News of the performance set Twitter ablaze on Monday as people questioned the song choice and used GIFs to imagine the reaction of those in the crowd.
One of the first people to speak about the controversial performance was Price, who first rose to fame as a backup singer for artists such as Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston. She was several years into a successful solo career when she released her rendition of "As We Lay," which peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In a video posted to her Instagram account Sunday evening, Price said she had "a very, very disheartening experience" at the expo, noting that she was later confronted by an emcee who felt her performance was inappropriate. "I performed on the gospel stage today. I was asked to perform there. I was asked to do my music, not my gospel music, but my music, which is what I did," Price told her followers.
Price grew up the daughter of a preacher and has also recorded gospel albums. Even the music video for "As We Lay" references her faith — it starts with Price calling her mother for advice, who tells her, "I know you think you love this man, but God is not going to give you somebody else's husband."
Price ended the video with harsh words for anyone who found her performance inappropriate: "I think this type of ignorance and this type of church bigotry is ridiculous and it's the reason why people won't come to church because they run into this kind of thing. I am very very angry. And I needed to let everybody know. This is not right."
Price followed up with a few more videos and more commentary on why she felt the criticism was unwarranted. ("People don't want to know who God is because of the way church people represent him," she says in one. "And I'm so hurt and I'm so angry.")
The reaction from fans have been mixed — some say they agree with her, while others have said she should have just apologized. But there's more to the story — isn't there always? According to a statement posted to the Facebook page of the Indiana Black Expo, Price wasn't initially slated to perform at the gospel portion of the event, but ended up there due to a last minute schedule change. Price has since posted the statement to her Instagram page, along with a message thanking event officials for "standing in truth with me on this."