‘You’ll never forget it’: John Legend reflects on miscarriage

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John Legend has reflected on the miscarriage of his third child with his wife Chrissy Teigen, saying: “It kind of spreads over time so it doesn’t feel as heavy. But you’ll never forget it.”

Legend’s wife Teigen, 36, suffered a miscarriage with the couple’s third child, who they named Jack, in September 2020 and the couple chose to share the news with their followers on social media.

Speaking about it on Desert Island Discs, Legend, 43, whose real name is John Stephens, said: “It was difficult and I was hesitant to share it. But I think Chrissy was really right in encouraging us to share it because I think it really was powerful for a lot of people and way more people than anybody realises go through this.

“And I think they feel alone a lot of times. They told us they felt alone a lot of times and us sharing our experience helped people feel less alone and feel like there were other people going through it and that there was a community of people going through it.

“And I think it was a really powerful, wise decision by Chrissy to share it because it helped a lot of people.”

The interview on Radio 4 comes days after Legend and Teigen said they were expecting a child. Sharing the news on Instagram, Teigen wrote: “The last few years have been a blur of emotions to say the least, but joy has filled our home and hearts again.”

When asked about his most recent album, by the show’s presenter Lauren Laverne, the singer song-writer acknowledged that a number of tracks deal with grief and coping with loss.

“Some of the songs are about coping with loss and grief and when you feel broken, and those experiences I was able to channel into the music,” he said.

He added: “We’ve talked to dads that we’ve been friends with and that we know who’ve gone through it since and wanted to talk to someone and they knew they could talk to us about it.

“It’s hard to try to comfort anyone that’s going through it because there’s no real comfort and you’re always going to feel that loss.

“It kind of spreads over time so it doesn’t feel as heavy. But you’ll never forget it.”

The All Of Me singer also has two young children with model and cookbook author Teigen, four-year-old daughter Luna and two-year-old son Miles.

Legend also spoke about his experience of losing his maternal grandmother during his childhood in Springfield, Ohio, which led to his mother developing a drug addiction.

He said: “She passed away at a very young age. She was in her late 50s. It was pretty shocking and devastating for the whole family and my mother took it particularly hard as they were so close.

“They worked on the choir together and spent a lot of time together and she became depressed and eventually fell out of love with my father but also just disconnected from the family for a while.

“And when she left, she fell into drug abuse, and just kind of disappeared from our lives for about a decade.

“And she’s doing great now, she’s a great grandmother, she’s a great mother and she’s healthy now but during that decade, you know, she was gone from our lives.

“And this was a pretty important decade in our lives. This is basically my entire adolescence into my early adulthood, and we had to kind of figure things out.”

Legend chose eight tracks to take with him to the desert island, including Aretha Franklin’s Day Dreaming, L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole and Beyonce’s Love On Top, which Legend said was played numerous times at his wedding to Teigen.

He also chose his piano as a luxury item to take to the desert island.

The full interview with John Legend on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Sunday at 11am.

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