John Legend spoke to us about his message for immigrant families at the border: “Your humanity matters”
John Legend has done it all: He’s an Oscar, Tony, Grammy, and Golden Globe winner, dad to the two cutest kiddos ever, husband to queen of the internet Chrissy Teigen, and oh yeah, he just released your new favorite rosé. You might not know this, but Legend actually has a wine label called LVE (Legend Vineyard Exclusives) that’s been around since 2015. But on June 21st — the Summer Solstice! — his first ever rosé hit shelves, and he hosted an intimate event at Héritage Fine Wines in Beverly Hills to celebrate.
Surrounded by all things fine and fabulous, HelloGiggles had the chance to chat with Legend about his new vino (which is the most affordable option from LVE, by the way, at $25 a bottle, and it’s pretty delish), his relationship with Teigen, and his message to immigrant families attempting to cross the U.S. border. And yes, we asked about the John Legend/Arthur twinsie situation, too.
HelloGiggles: So I just tried the rosé, it was lovely. If you could pair it with any of Chrissy’s recipes, which would you choose?
John Legend: She does Southeast Asian chicken wings, those are really good. She does a really good watermelon salad, that would be really cool. She does so many great barbecue-type dishes, like even the sides or the actual meat. I would have rosé with all that stuff.
HG: What’s one thing you think your fans would be surprised to know about your relationship with Chrissy?
JL: I actually cook quite a bit at the house, even though she’s the expert.
HG: Do you have go-to dishes?
JL: The thing is I can make any recipe — I mean as long as it’s not too ridiculously complicated — but if I just read it online I can pretty much figure it out. I’m good at executing. I make all kinds of things; I like to grill, I like to fry. I like casseroles, too.
HG: Switching gears here: You’ve both been really outspoken about what’s going on at the border. Did you think your donation to the ACLU would spark such a big response?
JL: We didn’t know how big it would be, but we’re so grateful that so many people donated. I think it’s over $2 million just inspired by our birthday wish to our president. I was truly thrilled by that. And we gave a lot of our own money because we cared so much about this issue and we wanted to do something public so that we would inspire other people to give, and we’re so happy that it worked.
HG: For your fans who can’t afford to give, what would you suggest they do to get involved and speak out?
JL: First of all, you’d be surprised how little you can give and make a difference. I think some people can’t afford to give anything, but I think there’s a lot of us that can afford $72. What we were inspiring people to do was give what they could, and that’s all helpful. It all adds up if enough people do it. During our promotion there were over 20,000 people that gave. So I want people to realize that even if you give a small amount, that adds up with everyone else giving a small amount — it’s a lot.
And then secondly, I think we all have to be informed citizens who vote. A lot of the things that are going on right now happened because of who’s in power, and we have control over who’s in power, and I think people should be aware of that and exercise their citizenship rights and vote.
HG: What message would you want to send to the families that are at the border now?
JL: We care about you. We don’t know you individually, but we believe that your humanity matters, and that your family matters. And we, as citizens of the United States, even though we’re represented by a president we don’t agree with right now, we want to welcome those who come here trying to find a better life. That’s the story of this country — so many people who came from all kinds of situations and places to have a better life. And when we’re at our best in this country is when we embrace that idea, come together, and form something that’s greater than the sum of our parts.
HG: Do you have a personal connection to that narrative of finding a better life?
JL: Well, it’s different for descendants of slaves because we weren’t brought here voluntarily, we didn’t come here voluntarily. But even Chrissy’s mother, she’s an immigrant. She was born in Thailand and married [Chrissy’s] father and came here, and the next generation is Chrissy and all the success that she’s had. And there are so many stories like that of people who are the children of immigrants who have gone on to be innovators and gone on to do great things in this country, and we’re better for that. The whole country’s better for that.
HG: Do you now, or will you in the future, involve your kids in your activism?
JL: Yes. Of course, they’re not old enough to know or care about any of this stuff now; we gave [to the ACLU] in their names, but they didn’t really know what they were doing. But we’re going to teach them about what’s going on in the world, how fortunate they are, and how there are a lot of people that aren’t that fortunate. That we can help other people, and part of what defines you as a good person is how generous you are and how much you think about other people’s needs outside of your own. And we’re going to try and instill those values that my parents instilled in me when I was a kid.
HG: Oh one last question! My office wanted me to ask you how you really feel about Chrissy comparing you to Arthur.
JL: It’s funny! It really is. What’s funny is I didn’t grow up with Arthur, I think I was a little old for that, so I kind of missed it. So when people started comparing me to him I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ But now I’ve resigned that I’ll always have him in my life — he’s in my Twitter bio.