Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles -My first guest is an EGOT winner, who you can see as a coach on "The Voice," which airs Mondays at 8:00 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m., right here on NBC. Here is John legend. John, welcome back to the show. I love it. It's you. It's the piano. That is a gorgeous piano, by the way. -I'm here, man. I'm happy to be back. Thanks for having me. Good to see you. -I wanted -- I've been wanting to tell you how much I enjoyed your performance at President Biden's inauguration. You did "Feeling Good," Nina Simone. -Yeah. -What was that like? -Well, I think the whole nation was feeling this -- or a lot of the nation was feeling a big sigh of relief that we were moving on as a nation and would have some sanity back in The White House. And all day -- We had already planned to sing "Feeling Good," and all day, I was hearing people say, "It's a new day, it's a new day." I was like, "I have the perfect song for this moment." -"Wait till you hear what I'm doing." Yeah. -And, you know, I love Nina Simone, and her version of the song is so iconic. And I tried my best to honor her version. And it was amazing to do it right there in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you know, where Dr. King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, where so many important moments in American history have happened. And it was an incredible moment. -Honestly, it was beautiful and it was just perfect, and everyone was, like, feeling that. It was honestly -- Top to bottom, that was just great. -Thank you. -Something else happened on Inauguration Day. Joe Biden took over the @POTUS Twitter handle and started following people. Just a handful of people, people in the administration -- -His staff, yeah. -His staff. -Just his staff. -And then one other person, and that was your wife, Chrissy Teigen. He followed -- Chrissy was one of the people he first followed. It was like -- -Yes. Well, Chrissy prompted him to do it, because she said, you know, the last president blocked her, and wouldn't it be so cool if Joe Biden actually followed her. Not just not blocked her, but actually followed her. -He did it. -He did it. And she regretted that decision, because every tweet she was about to tweet, she was like, "Oh, no. The president is going to see this." And so she started really holding back, censoring the Chrissy that we know and love. -Yeah, respectfully. -She had to ask President Biden to unfollow her so she could be herself again. And then she just started cursing a lot afterwards just to release all this pent-up energy that she was holding back. -"Look, just please unfollow me. It's not you. It's me. I love you. Let's just do it." And then, as soon as he unfollowed her, she's like, "Whew! Here we go. Now we can kick the shoes off. And there you go." Oh, my gosh. That makes me laugh. How are the kids, by the way? You have Luna and Miles. -They're good. We're still preschool-podding here in our playroom. -What's the music situation like? What are they listening to? -Luna's main choices are either Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez, and Miles' main picks are the "Frozen" soundtrack and daddy. So Miles is, you know, still requesting my albums. He really likes "I Do" from my "Bigger Love" album. And he also loves the Christmas album, so he'll listen to my Christmas album all year round. -That Christmas album was a jam. Dude, I loved that record. -Thank you. -Speaking of great albums, 2020 marked the 10th anniversary, believe it or not, of your Grammy-winning album, "Wake Up!", which you did with The Roots. -Absolutely. -And I remember this -- -I remember coming on your show and promoting it. And we had so much fun making that album. It was a labor of love. We loved the music. We loved the artists that we were covering. And it was just really powerful material, and it was such a cool album to make with Questlove and the whole crew. -What do you remember most about meeting Questlove and the guys for the first time? -Well, I was -- I went to college in Philadelphia. I went to UPenn. And I was a kid from Ohio with a dream to be a musician eventually, for a living, doing what I'm doing now. But at the time, you know, The Roots were running the music scene in Philadelphia. They were hosting "Black Lily" and all these different open mics. They were producing people like D'Angelo and Common and Erykah Badu and Jill Scott and all these great artists. And I was just this up-and-coming young guy who went to college at Penn. And I started making my demos and recording songs with some of my friends in Philly, and I wanted Questlove to hear my music. So one day, I, as John Stephens, not as John Legend yet -- I walk up to him after one of these open mics that I had gone to and I just was like, "Man, I would love it if you'd check out my CD." And I told him that story when we were working on "Wake Up!", and he had no idea. He had no remembrance of that happening, which, you know, honestly, I wouldn't remember it either. But he didn't remember that. But I did hand him my demo as John Stephens probably in like 2000, 2001. And then, 10 years later, we were making "Wake Up!" together, and now here we are now 20 years later. -When did you go with John Legend? -Well, it was a nickname that some friends started calling me in the studio, just guys that I was collaborating with. The first guy to call me that was J. Ivy. He's a spoken-word artist from Chicago. I met him through Kanye. We were all in the studio together. He just started calling me "The Legend" because he thought I sounded like one of our old-school soul legends. And it just caught on with our little group of friends, and then they were like, "We should call you John Legend." And it just really was in our little circle. And one time, Kanye put a mix tape out, and he called me John Legend on the mix tape. And it just started to spread among more of the people that were listening to our music. And then, at some point, I had to decide, "Am I going to stick with John Stephens?" Which I was perfectly fine with. I wasn't looking for a stage name. "Or am I going to go with this more audacious name and call myself a legend before I even have a record deal?" -That's a challenge, man. -That was a challenge. And so I was like, "I know this is a bold move, but I'm not going to go into this expecting to fail. I'm going to go into it hoping that I can try to live up to this." And I've spent the rest of my career trying to do so. -Look at you now, bud. -Here we are now. I'm on "Jimmy Fallon"! -Come on, now. Come on. More with John Legend after the break, everybody. Come on back. Come right back.