John Legend Talks Stripping His ‘LEGEND’ Songs ‘Down to Their Essence’ for New Piano Album

The first time I met John Legend as a solo artist was through 2005’s quiet piano ballad “Ordinary People.” LEGEND (solo piano version).



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The singer/songwriter has picked 10 songs from his latest album, September’s. Legendand dropped them into a new piano version, adding a pair of fresh covers for release on Wednesday (8th February). I thought that

“Half of my gigs are solo gigs. , a lot of my favorite shows are just me and the piano,” tells Katie and Keith on the new Billboard Pop Shop podcast (listen below). “And I think the fans love it because they strip the songs down to the essentials and listen to my voice, lyrics and melody so pure.”

One revelation in making the album Legend‘s second single, “Honey”, originally featuring freshly Grammy-winner Muni Long, Legend decided to put it on the opening track of the piano project.

“Honey is the biggest change from the original,” he says. “It was slower, less tempo, freer and a little more jazzy. And I loved doing that spin on that song. It’s so different from the original, it feels so fresh and new.” .”

The two covers Legend recorded for the album are Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and Sade’s ‘By Your Side’ for his Valentine’s Day concert in Los Angeles on February 13th and 14th. It will be included in the setlist. “Walt Disney Concert Hall.

“One of our managers loves Sade and suggested we try Sade’s songs,” Legend told Pop Shop. “And she suggested ‘By Your Side,’ among a few other ideas she had. Singing that melody and lyrics would make me feel really good.” Then I sat down at the piano and started practicing. And I loved the feeling it gave me. Anyway, I love Sade, but I think this song in particular is really special and beautiful. I loved the feeling and really loved doing it.

Is Legend — who played as a supporting act on Sade’s final tour in 2011 — are eagerly awaiting Sade’s first album since the 2010s. soldier of love Like most music fans? “I think she’ll take her time,” he laughs. “I was literally on my last tour. That was 12 years ago!”

Legend would like to host piano shows outside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but is now trying to stay closer to home with the arrival of baby Esty on Jan. 13. “We will do more,” he promised. “Now that I have a baby, it’s going to be sporadic and I’m trying to work less. yeah.”

The Legend has been busy around Los Angeles this week, appearing at the MusiCares Persons of the Year gala honoring Motown founders Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson on Friday night, and heading to The Beach Boys on Wednesday night. He recorded Grammy tapes and joined DJ Khaled and Jay-Z. Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Friday delivered a pre-recorded Grammy closing performance of Song of the Year nominated “God Did.” The Pop Shop spoke to the legend ahead of Sunday’s Grammy Awards and marveled at Khaled’s cohesiveness.

“Everyone is so talented, and so powerful as artists in their own right,” he said. “And getting us all together, that’s the genius of DJ Khaled. He’s really good at bringing us all together. He’s like the best A&R in the world in hip-hop. He is such a great convener, he brings us all together and makes the magic happen.”

For the rest of the conversation, listen to the latest Pop Shop Podcast episode above. voice Blake Shelton’s season “has been the heart and soul of the show for a long time.”

Also on the show, you’ll get chart news about The Kid LAROI, Zach Bryan, Maggie Rogers, P!nk’s new songs all debuting on the Billboard Hot 100, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s first No. 1 Both Sam Smith and Lil Yachty have made the Top 10 with their latest releases on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Plus, we talk about the Grammys last Sunday and the halftime spectacle of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, where Rihanna headlined the show.

of billboard The Pop Shop Podcast is your one stop shop for all pop items. billboardweekly chart. You can always expect lively discussions on the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and people in pop.Listen to casual pop fans and chart junkies billboardExecutive Digital Director, West Coast, Katie Atkinson, billboardSenior Director Keith Caulfield hosts a weekly podcast. Stream it on or download it on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to previous versions of the show on

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