Less than two weeks after suffering a pregnancy loss with wife Chrissy Teigen, John Legend has given an emotional performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
The 41-year-old dedicated his live rendition of power ballad Never Break to his wife of seven years at the ceremony today, days after the superstar couple revealed their heartbreak over losing their son, Jack, about halfway through their third pregnancy.
Clad in a white suit, Legend sat at a piano in the centre of the stage for the poignant performance.
Afterwards, host Kelly Clarkson – who is a judge on The Voice US with Legend – offered touching words of support to the grieving parents.
“I want to take a moment to talk about a friend who inspires me on the daily,” Clarkson, 38, said.
“Not only as a musician, a songwriter, but as a human. John Legend is one of my favourite 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.”
She continued, “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 favourite of the night.”
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The pair posted a series of images from her hospital bed, including one holding the child bundled up in a blanket, crying.
The post was met with floods of supportive comments from followers and fellow stars, praising Teigen for shedding light on such a personal experience – one that many women share.
Today’s performance was Legend’s first public appearance since the news.
The Billboard Music Awards were postponed from the originally scheduled date of April 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was set to take place in Las Vegas, but went ahead at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles instead.
The most nominated artist of the night, Post Malone, took home a whopping nine awards including Top Artist. He was up for a total of 16 BBMAs.
Other notable winners included Billie Eilish, who won Best Album and Top Female Artist, Khalid, who took out Top R&B Artist and Top R&B Male Artist, and Lil Nas X who scored the gong for Top Song.
Taking home Top Song Sales Artist, Lizzo gave an impassioned speech in which she urged Americans to vote in the upcoming US election.
The Truth Hurts singer said: “Lemme tell y‘all something: When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are. There’s power in your voice. So whether it’s through music, protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed. Thank you so much to Billboard. I love y’all. God bless, y’all.”