John Legend dedicates emotional Billboard performance to Chrissy Teigen after baby loss

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

John Legend has returned to the stage for the first time since announcing the loss of his third baby, performing live at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

The 41-year-old dedicated the emotional performance of Never Break to his wife, the model and presenter Chrissy Teigen

The couple revealed the loss of their baby boy, who they had called Jack, earlier this month on Instagram with a series of black and white photos of them in hospital.

Teigen, 34, told fans they were both "shocked" and in "deep pain" after suffering the miscarriage.

Dressed all in white at a grand piano in the vast Dolby Theater in LA, Legend prefaced his performance by saying: "This is for Chrissy."

The ballad, from his 2020 album Bigger Love, includes the lyrics: "I'm not worried about us and I've never been. We know how the story ends. We will never break."

The awards, which were hosted by Kelly Clarkson, were originally due to be held in April but had been delayed due to coronavirus.

Introducing Legend's song, Clarkson said: "He and Chrissy both have this warm way of inviting us into their world. The highs and the lows.

"My heart - obviously all of our hearts - go out to you both in this very difficult time. And I'm thankful that you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us."

Following the performance she called Legend's song "very special" and said the moment was possibly her "favourite of the night".

Social distancing measures meant that performers played to an empty auditorium.

The big winner of the evening was hip-hop star Post Malone, who took home nine gongs including top artist.

The 25-year-old said he was "blown away" by his win, telling his fans to "stay strong" during these "weird times".

Billie Eilish received the prize for top female artist, beating Ariana Grande, Halsey, Lizzo and Taylor Swift.

She also won top Billboard 200 album for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Eilish, 18, who recently became the youngest artist to sing the Bond theme for the now delayed No Time To Die, wore a mask when accepting her awards.

Thanking all the pioneering women that have come before her, she signed off on a political note, urging viewers to: "Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands, be safe, take care."

The night also featured the first live performance of anti-Donald Trump song Commander In Chief, written by Demi Lovato along with Eilish's brother, Finneas O'Connell.

The ballad takes aim at Mr Trump's handling of the pandemic and his response to social justice protests.

Lizzo, who won the top song sales artist, also used her platform to urge political awareness, wearing a dress emblazoned with the word "vote".

In her acceptance speech, the 32-year-old said: "I've been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refused to be suppressed, and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren't for the big black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed?"

She went on: "So whether it's through music, protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed."

The US presidential election will take place in November, when Donald Trump will stand for re-election for a second term. Many see it as the most important American election in decades.

:: Subscribe to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Other winners included Lil Nas X, who picked up the award for Top Hot 100 song for his viral smash Old Town Road, and former One Direction star Harry Styles, who picked up the fan-voted chart achievement award.

Additional live performances on the night included K-pop superstars BTS singing their song Dynamite from South Korea; hip-hop star Doja Cat performing a medley of songs, and Alicia Keys in neck-to-toe silver sequins singing Love Looks Better.

There was also a tribute to rock great Eddie Van Halen, who died aged 65 earlier this month.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting