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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Snoop Dogg, Twin Cities mayors, NFL players attend Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Bethel


Benson Great Hall hosted the annual celebration, featuring gospel music and faith stories in preparation for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. 

By Abby Petersen

Bethel hosted the 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, welcoming NFL players and musical artists to Benson Great Hall, including rapper Snoop Dogg, who is planning to release his first gospel album this year.

“Thank y’all for having me on y’all campus,” Snoop Dogg told The Clarion on the red carpet in the Olson Gallery before the event. “It’s my first time but it won’t be my last time.”

The event closed Benson and the Underground to the community for four days in preparation for the concert, which included inspirational messages from NFL players, gospel music and awards. The event is the only NFL-sanctioned inspirational concert for Super Bowl weekend. The concert is held at a venue in the Super Bowl host city each year. This year, Bethel played that role.

Lakewood Church associate pastor John Gray and Nigerian-American actress Yvonne Orji co-hosted this year’s celebration. Gray serves under Joel Osteen at the Texas church.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter were both in attendance. Carter was elected in 2017, making him the first African-American mayor of the city.

“It’s great that Bethel is hosting,” Carter said Thursday. “I was really glad when I heard that they had chosen this as our site. I’m totally excited about tonight. We have deep music, and specifically gospel music, traditions right here in the Twin Cities metro area.”

NFL players including Jameis Winston, Eric Reid and Gerald McCoy were scheduled to share faith stories. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was awarded the 2018 Faith in Action Award at the event. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald received the 2018 Lifetime of Inspiration Award. Music artists included Faith Evans, Mary Mary and Sounds of Blackness.

Singer Faith Evans poses for photos on the red carpet Feb. 1. | Photo by Abby Petersen

Snoop Dogg’s performance in the event was not announced until Jan. 24. Campus ministries dean Laurel Bunker posted on Facebook Jan. 25 that people think “Bethel is going to hell for allowing this man on stage at Bethel.”

Snoop Dogg poses with event hosts Yvonne Orji and John Gray. | Photo by Abby Petersen

Melanie Few, the founder of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, responded to such beliefs, and said that Snoop Dogg is the first “secular” artist who has been invited to perform at the event – a change she’s excited about.

“I know people that sing about Christ, talk about Christ every day and don’t do anything for God’s children,” Few said. “And that’s what kinda convinced me to say, ‘You know what? I’m open. I’m not perfect either.’”

The rapper’s album, Snoop Dogg Presents the Bible of Love, is set to release later this year.

“The record’s all about love from start to finish,” Snoop Dogg said. “That’s the way you change the world, by putting love in it.”

Additional reporting by Beret Leone

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  • B

    Bettie ClaytonFeb 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Well put together,the only thing that’s messing is the forgotten mom and pop stores that made this music accepted recognized and took to another mine set of about 4 generation since the beginning the mom-and-pop store that took a chance on getting all the numbers in through soundscan has been throw under the bus,and train.never came back to us to see what is, if anything that we can bring to the table as far as talient goes in entertainment ? to me someone should allow us to atleast be on stand by, or on call, to break a tie on all these talient show.since we where the ones to frist be up front with the customers on who what when whete why?in this business again we are never me we sold some music and their were music stores all over the map.what I’m saying come up with something where we can compete and other words give back to the people that made the cash register ring ($$$$$$$$$)ku jen.

  • V

    Velma Nelson-ThomasFeb 2, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Embrace Change with an Open Mind..God Did!

  • P

    Pamela HardgeFeb 2, 2018 at 11:13 am

    The controversy about this is to be expected because of who the artist is and his choice of life style in the world but God can save anybody. Because we have not heard an open confession of repentance from him doesn’t mean he hasn’t repented. The life style of true repentance will be the witness.

    We tend to judge who God uses and does not use but the truth is God will not endorse what He does not approve. Iam not in agreement the Bethel going to hell statement for allowing this. That’s just not true and is not validated.

    I wasn’t always right either but I still sung the gospel songs. One day I stopped being a singer and got saved for real according to God’s word so pray for him that he will not just be a singer of the gospel but that his life will line up with the word of God.

    I pray that What ever his reason is for doing the album will bring the right results and that no violence or ill treatment will be rendered to him because of this. His Mother has prayed for him to change his life and there is nothing like a Mother’s prayer for her child.

  • S

    Shirley A CowartFeb 2, 2018 at 9:29 am

    People don’t know it is that Snoop Dog comes from a Gospel singing family on his father side of the family his uncles and their cousin’s had a Gospel group called the Vernado brothers and later on the group changed their name to the Heavenly Wchoes from Magnolia, MS. I know because 3 of my uncles were the cousins that were in the group with them. I grew up listening to them sing.