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Lordy, lordy: Flamboyant Karen O upstaged by director of a gospel choir

Karen O at the 2009 Coachella Music Festival.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Sacrilege, by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, from the forthcoming album Mosquito (April 16); streaming at youtube.com.

The vibrant Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs outdazzled by a no-name choir director on national television? Sacrilege.

It's a true fact, though, as witnessed on Late Night with David Letterman last Friday, when the Broadway Inspirational Voices emerged midway through a performance of the Brooklyn rockers' testifying new gospel-soul single Sacrilege.

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The camera loves O – she's decked out in a yellow, Elvis-y, Christian Joy jumpsuit – but the choir coach in back is electrified and deep into the moment as she whips up her higher-powered troupe. It ends in an ecstatic vocal breakdown, with O on her knees and Letterman leading the applause. "God, that was good," he raves, and the Yeahs' new-time religion has a witness.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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