John Legend, the globally acclaimed musician, remains deeply connected to the concerns of everyday people and is unafraid to vocalize his views on politics, even if it invites criticism. He recognizes that his outspokenness may alienate some, but he deems it a risk worth taking. In his own words, “Because I care enough about these issues that I cannot just be silent … It would be too hard for me to be silent about it. I just couldn’t do it. It’s not in my constitution,” he candidly expressed to CNBC.
While Legend has been forthright about his political endorsements and supported causes over the years, he has no aspirations to transition into a political career akin to Kanye West’s foray into politics. As he stated in a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, “I really don’t want to be a politician. I love doing what I do and I love being involved in politics and using my voice as an artist to raise issues that I think are important, but I think that’s the best role for me.” Thus, while he intends to stick to his musical endeavors, he remains unreserved about articulating his beliefs and has consistently used his platform to assert his political stance.
In presidential races since the 2000s, John Legend has consistently thrown his support behind Democratic candidates. His endorsement for Barack Obama in 2008 extended to him penning a song, “If You’re Out There,” dedicated to Obama’s campaign. The track encapsulated the themes of hope, change, responsibility, and leadership that were central to Obama’s message. He also actively campaigned for Obama’s second term in 2012. In the contentious 2016 election, Legend firmly supported Hillary Clinton, underscoring his concerns about Donald Trump’s candidacy. Despite the outcome, Legend continued to advocate for Democratic candidates in 2020, initially endorsing Elizabeth Warren before ultimately backing the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, who emerged victorious.
Beyond his endorsement of Democratic candidates, John Legend aligns with liberal positions on critical issues. He has been a vocal advocate for climate change awareness, particularly in the wake of devastating wildfires on the West Coast. Taking personal initiative, Legend incorporated eco-friendly practices into his tours, including the promotion of “green products” and adopting climate-conscious travel and lodging choices.
Additionally, Legend has been a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2020, he voiced his solidarity with the cause on “Good Morning America,” emphasizing the need for systemic change. He also utilized his platform to call for the defunding of the police, aligning himself with the urgent demands of the movement.