Kanye West gives emotional performance of 'Jesus is King' for inmates at a Houston jail

Kanye West has followed the Johnny Cash route and performed for inmates at a Houston jail.

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By Associated Press

Kanye West has followed the Johnny Cash route and performed for inmates at a Houston jail.

In secret from the public, the star rapper-turned-gospel singer performed songs Friday from his new gospel album “Jesus is King.” He and his choir performed for more than 200 male inmates at one jail facility before crossing the street to another jail facility and performing for a smaller crowd of female inmates.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said West’s representatives asked jail officials about doing secret shows.

Kanye West and his choir perform for inmates at the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 15, 2019.Harris County Sheriff's Office / via Reuters

The events were reminiscent of prison concerts given by country singer Johnny Cash in California, and were performed two days before West is to speak at Joel Osteen’s vast Lakewood Church in Houston.

West discussed his musical and personal turn to Christianity, as well as the inspiration behind his latest album, in an interview with DJ Zane Lowe on Apple Music in October.

"Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me," West said during a nearly two-hour conversation.

West's gospel-inspired album is his ninth in a row to open at the top of the Billboard 200, putting him in a tie with Eminem for the most consecutive No. 1s, Billboard says.