Gospel Singer Fred Hammond Opens Up on His Ex-wife, Marriage and Controversies
Gospel singer and musician Fred Hammond takes the unorthodox route and often gets criticized by the church-going community.
He, himself, is divorced but is quite vocal about the love and romance a man and wife share with each other. He divorced his wife in 2004 and still hasn't remarried. But Hammond claims to be searching for the perfect one to share his love with.
He has a biological daughter named BreeAnn Hammond with his ex-wife and an adopted son named Darius [nickname: Bubba].
Keen to Get Committed Again
It has been over fifteen years since Hammond divorced his ex-wife Kim Hammond, but the gospel singer hasn't remarried since then.
In an interview with Essence in February 2012, he shared that his pastor initially advised him not to jump too quickly into another marriage after divorce.
That being said, he stated that he was, personally, looking to get married and welcomed the idea that someone special was waiting for him.
"I thought I would marry again soon thereafter [his divorce], but my pastors told me not jump into anything," he said. "There isn’t anyone in the picture right now, but I do look forward to getting married again."
In the meantime, the gospel singer focuses his time putting up songs in praise of Jesus and God. He has even won multiple Grammy Awards for his work.
Daughter Is a Married Woman Now
The singer's daughter BreeAnn was a teenager when her parents divorced in 2004.
Hammond had a strained relationship with his daughter, to say the least. His daughter, BreeAnn, even spoke on the record about her relationship with her father.
In an interview with REDigion, she said that her parents' divorce affected her deeply and strained her relationship with her father.
She added that as a married woman, she now understood the complexities of marriages and accepted that her parents were imperfect human beings trying to live the best way they knew how.
In Hammond’s defense, he told South Florida Sun-Sentinel magazine in February 2010 that he always did the best he could in the best way he knew how.
He claimed that he became spiritually empty after the divorce from his wife, Kim. And his immediate priority after the separation was to ensure that his two children, who both appeared in Love Unstoppable, were well-settled and let them know that he wasn’t abandoning them.
BreeAnn certainly seems to have forgiven her father’s past misgivings as she now sings backup for her father during his shows, and she even helps him write some of his songs.
He Sings about Jesus and Love
Unlike other gospel singers, Hammond has taken his gospel singing a step further. He takes the platform of gospel singing to sing about love and romance, which the singer repeatedly gets the flak for.
His critics argue that gospel singing is a praise to the Lord and Jesus Christ, and his songs tainted the very concept of that.
But Hammond justifies his work by saying that love and romance are in dire need in today's times.
In the same interview with Essence, Hammond stated that he never quite understood the taboo nature of romance in the gospel singing world. He argued that if good people [god-fearing] could say things like “I love you my baby,” or “My honey,” — then there shouldn’t be a problem when people sing it.
It’s a crazy taboo that has to do with years of tradition. If they can say, 'I love my baby' or 'My honey is so good to me,' then there shouldn’t be a problem when you sing it.
He further brought to attention the staggering figures of divorce in Christian homes and how the love that they preach in churches was far removed from reality.
He mentioned that fifty percent of first-time marriages ended in divorce. Second-time and third-time marriages had a failure rate of sixty and seventy percent, respectively.
While those facts might need corroboration, it is apparent where Hammond was getting at.
He said that people coming to churches put on a good face, but the story behind their walls was in stark opposition. And that his love and romance songs were his way of fixing that.
Unafraid of Being Controversial among His Christain Followers
Time and again, Hammond has challenged orthodox Christian believers' views regarding his songs of love. Contrary to the populace, he believes that falling in love and an intimate connection with one’s partner was God’s gift that one shouldn’t be ashamed of.
He argued back to his critics, through his [now-deleted] Facebook post, for not understanding the turbulent times a relationship can oftentimes come across.
He also asked everyone to understand single men and women who wanted that feeling of love to feel connected.
God is love and with in Himself lies the most intense and greatest of all intimacies...That's why falling in love, a deep soul intimate connection and [explicit] intimacy feel so good because it's God's gift we've just perverted and distorted it.
Hammond's stance on romance is not the only source of criticism that the singer faces. The singer also repeatedly gets flak for collaborating with other singers and artists from outside the gospel genre.
In 2018, when he collaborated with rapper Snoop Dog for a gospel album, he was heavily criticized.
"I lost a couple best friends — a husband and wife team walked away from me, called me a sinner," Hammond told Rolling Stone in October 2018.
But that didn't put a dent in his future work. It can even be said that it strengthened his resolve further.
The following year Hammond teamed up with another artist, Kanye West, to work on his Jesus is King's track 'Hands On.'