John Legend Says Kanye West ‘Was Really Upset With Me For Not Endorsing Him To Run For President’

John Legend (with wife Chrissy Teigen) discusses his influence with Kanye West on politics. (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

John Legend sets the record straight: Donald Trump did not destroy his friendship with Kanye West.

But political differences definitely contributed to his impact with West, the EGOT-winning singer says in a new interview with New Yorker. While Legend (real name: John Stephens) credits the rapper with popularizing his “high artistic name,” the pair have clashed over politics in recent years. In April 2018, West famously shared Legend’s lyrics urging him to “revise the alignment [himself] with Trump” and last year accused him and fellow rapper Big Sean of “sellout s***” for supporting Democrats instead of supporting West’s own 2020 presidential bid.

It was the latter issue, not the Trump controversy, that bothered West the most, Legend, 43, says. New Yorker. The singer makes his comments during an August episode of David Axelrod The files of the axe — in which she said, “I honestly think because we disagreed publicly about his candidacy, his support for Trump. I think it became too much for us to maintain our friendship.” — were misinterpreted.

“Yeah, as described, we stopped being friends because he supported Trump, which was a mischaracterization of what I said,” Legend says now. “That was Rupert Murdoch’s version of the story – it was all over New York Position and Fox News.

“What I was saying was that he was very upset with me for not backing up him running for president and that was the real push to put a strain on our friendship,” the “All of Me” singer clarified. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but he was very upset with me for not supporting him and supporting Joe Biden. It’s up to him to overcome it.”

While West, 45, made his feelings clear in an interview last November — “I’m not talking to either of them, and I need my apologies,” he said of Legend and Big Sean, whom he described as “scared” — says Legend tried to take a softer approach.

West and Legend at the Grammys after party in 2006.. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

West and Legend at the Grammys after party in 2006.. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

“Everybody saw how I talked to him about it,” he said, referring to his 2018 texts to West. “I spoke to him lovingly and empathetically and tried to help him see things differently. And obviously he did the way he did. The most disappointing thing about his run for president to me was how much of a run it was. from the Trump campaign. I don’t know how aware he was of the fact that there were so many Trump staff all over his campaign, raising money for him, signing petitions for him, getting him on the ballot. I saw their work on his behalf as a clear scam and an operation to take the Black vote away from Biden, so there was no way I was going to support that. Kanye was upset about it and we haven’t been friends since, really.”

Legend expressed his struggle to “break through” to voters like West who see things dramatically differently.

“Clearly, I was unsuccessful in this particular matter!” he said he is trying to connect with his former producer. “Most of my political work has been about encouraging people who already tend to think close to where I am, to get out and vote and get involved. I don’t know how you convince someone who believes differently than you do. Those beliefs are really powerful. I have a lot of religious people in my life, for example, and it’s hard to know how to convince someone when you feel like you’re speaking a completely different language.”

He added, “I don’t want to live a life so consumed by politics that it’s the sole determinant of who can be my friend and who can’t be. But values ​​matter and character and moral compass matter.”

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