“Another jukebox Broadway thing?” she asked him.
“No, ma’am. I lived in New York 10 years and saw every musical ever made. I was Harpo in ‘The Color Purple,’ and a Broadway school taught me to write,” he explained. “I’ve written what’s important. I added new songs. I talk about my family. And Roberta Flack said I had to put this on Broadway.
“Mine’s a story of rejection. Of faith. Survival. God’s love. Of becoming involved with Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker.”
Jim and Tammy Faye were a husband-and-wife televangelist team in the 1970s and ’80s before their ministry was brought down by scandal and bankruptcy. BeBe was part of that ministry.
“To audition for them in Charlotte, NC, my mother took me and my sister south on a Greyhound bus. They wanted my sister, not me. I ended up working in a grocery. But then Bakker heard me sing — and that was my beginning.
“Understand, fame — and fear and failure — are like drugs. You need faith to handle celebrity or success. All of it’s a struggle. You conquer that with the only true power there really is — trust in God.
“Bakker became my parent. He said I’d be a somebody. The man’s alive and kicking, and in 2016 when I tested this in Atlanta, he was at the opening. When I got my star on the Walk of Fame, he was the first person who called. And Jim Bakker will be at the official Broadway opening of this show.”