Kanye West Backs out of Joel Osteen's Virtual Easter Service Over Coronavirus Fears

Kanye West and his Sunday Service Choir were scheduled to appear at Joel Osteen's Easter Sunday service, but West canceled the performance due to the coronavirus pandemic. West and the choir were planning to film in Los Angeles that would be shown during Osteen's service and were going to practice social distancing. The rapper reportedly filmed a Sunday Service for Rich Wilkerson Jr.'s VOUS Church that will be shared Sunday morning.

Sources told TMZ West and Osteen spoke on Friday to iron out the final details of his appearance during Osteen's Easter service at his Lakewood megachurch. West wanted to contribute multiple songs for the event, and his choir was going to follow social distancing practices while filming the spot. However, since there are more than 100 choir members, West decided it would be a better idea to scrap the plans.

Meanwhile, sources told Page Six West already pre-recorded a Sunday Service performance for Wilkerson, the pastor who officiated West and Kim Kardashian's wedding in 2014. The service will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and the website for Wilkerson's VOUS Church. Wilkerson previously joined West for a Sunday Service performance in July 2019.

Last year, West brought his Sunday Service to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. The early-morning performance featured appearances from DMX and Chance the Rapper, and most of the Kardashian-Jenner family attended. West performed "Water" for the first time, before it was featured on his album Jesus Is King.

While the Easter Sunday Service at Lakewood will not include a pre-recorded West performance, Osteen will still have star-power on board. The pastor told TMZ Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry will also be involved. Carey is expected to perform "Hero," while Perry will deliver some words of encouragement. The service was recorded on Friday and will include special prayer segments with Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena, reports Deadline.

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"So, it's just going to be uplifting, encouraging and trying to help people keep the right perspective in these difficult time," Osteen told Fox News of the service, which was recorded in front of empty seats. "But, I think you know it's about making the most of where we are, believe that none of this is a surprise to God," he later added. "And, even though there [are] things that we don't like, this is what faith is all about. It's: 'God, we trust you even when we maybe don't understand it, but we know he's still in control.'"

Osteen's service will be live-streamed on the Fox Nation platform at 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday. "It's all virtual, but it's just going to be a very uplifting couple of hours that we can hopefully, you know, keep people in the right perspective and just let them know again that God is still in control," Osteen told Fox News.