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.”