Gospel singer says she was scammed by promoter in Augusta

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, June 28, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Gospel singer Vickie Winans is just one of the performers hundreds were expecting to see at Thursday night's gospel concert.

But although Winans tells News 12 she was in Augusta ready to perform, she says she was never picked up for the performance and that she was never paid.

"I was ready to walk out of the door and to come and do what I do all the time," she said. "I would not leave those people disappointed."

Winans says she has a contract with Sharif King, a promoter with Dower Records for a show at the Bell Auditorium.

She says she bought her ticket to Augusta. But last week, she says King told her there'd be a venue change -- that he'd found a local church, the Tabernacle Baptist Church, to rent instead.

"Never heard the word canceled, nothing was ever even thought about postponing," Winans said. "He never said anything to me like that."

She says King took her to her hotel and told her to get ready and she hasn't heard from him since.

"I don't have anything from last night's show," she said.

But King reached out to News 12 to defend himself.

"The people were paying $20 for general admission and there was also an opportunity to have VIP, which was $40," he said. "We did not receive any funds."

King says he never took any money last night. He says he'd canceled the main show but agreed to work with the church to put on last night's show with Winans. He also says he intended to pay her.

"We made it very clear to Ms. Winans that we are going to receive a split from the church," he said. "As soon as you arrive here, if you'll come, we'll make sure that you're paid before you get on stage. And she was adamant about not leaving the hotel until she got her money."

"He's a liar. And a thief," Winans said.

Winans says she wants to make it clear to her fans that she was here for the concert and that she wanted to perform.

She tells News 12 she's planning to come back to Augusta soon to perform for free.

We've reached out to The Tabernacle, but no one has gotten back to us.

Church members say they were told this event was not a church event and that the promoter was only using the church as a last-minute venue.