John Legend Clarifies Thoughts on Kanye West’s Grammys Interruption, Praises Beck as a “True Artist’s Artist”

Kanye West and John Legend
John Legend clarified his thoughts on Kanye West's Grammys stunt, saying he disagrees with the rapper's comments about Beck, whom he calls a "true artist's artist" Matthew Simmons/WireImage

John Legend isn't choosing sides. The "All of Me" crooner wants to make it clear that while he thought pal Kanye West's Grammys interruption was relatively harmless, he doesn't necessarily share the rapper's opinion — especially regarding 'Ye's statement that Beck should "respect artistry" and give his award to Beyonce

"I want to clarify my thoughts on Kanye's actions at the Grammys on Sunday," Legend, 36, tells Us Weekly exclusively. "First of all, Kanye is my friend. He believed in me years ago when very few did, and I wouldn't be here without his support. That doesn't mean we'll agree on everything, but it does mean that I am grateful to him. And I also believe he is one of the most gifted people I've had the privilege of working with."

"In my [original] comments to Us," Legend continues, "I said that when Kanye walked up on stage, mimicking his interruption of Taylor Swift's VMA acceptance speech, then turned around as if he was just playing, most of the room, including me, saw this as funny, as a way of taking the piss out of himself for his infamous behavior several years ago."

"When I said that was funny and people should lighten up about it, that's what I meant," he clarifies. "I wasn't referring to Kanye's comments after the show, which I have now seen and heard. I disagree with those comments. Beck is indeed a true artist's artist. He's a multi-instrumentalist, a creative and unique singer-songwriter whose music I have bought and enjoyed over the years," Legend tells Us. "While his win may have been a surprise to many, it's not because he's not a great artist deserving of recognition. All of the other nominated artists, including Beyonce, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win."

"This is not an objective process. It's completely subjective, in fact," he says. "We can all debate who we thought should have won. But even if you didn't vote for him, plenty of our colleagues in the music business did. These voters are all creators who love music and have dedicated their lives to it, and the plurality of them chose Beck as the Album of the Year. I respect their decision and congratulate Beck on this outstanding accomplishment."

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