Like everything else this year, the Billboard Music Awards looked significantly different Wednesday Night. The award show was originally scheduled for April 29 in Las Vegas, but was delayed due to coronavirus and instead held Wednesday at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles without a live audience.
The night saw performances by Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, and Garth Brooks among several other knock-out artists. But perhaps the most poignant of the night was a performance by John Legend just two weeks after he and his wife Chrissy Teigen suffered a tragic pregnancy loss.
Show host Kelly Clarkson introduced her The Voice co-star to the stage with a heartfelt message about her friend.
“I want to take a moment to talk about a friend who inspires me on the daily not only as a musician and a songwriter, but as a human,” Clarkson began. “John Legend is one of my favorite people on this planet, and it’s easy for us all to feel that way about them, because he and Chrissy just 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 for the very special performance, possibly my favorite of the night.”
Sitting solo on a stage in an empty auditorium, The Voice judge performed the song, “Never Break” from his new album, Bigger Love.
“This is for Chrissy,” he said softly before taking to the piano.
“Whenever life is hard/We’ll never lose our way… I just know I’ll always follow the light in your heart/I’m not worried about us/And I’ve never been/We know how the story ends… We will never break/Built on a foundation strong enough to stay… You are the explanation of what love really means/It’s bigger than you and me/It’s one plus one equals three/When we talk about forever/Then forever’s what we mean.”
Legend, who was noticeably choked up throughout the song, powered through to deliver a raw, and honest performance in honor of his wife. He concluded the tear-jerker with a simple, “thank you.”
Clarkson praised Legend afterwards saying, “John, that was so beautiful. You are literally one of my favorite singers and entertainers that has ever existed. That was so beautiful. All my love to you and Chrissy.”
The celebrity couple, who are famously open about their lives, shared the tragic news of the loss of their son Jack on Sept. 30, just one month after announcing their pregnancy.
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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers. We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.
“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” Teigen wrote in a raw and heartbreaking Instagram post. “On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”
Since the pregnancy loss, Teigen has kept an understandably low profile on social media as the family takes time to grieve and process the traumatic loss.
Our hearts continue to be with them during this time.