MD: What advice would you give someone who is dealing with unbearable pain?
PL: I would tell them not to blame God. Sometimes bad things happen, because bad things happen in this world. Sometimes, it’s just life. For example, I was molested as a child, and a friend of mine attempted to rape me as an adult. Did God cause any of those things to happen? No, He did not. But He used all of those things to make me stronger, wiser, and the person that I am today. And, sometimes, we do stupid stuff that leads to pain. God never told me, or led me, to make stupid mistakes. Those mistakes were made by me. I made those decisions. I allowed wrong things and negative people into my life. At times, I’ve been my worst enemy. So, we can’t blame God for the bad things that we allow into our lives. God allows us to make choices, and our choices make us. God never abandons us, but we sometimes abandon ourselves. If someone is dealing with pain, I would tell them that they can choose to get out of it. I didn’t ask to be raped, and I didn’t ask to be molested. And God doesn’t cause those kinds of things to happen. But God allows us to choose how to respond. Sometimes, rain falls in our lives. Sometimes it’s a thunderstorm or tornado. But, whatever it is, we have to know that we can choose to get through it. God gives us that choice.
MD: Do you believe that you’re called?
PL: Yes. I believe that I’m called. To my son, Zuri, I’m called to be his mother – which is my most important calling. To the young girls in the [music] industry, I’m called to be a mentor. A lot of these young celebrities gravitate toward me. They come to me for advice, and some of them call me their mom and godmother. For me, being a Christian isn’t about telling everyone that I’m a Christian. It’s about showing people that I’m a Christian. I used to judge people. Back in the day, I was a bad girl. But God changed me. I want people to know that I’m a Christian by the way I love them when they need me. We don’t know what people are going through. We don’t know why these young girls are half naked, or why other people do what they do. They’re probably hurting, and need someone who will love and help them – instead of look down on them.
MD: Secular music has a large platform. Is that why you chose it over the gospel music route?
PL: I love gospel music, and I sing it every night when I do a show. But secular music is definitely a larger platform, and it allows me to reach a lot more people. At my shows, I sing secular and gospel music, because I can. If you can do both, why not be great at both? I only sing things that I believe. I’m not out here singing things I don’t believe. If you have the talent, why not be great everywhere and anywhere that you can go? If you can be great singing gospel, sing gospel! If you can touch people through secular music, sing secular music! If you can do both, do both! God hasn’t put me in a box. I’m a child of God wherever I sing, and wherever I go.