ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Legend and Common are set to perform this Sunday during the 87th Academy Awards, at which the duo’s “Glory,” from the Selma soundtrack is nominated for Best Original Song.
Legend says the song’s gospel feel was a natural given its theme and the fact that it was written for an historical drama about Martin Luther King Jr.
“Common called me, asked me to help him write this song and he threw out some title ideas and one of the title ideas was ‘Glory’ and I thought about gospel music,” John says. “As soon as I heard that word, it inspired me to write the chorus and I really thought about the type of music I grew up on, which was gospel music, and how important it was in the movement — you see in the film Mahalia Jackson being an inspiration to Dr. King and so many wonderful gospel singers were a part of the musical inspiration for the movement — and so I wanted to write something in that spirit.”
The rapper tips his hat to the crooner for adding something special to the song.
“John started the song off like, you know, as he said I gave him the title ‘Glory’ but, what he did when he played the piano and sang the words he sang, that’s what really showed me what we could do with this song,” Common explains. “So, I mean I’m just grateful to have a brother in him and a creative partner that is that talented and his voice really means something.”
Common also stars in the film alongside lead actor David Oyelowo, so, does Legend also have aspirations to pursue acting?
“For me, I feel like my job is to make [an] impact, to spread love, to tell great stories, to inspire people, and whatever avenue that we have the opportunity to do that, that’s what I’m going to do,” the singer says.
Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the 87th Oscars will air Sunday, February 22, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.
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