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John Legend recalls church upbringing ahead of Jesus Christ Superstar Live broadcast


James Dimmock/NBCFans will soon get to witness John Legend portraying Jesus Christ in NBC’s upcoming Jesus Christ Superstar Superstar Live in Concert, airing April 1, Easter Sunday.   

John was the perfect choice for the role, given the Grammy, Tony and Oscar-winner’s remarkable talent, and his church upbringing.

Growing up in Ohio, John’s mother was a choir director, his grandmother was a church organist and his grandfather was a pastor. 

Legend tells People, “The message I took from growing up in church was the idea of loving your neighbor, giving to others and treating people as you would want to be treated. You can learn those things in any religion or without religion, but that’s where I did.” 

“I was in choir rehearsals every week as a kid, and I took over the choir when I was older,” the “Ordinary People” star adds. 

“That was the foundation of my career; I wouldn’t be where I am without playing gospel music in church.” 

As for his thoughts on Jesus, John believes that in real life, the biblical figure was “a bit of a revolutionary.”

Says John, “He was somebody who was disrupting the status quo and provided an example for how we could all love each other, how we think about people who have been looked down upon and what it means to sacrifice oneself for something that you believe in.”

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airs Easter Sunday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. 

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