Rapper M.I.A., whose hit "Paper Planes" made her a star, says in 2017 she saw Jesus Christ in a vision, and now she's a born-again Christian. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam revealed the dramatic turn of events.
"Being a Tamil and being a Hindu, I was very comfortable that I'd arrived finding myself," she tells Lowe. "Which is, I think, going to be weird for America to process. But I had a vision and I saw the vision of Jesus Christ. It's very, creatively, it's a very crazy thing because it turned my world upside-down. Because everything I thought and believed was no longer the case."
Lowe then clarifies, "I think people are going to be more focusing on the fact that, I think, and, correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying that you're a born-again Christian now."
"I am. I'm not going to lie," she confirms. "The history is, even if it costs me my career, I won't lie. I will tell the truth, and I will tell you what's on my mind and my heart. If I'm coming back now saying Jesus is real, there's a point. Basically, all of my fans might turn against me.
M.I.A. was raised in London as a Hindu by her Sri Lankan Tamil parents. Throughout her music career, she has championed the cause of Palestinian and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and looked at Christianity as too "basic"—too simplistic.
In 2007, her single "Paper Planes" reached number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over 4 million copies. The single was also featured on 2008's Best Motion Picture of the Year Slumdog Millionaire.
She just dropped her latest single, "The One," from a record she says was about just getting "to a peaceful place."
Rob Vischer is a freelance writer for Charisma Media.
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