In February 2009, a heavily pregnant rapper of Tamil descent, Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam—best known as M.I.A.— stole the show when she performed “Swagga Like Us” with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and T.I. at the Grammy Awards.
That year, the nine-months pregnant, first-time mom-to-be was flying high, as she was up for Record of the Year for her hit “Paper Planes.” Fast forward more than a decade, and this time, the international pop star turned political provocateur is flying high for a different reason: she had an encounter with Jesus.
During an Apple Music 1 interview with Zane Lowe, the 47-year-old British-born Sri Lankan rapper, who achieved global fame with politically charged dance music, said, “I had, like, a weird spiritual experience,” reports Clash. “It was, like, back in 2017. Since then, my head has been in a totally different place. Being a Tamil and being a Hindu, I was very comfortable that I’d arrived finding myself, 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.”
While M.I.A. called the experience “a very crazy thing because it turned my world upside down,” according to her, she did not shun the experience but instead was changed by it.
“Everything I thought and believed was no longer the case,” she explained.
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