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Kim Burrell Relives Her Favorite Essence Fest Moment

Photo Credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images

We caught up with gospel great and Essence Festival vet Kim Burrell about one of her favorite fest moment. Spoiler: It involves Beyonce.

"My greatest Essence Festival moment, so far, has been one that I think went viral.  It was so unrehearsed and so not planned. 

"I was ministering on stage to honor Mary Mary.  I started giving a testimony and encouragement to the women, and I referenced Beyoncé's song, "you must not know bout me", [laughter] "Irreplaceable?"  And the people went nuts. I started [singing it] about sickness and disease. "You must not know about me, I'll be healed in a minute.  Matter of fact, I'll be better than this in a minute.'  You know, that kind of thing.  And I remember looking over at the girls and they had to pack--my redhead--Tina--they had to pack her out.  She just got so overwhelmed with joy.  And that made me feel so, so good.  They were both just standing there, and I felt like the mission was accomplished.  As huge as Essence is, I wanted Essence to be happy.  But I feel like Essence Fest is happy, and that's why they invited me, you know?  So I was interested in making sure that Mary Mary smiled.  And that meant the world to me."