1. Cheryl ‘Salt’ James
After leaving the pioneering female rap group Salt ‘n Pepa, Cheryl James said that she was born again and started a career in gospel rap – most notably on Kirk Franklin’s 1997 hit, “Stomp.” She did join ex-partner Sandy “Pepa” Denton for both a reality show and string of performances, but has substantially altered her more provocative lyrical content.
2. Dave Chappelle
Since his conversion to Islam in the late 1990s, Dave Chappelle has taken a hiatus several times for self-reflection and calls his faith “a life-long effort” that now helps him set personal standards.
3. Little Richard
The world shook when Little Richard suddenly decided to serve God, enrolling at the Seventh-day Adventist Church-operated Oakwood Theological College in Huntsville, Alabama. The singer reportedly made the momentous decision while on a two-week tour of Australia a few months earlier
Following the failure of her solo debut album, Hot Coko, and the shelving of her sophomore effort, Coko of SWV famed returned to her Christian roots and later resurfaced as a born-again Christian and gospel singer. While she has since rejoined the group that made her famous, she refuses to perform their sexually explicit hits like “Downtown” and “Can We.”
5. Della Reese
With a background and gospel and a noted TV role on the angel-themed sitcom, Touched By An Angel, Della Reese has been known to be a woman of faith. The faith Reese currently belongs to, however, is the New Thought Movement – a religion that stresses metaphysical beliefs. She is currently a New Thought minister at Understanding Principles for Better Living Church in Los Angeles.
After the disappointing sales of his 1999 sophomore album, Double Up, Mason “Ma$e” Durrell Betha announced that he was born again and turning his life over to God. He became a preacher, then returned to rap — only with a more light-hearted sound. Years later, he sought to join 50 Cent’s G-Unit fold and rap in a style associated with his famous moniker, “Murder Ma$e.” He still preaches.
7. Donna Summer
Though she was born to devout Christian parents, Donna Summer became the Queen of Disco by exuding wild sexuality in a music genre that provided a soundtrack to much of debauchery associated with the 1970s. However, in the 80s the disco queen returned to her Christian roots and announced that she was born again.
8. Jermaine Jackson
Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, the entertainer converted to Islam in 1989 following a trip to Bahrain. Jermaine Jackson consistently promotes the faith in public appearances, and at one point, tried to convert his brother Michael to the religion.
9. Tiger Woods
In an effort to rebuild his image, Tiger Woods has started to speak more openly about his Buddhist beliefs. He also now wears a religious bracelet saying, “It’s Buddhist, it’s for protection and strength and I certainly need that.”
10. Joseph ‘Rev. Run’ Simmons
After his success as a part of the pioneering rap group Run DMC, Rev. Run decided to become a member of Zoe Ministries and was later ordained a minister. Now a reality TV star, he uses his public platform to share his faith.
In 2001, he revealed that he had become a Jehovah’s Witness. Those who questioned his seriousness had those questions answered once it was revealed he took on the door-to-door conversion efforts associated with the faith –- even at the home of a Jewish family before the start of Yom Kippur.
12. Perri “Pebbles” Reid
Pebbles left the music industry behind to focus on God. She became Sister Perri and started a deliverance women’s ministry in Atlanta, deciding to do so in ’97 after she says the hand of God touched her life and changed her direction during a really tough time. She started the Perri Ministry because God told her she could change lives.
13. Shelia E
In 1991, Shelia e left Prince and his organization and developed a better relationship with God. On that transition, she once explained “I got the Bible and I started reading and I kept it on my chest. I slept with it and never took it out of my hand for weeks.”
14. Chris Tucker
Tucker wouldn’t sign on for the sequels to play Smokey in the ‘Friday’ sequels because he had become a born-again Christian after doing the film Money Talks and no longer approved of the character.
15. Montell Jordan
Jordan became the Worship Minister at Victory World Church and along with Victory World Music, has released a gospel album called Shake Heaven.
16. Sherri Shepherd
Sherri has been pretty open about her faith on the show, and on The View. She said she moved closer to God as her mom was dying, after she started getting evicted and was dealing with a stalker ex-boyfriend.
17. Michelle Williams
She changed her musical direction during the height of her career to give love to God by releasing the gospel album, Heart To Yours. She stated that she wanted to do it because it was in her heart.
18. Michael Vick
After serving a prison sentence stemming from his illegal dog-fighting ring, he faulted himself for his actions and said he has asked Jesus for forgiveness claims he became closer to God. He said he credits former football coach Tony Dungy for playing a role in that.
She stated that became addicted to crack cocaine in the late ’80s, and after almost dying from from the effects of years worth of drug use, she became a born-again Christian, and went back to being known as Denise Matthews.
20. Al Green
Green said his wake-up call happened after his girlfriend doused him with a pan of boiling hot grits while he was taking a shower and then took her own life. He would go on to become an ordained minister at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. For years he would exclusively record gospel music before returning to his R&B roots decades later. Reverend Al is still an active minister.
21. Todd Bridges
Todd recently authored a book that tackles his dark past, the Diff’rent Strokes star said he had been a long-time drug abuser has said that his ex-agent molested him as a child. He cites Christianity as his salvation.