Famous singers Daddy Yankee, Granger Smith leaving behind fame and riches for their faith

As the content of many movies and TV shows devolves into a moral abyss, something truly extraordinary is simultaneously unfolding: Hollywood stars are turning to Jesus at rapid speed.

An increasing pool of people enmeshed in an entertainment complex that fosters and perpetuates moral ambiguity are breaking through the noise of their own industry to discover something much deeper and more profound.

In addition to openly embracing the Christian faith, some of these stars are engaging in an intentional, career-smashing decision to willingly walk away from fame, money and accolades. 

The latest example of this fascinating level of faithfulness comes from rapper and performer Daddy Yankee. The singer, whose birth name is Ramón Ayala, recently stunned the entertainment world when he announced he’s leaving music and devoting his platform to God.

Mr. Ayala quoted the Bible to a boisterous audience at his recent farewell show and cited Matthew 16:26 as he rhetorically asked, “What good will it be for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Fully embracing his faith before his fans, Mr. Ayala said he’s “not ashamed to tell the whole world” about Jesus and openly promised to “live for Him.”

As if that weren’t bold enough, he then vowed to use his fame to glorify God — not himself.

“All the tools that I have in my possession such as music, social networks, platforms, a microphone — everything that Jesus gave me — is now for His kingdom,” Mr. Ayala continued. “Just like Jesus, with His mercy, allowed me to travel the world, in your mercy, Father, I hope You allow me to evangelize the world from Puerto Rico. Amen.”

From Mr. Ayala’s lips to God’s ears. It’s remarkable to watch the popular performer so transformed by his encounter with God that he plans to devote everything he’s been given to help others find the same peace and solace reshaping his life.

Interestingly, Mr. Ayala isn’t alone. Country star Granger Smith made headlines this year for embarking on a similar commitment, leaving behind more than two decades of touring to pursue Christian ministry.

Mr. Smith said in April that he plans to be present and active in his local church.

“This doesn’t mean I’m going to start a church, or a crusade or a revival. This means me and my family are going to serve our local church,” he said. “I want to learn and grow and serve my local church and allow my pastors to equip and affirm those next steps. Lord willing, I want to be used to help people find their purpose.”

The country star, who has openly shared the difficult journey he and his family faced after the tragic 2019 drowning of his 3-year-old son, River, is on a similar mission as Mr. Ayala

Both men have pledged to help others discover grace, peace, love and biblical truth. 

It’s hard to know if Mr. Ayala and Mr. Smith are at the forefront of a secondary Hollywood trend — one in which celebrities not only embrace the Gospel, but also embark on intentional, selfless missions to meet others’ spiritual needs. The prospect is exciting, though.

Regardless, it’s clear these singers encountered something profound — a reality better than the riches, stardom and notability they had come to know. And that willingness to leave it all behind only adds credence to their journeys. 

Others before them, such as singer Montell Jordan, have taken similar paths. Mr. Jordan left professional music years ago and is now a pastor, stopping himself not long ago from getting back into the mainstream music mix.

“In 2010 Jordan planned to make a comeback album as his foray back into the music industry,” a biography reads. “However, during a fast at the Victory World Church, Mr. Jordan said he was told by God to quit the music industry. He decided to cancel his plans and dedicate his life to his faith. Jordan ultimately ended up quitting the music industry.”

Meanwhile, “All That” star Kel Mitchell, currently balances serving as a youth pastor and an actor, a dual role he’s been able to sustain. 

While Mr. Jordan and Mr. Mitchell have powerful stories, there’s something truly unique about Mr. Ayala’s and Mr. Smith’s commitments: their departures from music come at a time when spiritual revival appears to be on the horizon, with mass baptisms breaking out and with numerous churches reporting spiritual resurgences. 

The singers’ devotion to ministry serves as evidence of not only changed hearts but also a transformed and vertically focused mission. Let’s pray others in Hollywood follow their lead.

• Billy Hallowell is a digital TV host and interviewer for Faithwire and CBN News and the co-host of CBN’s “Quick Start Podcast.” Hallowell is the author of four books.

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