Coachella never disappoints with its ever-more-star-studded line-up and unforgettable, career-defining performances from the biggest names in the music business. This year was no exception - rapper-producer-designer Kanye West offered an unexpected and unique take on the typical Coachella appearance.
Kanye has been holding weekly Sunday services back home in Calabasas, California, since January, which have traditionally been for the benefit of an exclusive guest list (including the likes of Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom) and only teased to the public via videos on Kim’s Instagram account. Not this this. For one Sunday morning only, 50,000 festival-goers had the opportunity to attend one of Kanye’s famed services, in the heart of the California desert.
Attendees of all sorts, both Kardashian fans and those genuinely looking for spiritual inspiration, flocked to a custom-built hilltop away from Coachella’s main site early on Sunday morning. The crowd was packed in behind barriers, whilst celebrities and invited guests got an up-close view: the entire Kardashian clan were in attendance, as were Hailey and Justin Bieber, Jaden and Willow Smith, Idris Elba, and members of K-Pop group Blackpink.
The service was a grand affair - Kanye was accompanied by a full band, backing singers and an army of dancers. He performed gospel renditions of hits from the ‘Yeezus’ and ‘The Life of Pablo’ albums, aided by the powerful vocals of a gospel choir. He enlisted the help of fellow rappers like Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla Sign and Chance the Rapper, who joined him onstage at various points, whilst also throwing in well-known hits from other artists, such as Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’ and classic gospel song ‘How Excellent’. His service acted as the premiere of a new track, ‘Water’.
The sartorial buzzword was 'lavender', with Kanye, Kim, Khloe and North donning some interpretation of the purple hue. The rapper-turned-designer was also selling pieces from a clothing line, ‘Church Clothes’, comprising jumpers, socks, tees and ponchos.
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COACHELLA 2019. Sunday Service was so special to experience here at Coachella especially for my first time here! Kanye started Sunday Service for healing for himself and his close and family and friends. He had this vision of starting a church for few years and it was magical seeing everyone else get to experience it. I’m so proud of you babe for doing exactly whats in your heart. The choir and band work so hard and have so much fun! It’s so inspiring to watch. Thank you to everyone who woke up early to spend Easter Sunday with us. It’s a memory we will cherish forever. @JimJoe @LiamMacRae