As the latest to partake in the quarantine edition of NPR’s popular Tiny Desk concert series, singer John Legend put on a soothing performance that came embedded with a powerful message.
Legend performed at the Los Angeles office of his management company, Friends At Work. Backed by his seven-piece band which he flew in from Philadelphia, the Grammy-winner serenaded viewers with stripped down intimate renditions of “Ooh Laa,” “Wild,” and Conversations in the Dark,” and his latest album’s title track “Bigger Love.” As part of his performance, a blue LED screen held a powerful message: “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”
As his set drew to its close, Legend took a moment to share some uplifting words of encouragement for those tuned into his mini-concert before performing “Bigger Love.” In light of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with protests over the police killing of George Floyd, he expressed his hope that his performance will instill people with hope during difficult times.
“I wrote all the songs before the pandemic, before we saw folks marching in the streets, mourning [the] life of George Floyd, [and] expressing their outrage. But some of these songs feel even more appropriate now, feel like we need them more now then we did even when I wrote them,” he acknowledged. “This song, ‘Bigger Love,’ is about the power of love to get us through tough times, the idea that when you have love, it makes you more resilient [and] it makes you more hopeful. And we all need a little dance break, too, right?" So enjoy and turn it up.”
Catch John Legend’s full, 15-minute performance on the quarantine edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series below.