John Legend Is Being Very Diplomatic About Beck’s Grammy Win

He’s Team Kanye, Team Beck, and Team Grammys.

John Legend might have laughed at Kanye West's Grammy stunt, but he believes that Beck earned his Best New Album trophy, too. Legend told Us Weekly after the show that he thought Kanye's fake-out was funny and that "Anybody who's upset just needs to relax." He also called Beck "deserving" of his win—a point he doubles-down and elaborates on in a lengthy note posted to Instagram earlier tonight: "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 Beyoncé, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win," he writes, clarifying also that he does not stand in full agreement with Ye's post-show comments.

Legend goes also waxes diplomatic on the voting process, which he calls "completely subjective." "We can all debate who we thought should have won," he says. "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." After all, he was the 2006 Best New Artist and is a nine time Grammy winner himself.

I want to clarify my thoughts on Kanye's actions at the Grammys on Sunday. 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 comments to US Weekly, 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. 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. 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. 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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Photo credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

John Legend Is Being Very Diplomatic About Beck’s Grammy Win