An Audience With Heather Headley

 Heather Headley has been winning hearts with her rich, soulfully elastic voice since the moment she made her Broadway debut.

BY Duane Wells

February 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

Heather Headley audience of One xlarge (album cover) | Advocate.com
 

Audience of Oneopens with a track titled “Simply
Redeemed,” which begins with the words
“I am a Christian.” What does that phrase
mean to you? In other words, what does being “a
Christian” mean to you?
Well, it’s funny, because I think
that’s the whole deal with the song. I’m
not perfect, but this is what I believe…this is who I
am. I do believe that with Him I am redeemed and that
one day when we all get to heaven we’ll be
perfect … That’s how I see it. I can be
forgiven and I mess up. Every day I mess up and have
to ask for forgiveness and I have that forgiveness.
It’s weird, when we got that song, I remember calling
[EMI] and saying, "I know this is a ballad, but I think I
want to start with this." I said, "I think people are
going to ask why I wanted to do this album or who I am
or what I am or what’s going on, so
let’s just start with this." [Laughs]

There has been growing friction between many LGBT
people and the church as of late, particularly over the
issue of same-sex marriage. As a result, there
will inevitably be those who question whether your
decision to release a gospel album represents a
departure of sorts from the gay fans who have
so enthusiastically greeted everything
you’ve done since your debut. What do you say to them?
Well, I think that everybody -- people within
the LGBT community and without the LGBT community --
if they’ve known me [and] come with me since
Broadway, [they'll] know that this is not necessarily a
departure. I don’t like to call them fans, I
call them friends, and they kinda know that this is
just a part of Heather; it’s a branch on her tree.

I am amazingly
grateful to [the gay community] for all the support and
all the love and, to some, for all the impressions that
I’ve heard have been going on. [Laughs]
I’m terribly grateful. I do know that it seems
sometimes that there is a friction between the church
and the community, but I think in all I will say that
there’s always love because I think that’s
what God calls us to do. We may disagree on some
things, but there is love and that’s the overriding
thing. It really hurts me to think that there’s a lot
of friction between the church and the community when
all God calls us to do is love. 

Headley’s Audience of One is available now.

Tags: Music

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