Former VAN HALEN and current EXTREME singer Gary Cherone has released his cover version of Kanye West's song "God Is". West's original track appeared on the rapper's 2019 album "Jesus Is King", which set a record by simultaneously topping five different charts: Rap, R&B/Hip Hop, Christian, Gospel and Billboard 200.
In an interview with Newsweek, Cherone admitted he's "not the biggest fan" of West, but acknowledged they do share the same faith.
"Obviously, Kanye and I come from two different worlds," Gary said. "Maybe I can introduce my audience to that record and move them to check out the original version.
"I'm not the biggest Kanye fan, but I kept hearing about his new record, so I checked it out, and I just kept going back to that song. I just wanted to sing it in my rock voice."
West released "Jesus Is King" in October and followed it up with "Jesus Is Born" on Christmas Day 2019. Both albums feature West performing with the Sunday Service Gospel Choir, an offshoot of the rapper's extremely popular Sunday Service pop culture phenomenon.
"Kanye made a pretty bold statement. He made me think of [Bob] Dylan," Cherone told Newsweek. "There was no middle ground with his Christian records. Critics either loved them or hated them. I was pretty inspired by Kanye's artistic expression — not caring about anything except for what moves him. That was pretty inspiring, and it motivated me to do this."
VAN HALEN's third frontman, Cherone took over when Sammy Hagar left the group (or was fired, depending on whom you ask) in 1996. Cherone's sole release with the band, "Van Halen III", was a commercial disappointment and he was dismissed from VAN HALEN soon after the tour ended.
This past February, EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt confirmed that the band was putting the finishing touches on its first new album since 2008's "Saudades De Rock".