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David Archuleta Reveals What His Mom Texted After 'Hell Together' Came Out (Exclusive)

The singer hopes parents know they don't "have to leave their religion to love their kids, but they don't have to leave their kids to love their religion either”"

<p>Shaun Vadella</p> David Archuleta beside a TV showing him competing on ‘American Idol’ in 2008

Shaun Vadella

David Archuleta beside a TV showing him competing on ‘American Idol’ in 2008

When David Archuleta, who came out as queer in 2021, revealed to PEOPLE in 2022 that he felt “liberated” after leaving the Mormon church, the singer didn’t hear from his mom for a few days. Archuleta, now 33, thought Lupe Marie Mayorga would never speak to him again.

Days later, she texted him saying she had also decided to step away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In an Instagram video explaining the inspiration behind his new single “Hell Together,” which came out on Thursday, the American Idol alum said, “She [texted], ‘I don’t want to be somewhere where my children don’t feel welcomed, loved, and accepted … if you’re going to Hell, we are all going to Hell with you.’ ”

Today, nearly 17 months after stepping back from his Mormon faith, he shared the sweet text his mom sent him after “Hell Together” came out.

“We spoke last night over text,” Archuleta tells PEOPLE. “We don’t usually talk a lot, but she joined my YouTube livestream premiering the ‘Hell Together’ lyric video and it was fun to have her there! She just said after the livestream: ‘😘 Great job sweetheart 👏👏👏👏👍❤️❤️❤️.’ ”

After revealing the text exchange, the “Crush” hitmaker thanked her.

“Thanks, Mom, for teaching me how to love someone even when you don’t fully understand their experience and it can be scary to be open to understand,” Archuleta says. “It meant a lot to see she was willing to go to Hell with me and back to make sure I wasn’t alone in my journey.”

<p>Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic</p> David Archuleta and his mom Lupe Marie Mayorga in New York City in November 2008

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

David Archuleta and his mom Lupe Marie Mayorga in New York City in November 2008

Related: David Archuleta on His Mom's Support After She Had a 'Hard Time Accepting' Him as LGBTQ (Exclusive)

He then offered a message to other parents of LGBTQ+ children.

“Not all families do that for their queer kids or for their kids who leave their religion,” he adds. “So I hope [other parents] can take into consideration that they may not have to leave their religion to love their kids, but they don’t have to leave their kids to love their religion either. You can still love your kids even if they don’t stay with what you had in mind for them.”

The new song has been well-received by fans and friends. In another Instagram video posted on Thursday, Archuleta plays “Hell Together” for three of his friends and music collaborators — popular violinist Lindsey Stirling and viral singers Anthony Gargiula and Jonathan Tilkin — to listen to in a car before it was released to get their instant reactions.

“It was really heartwarming to get friends who I love and respect for their music talents reacting to the song and being touched by it,” Archuleta says.

Related: David Archuleta Says Mormon Friends Are 'Cold' to Him 1 Year After Leaving Church: 'They've Moved On' (Exclusive)

The “Afraid to Love” singer also faced some haters upon the song’s release, with one person messaging him, “Can’t you walk away quietly!!??? What is it that you think you have to announce to the world that you’re leaving the church!? Just leave! I don’t get it! Please explain!!!”

Archuleta shared that direct message on his Instagram story, answering the person’s questions with: “Because I was told to be quiet for too long about my sexuality and I think it’s fair for me to tell my story and my truth. As someone in the public eye I share things I feel are important and part of my journey and this is part of my life and journey as it is for many others.”

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The out-and-proud artist is hopeful people can understand his years-long journey navigating faith and sexuality, especially under the spotlight.

“It’s not always easy,” Archuleta admits. “There can be heartbreak and it can be scary going into the unknown into transitioning out of faith or into accepting yourself as a queer person.

“It makes a world of a difference to have your loved ones supporting you. I am so grateful my mom and the rest of my family were there for me.”

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