Lauren Daigle has made her first comments on a November performance in New Orleans and the situation surrounding her possible appearance at a New Year's Eve celebration in the city.
In the statement released Thursday, Daigle said she is, "disappointed that my spontaneous participation" the rally, which took place in New Orleans' French Quarter, "has become part of the political discourse and I'm saddened by the divisive agendas of these times."
Daigle received backlash for violating the city's COVID-19 restrictions after she participated in a rally near Jackson Square on November 7. That came back into the spotlight last week when New Orleans mayor Latoya Cantrell wrote to Dick Clark Productions, asking that Daigle not be allowed to perform in this year's New Year's Rockin' Eve celebration New Orleans segment.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser had lobbied for Daigle to be involved in the production, The Advocate reports, but has since canceled the state's $500,000 contract to help cover the cost of the telecast. He said the partnership was dependent upon Daigle's participation. A source close to the production says Nungesser's statement that Dick Clark Productions and ABC decided to pull Daigle from the lineup because of Cantrell's actions is "categorically false." They added that the singer was never officially confirmed to perform during the show.
In her statement Thursday, Daigle said that she, "had no part in creating or planning the event that took place in the French Quarter...I was not scheduled to perform, and I was not a part of its promotion." She added that she was bike riding with a friend when she came across NOPD barricades and officers providing protection for a group of people gathered to pray. She was then asked to sing, she said.
She goes on to say that she would have been, "and still would be," honored to represent New Orleans during the televised event and that though she was aware of ongoing discussions regarding her involvement, "an offer was never made."
"I have wept, pleading for this chaos to dissipate and for harmony to return. We need unity when people are desperate, suffering, starving or out of work," Daigle adds.
The full statement is below, courtesy of The Advocate:
"I love the city of New Orleans. Its music, culture and creative people are unlike any other, and its rich history should be celebrated. That is what my work within the city has always focused on - my deep desire to see New Orleans and its music scene flourish.
To be clear, I had no part in creating or planning the event that took place in the French Quarter last month. I was not scheduled to perform, and I was not a part of its promotion. Out riding my bike with a friend, I saw NOPD barricades set in place and uniformed police officers providing protection for a gathering of people that had come to pray. I was asked to sing.
To me, that is the very moment when music serves its higher purpose. It's what gives people encouragement, hope for a better future, and it's what can usher joy into their hearts. My involvement was focused on lifting spirits, providing hope, and encouragement, during these polarizing times.
I'm disappointed that my spontaneous participation has become part of the political discourse and I'm saddened by the divisive agendas of these times.
I would have been, and still would be, honored to represent our city on New Year's Eve and although I was aware of discussions regarding my involvement, an offer was never made. I have wept, pleading for this chaos to dissipate and for harmony to return. We need unity when people are desperate, suffering, starving or out of work.
I have a deep and profound love for the state of Louisiana, for the city of New Orleans and the people that reside here. I want to thank everyone who has offered kind words and support. They have been a balm for my soul throughout this process."
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