John Legend does a lot of talk shows. It’s kind of his thing, along with being half of one of the most visible celebrity couples on the planet, collaborating with a diverse array of artists, and devoting time to charity work and activism. Really, the guy is made to be on TV, as seen perhaps definitively in the Between Two Ferns Netflix movie, where he plays a menacing, yet relentlessly charismatic version of himself. It’s good.
For his appearance on The Tonight Show on Monday night (June 22), though, Legend brought his usual good-guy charm to perform his song “Ooh Laa,” backed up by a full band. The show is still being hosted remotely, like all late-night shows, but Legend took the opportunity to make his appearance more dynamic than his typical sitting-at-a-piano posture.
Backed up by a quartet back and three vocalists, Legend sang the song from a mic stand, swaying to the retro doo-wop beat and holds court. It was the first live debut of his song “Ooh Laa,” which kicks off his new album Bigger Love. The album also features appearances from Jhené Aiko, Rapsody, Gary Clark Jr., and more.
In an interview with Fallon, Legend revealed that his wife, Chrissy Teigen, surprised him with a nice Father’s Day setup in the backyard, and explained a bit more about helping to set up FreeAmerica, a social justice organization centering around America’s status as the country with the most incarcerated people in the world.
He said the initiative aims to highlight the fights activists have longed taken up in that space. “We’ve been trying to amplify their work and help change the system,” he said. Watch the performance and find his conversation with Fallon above.