John Legend, marry me. Aside from being gorgeous, talented and an Oscar-nominee, the R&B crooner’s got a heart as big as his voice. The “Glory” singer has decided to pull out of a scheduled appearance in support of the rights of women and LGBT people the world over.
Legend was supposed to perform at an event for L.A. Confidential Magazine tomorrow, February 5, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the homophobic Sultan of Brunei. You may remember that a number of celebs began boycotting the Sultan’s properties last year after he passed severe anti-gay and anti-woman laws in the tiny East Asian nation.
According to a statement from John Legend’s team:
John Legend will not be attending the LA Confidential party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, February 5th in light of the horrific anti-women and anti-LGBT policies approved by the hotel's owner, the Sultan of Brunei. These policies, which among other things could permit women and LGBT Bruneians to be stoned to death, are heinous and certainly don't represent John's values or the spirit of the event. John does not, in any way, wish to further enrich the Sultan while he continues to enforce these brutal laws.
For its part, LA Confidential will continue with the celebration as planned. "We respect Mr. Legend's decision not to attend the event,” said publisher Alison Miller, “and believe that each individual, company and organization must make their own decision as to how they communicate their positions on political, social and civil rights."
And such is the role of freedom of expression. In that spirit, let’s all take a moment to enjoy John Legend’s performance of “America, The Beautiful” — the highlight of the Super Bowl, if you ask me. Sure, I stopped watching as soon as Idina Menzel leapt off that final note in “Star-Spangled Banner” but that’s neither here nor there.