Aug 11 2020

John Legend, Variety’s Music Mogul of the Year: Big Business, Bigger Love

John Legend is a lover man, a family man, a soul man, an EGOT, a film and television producer, and — in a role that certainly has not escaped the attention of the president of the United States, or most anyone else — a political animal. That he does it all with conscience and consciousness is what makes Legend a potent force, whether he’s discussing public policy, dissing Donald Trump or crooning the songs of hope, heritage and devotion recently found on his seventh studio album, “Bigger Love.”

Notwithstanding his visible and talked-about role as a social justice gadfly and policy wonk, Legend, 41, remains a deeply passionate musician who in 2020 has made colorful R&B that’s optimistic and bright, even in the face of a global pandemic and radical social upheaval. Talk to the singer-songwriter about the Juneteenth-released “Bigger Love,” and he explains that the joy, grief and romance that inform its 16 songs make sense in these most divisive of times.

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