Gospel singer Kim Burrell is everybody’s go-to for vocal inspiration, and the occasional “fix my life” moment. Like the time Whitney Houston’s family flew her to Germany so she could get into the late singer’s ear and whip her into shape. “That was my role for many years,” she says. “Whitney’s not listening. Call Kim.”

Now, Burrell is giving her no-nonsense advice weekly to contestants on BET’s Sunday Best. She spoke with about returning to the show, her memories of Whitney, and what advice she’d give to Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina.

You’re getting ready for the season 7 of Sunday Best. How do you gauge who’s good, and what works?

It’s almost a Catch-22. I don’t differentiate in my expectation from when I’ve seen in a studio session with a Tyrese Gibson or a Missy Elliott or anybody else. I listen to the gospel singers in hopes that they can cover more than the gospel stage because I feel like that’s the opportunity that’s been afforded to me and I want to see that for other people.

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