 PM ET

My Take: Let Lennon be Lennon and forget Cee Lo Green

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

New Year’s Eve is usually truce time in the culture wars — a moment to reflect and hope and forget your troubles (and the world’s). Not so on Saturday night, when Cee Lo Green changed the lyrics to John Lennon’s “Imagine” while performing the song on live television in New York’s Time Square.

Instead of “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,” Green sang, “Nothing to kill or die for, and all religion’s true.”

This change has performed something of a minor miracle: bringing atheists and evangelicals together in common cause. Atheists are outraged that Green is messing with what they see as an anthem for their cause, while evangelicals object to his view that all religions are true.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Celebrity • Culture wars • Music

Beardless Matisyahu still rocks hard, with dreidel mirror ball
A clean shaven Matisyahu raps at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. The Hasidic reggae star recently shaved his beard.
December 29th, 2011
01:51 PM ET

Beardless Matisyahu still rocks hard, with dreidel mirror ball

By Eric Weisbrod, CNN

(CNN)-– He may be clean shaven, but Orthodox Jewish reggae star Matisyahu still has the energy, passion and talent as when he donned a traditional Hasidic beard.

Playing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC Wednesday night on his “Festival of Light” tour, Matisyahu’s set included his hits “King Without a Crown,” “Jerusalem” and his Hanukkah song "Miracle.”

The stage featured a giant rotating disco ball in the shape of a dreidel, the four-sided spinning top played during Hanukkah.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Judaism • Music

Famed Hasidic reggae star sheds the Hasid part?
December 13th, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Famed Hasidic reggae star sheds the Hasid part?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Think Matisyahu, and there’s an image: A man in a long beard, sidelocks and a skullcap – an obviously and deeply religious man who became a music sensation, blending reggae and hip hop with the most traditional of Jewish themes.

But hear that record scratching to a stop?

The man behind the music issued a big statement Tuesday, when he blasted over Twitter the image of who he is now, thanks to a razor.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Judaism • Music

The gospel according to Justin Bieber
A new book explores the faith of pop star Justin Bieber.
September 26th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

The gospel according to Justin Bieber

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Justin Bieber is one of the world's most famous pop stars but is also decidedly more Jesusy than his day job might lead some to believe.

When the young Canadian-born singer burst onto the scene, he was discovered in part by singing Christian songs on YouTube. But that is just the beginning of Bieber's faith journey, spelled out in a new book on the young star.

Cathleen Falsani sarcastically self-proclaims she is the "pre-eminent Justin Bieber scholar in North America."

Falsani has penned "Belieber! Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber," a book exploring the faith life of the tween sensation.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Music

July 1st, 2011
05:00 AM ET

My Take: Wired pastor says unplug

Editor's Note: Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv. He, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Okla., where LifeChurch.tv began in 1996. A bestselling author, his latest new book is called "WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working."

By Craig Groeschel, Special to CNN

Like millions of people, I Twitter, Facebook and blog. Though I hesitate to admit it, I even take my iPhone into the bathroom with me — just in case I need to do a little extra business (pun intended). Since we live in a tech-savvy world, our church, LifeChurch.tv, loves to leverage technology to spread the message of faith in Christ.

Our church was honored to create The Bible App, a free tool to help people engage with God’s word. The Bible App has been installed on more than 19 million unique devices (and counting). And last year alone, our Church Online services drew nearly 3 million unique visits.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Movies • Music • Oklahoma • Technology • TV • United States

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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