Breaking News Bar
posted: 9/17/2013 5:32 AM

Love songs show a different side to John Legend

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Singer John Legend's fourth album went on sale earlier this month. He hits the road in October for a tour that will bring him to Chicago on Nov. 20.

      Singer John Legend's fourth album went on sale earlier this month. He hits the road in October for a tour that will bring him to Chicago on Nov. 20.
    Associated Press

  • Singer John Legend's fourth album went on sale earlier this month. He hits the road in October for a tour that will bring him to Chicago on Nov. 20.

      Singer John Legend's fourth album went on sale earlier this month. He hits the road in October for a tour that will bring him to Chicago on Nov. 20.
    Associated Press

 
By Ryan Pearson
Associated Press

John Legend had one more thing to do before launching his fall tour: get married.

On Sept. 14, the 34-year-old R&B singer married 27-year-old model Chrissy Teigen, the subject of most of the romantic songs that make up his recently released new album, "Love in the Future."

And on Oct. 20, Legend kicks off his tour in Mashantucket, Conn. The album and tour -- which hits Chicago Nov. 10 -- mark a turning point for the piano-playing crooner, who since 2004's "Get Lifted" has been crafting songs about hookups, cheating and heartbreak as well as long-term commitment.

Appropriately, the nine-time Grammy winner's latest takes an overall more optimistic perspective on affairs of the heart, so much so that he says he's already considering how married life will affect his writing: "My fans probably don't want to listen to everything being awesome all the time."

Legend reconnected with longtime collaborator Kanye West for his fourth solo album, which includes hip-hop drum patterns and moments of humor the singer credits to West. "I finally got to take the night off, so we can make some little tax write-offs," he sings in "Caught Up."

Legend recently sat down with The Associated Press to talk about fame, stability, getting married and more.

Q. Chrissy is very witty on Twitter, and you slide some jokes into many of your songs. How important is humor to you?

A. Chrissy is hilarious and I'm a big comedy fan. We go to comedy clubs ... I wish I was funnier myself ... I surround myself with people who are different from me. Obviously, people always ask me, "How are you and Chrissy together?" And then people also ask me, "How are you and Kanye working together for so many years because you're so different?" But I think I gravitate toward people that are a little more outrageous than I am. And we complement each other well.

Q. Do you want Kanye-level fame?

A. I want Kanye-level success. I don't think I'm craving any more fame. But success and being recognized for making great work all around the world, I think it's a great thing. And I'm already not far from there. But Kanye has been a really singular artist that's made a unique contribution to pop culture, and I respect that and I wouldn't mind being known for that as well.

Q. Some songwriters make their best music when they're not in a stable relationship. It can also go the other way. Is that something you've thought about?

A. I've written some of my better songs about the ups and downs of relationships. ... I've thought about, you know, what am I going to do two years from now? ... But I imagine that we'll have some ups and downs too, so I'll tell those stories, too.

Q. You're a supporter of President Barack Obama, but covered several anti-war songs from the 1960s and 1970s on the 2010 album you created with The Roots called "Wake Up!" Are you worried about U.S. military intervention in Syria?

A. I am not anti-war in general. I am just anti-wars that I think are not a good idea. I didn't think the Iraq War was a good idea. ... I do understand the impulse to want to punish countries for using chemical weapons. I do understand the humanitarian impulse when you see 100,000 people getting slaughtered ... but we have to be very cautious about getting into another long conflict in the Middle East. ... We know that al-Qaida's infiltrated the rebel forces in Syria. We know that either way, no matter who wins, there are significant groups within each side that might not be pro-America. So I think it's a very difficult decision to involve ourselves militarily in Syria.

Q. After doing "Wake Up," do you wish there was more political pop music today?

A. Looking at the radio right now, you just hear nothing that's the least bit socially conscious or aware, and I think artists are doing that because they don't feel like the fans want to hear it. So what we have to ask ourselves (is), "Why don't the fans want to hear it?" ... It's not like there's nothing going on. We had the war in Iraq, which you could parallel to the war in Vietnam. Perhaps the biggest difference is there's no draft -- because when there was a draft, everyone felt the war.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
  • This article filed under:
  • Music
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here