If you haven’t yet watched John Legend perform at the inauguration, you are in for a special treat.
Saying John Legend is likable and relatable is like saying babies need diaper changes. Legend’s entire brand seems to be waking-the-walk of being a real, down-to-Earth dad. Having spoken to Legend just once on the phone (about poop songs) I can confidently say, Legend is the real deal.
As a parent, he also suffered a colossal tragedy very recently. In October 2020, Chrissy Teigen revealed she had suffered a miscarriage. The photos were heartwrenching, and parents of all genders reflected on how we talk about grief. Parents also confronted the fact that this kind of grief is almost totally taboo, making Legend and Teigen’s openness about their pain refreshing. Yes, they’re famous people. Yes, they’re rich. But they are parents, and there’s no denying their genuine tragedy.
For some parents, all these recent events make watching John Legend sing the Nina Simone classic “Feeling Good,” poignant as hell. Yes, Legend was signing right after Vice President Kamala Harris spoke. Yes, the lyrics are about a “new day” and a “new dawn.” But, as a parent, this had to seem bittersweet for John Legend. His personal tragedy as a parent adds a layer to this performance that makes it unmissable. If you did miss Legend singing during the “Celebrate America” TV special, the full video of the performance is at the top of this article. And it’s seriously worth watching if just to enjoy Legend’s pipes alone.
But the performance is more than that. In terms of musical performances during Inauguration night, Legend’s felt like the one most aimed at parents. It reminded us of why he’s a fantastic musician, and it made us remember that every parent wakes up to a new dawn every day. Even when it’s hard as hell.