John Legend has broken hearts across the world at the 2020 Billboard Music Award’s when he performed a shattering rendition of his love ballad Never Break in tribute to his wife Chrissy Teigen.
It’s the first public appearance from John after he and Chrissy suffered the loss of their baby Jack, who died at what was believed to be around 20 weeks after a complicated pregnancy earlier this month.
The pair shared the shattering news via Chrissy’s Twitter and Instagram just hours after the loss.
Now John has broken his silence with song, taking to the stage of the prestigious music awards to perform the ballad on Thursday AEST at Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre.
“This is for Chrissy,” he said before launching into the emotive ballad.
The singer was introduced by ceremony host Kelly Clarkson who co-stars as a judge on The Voice with the dad of three.
“I want to take a moment to talk about a friend who inspires me on the daily not only as a musician and a songwriter but as a human,” Kelly said ahead of the pre-recorded segment going to air.
“John Legend is one of my favourite people on this planet, and it's easy for us all to feel that way about them because he and Chrissy just have this warm way of inviting us into their world — the highs and the lows.”
She made reference to the pair’s recent loss, heralding the performance which seemed to dive headfirst into the motion of the struggle.
“My heart, obviously all of our hearts, go out to you both in this very difficult time, and I'm thankful that you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us for the very special performance, possibly my favourite of the night,” she said.
At a grand piano, John crooned sweet lines like “Whenever life is hard/ We'll never lose our way” and “You are the explanation of what love really means/ It's bigger than you and me/ It's one plus one equals three/ When we talk about forever/ Then forever's what we mean.”
Legend became noticeably choked up during the song, his voice growing raspier in the final chorus, but he powered through, concluding the tear-jerking performance with a simple “thank you.”
An emotional Kelly Clarkson took over after the show-stopping performance, describing it as ‘beautiful.
“John, that was so beautiful,” she said. “You are literally one of my favourite singers and entertainers that has ever existed. That was so beautiful. All my love to you and Chrissy.”
Fans share support for John and Chrissy
Needless to say fans were left reeling after the song, taking to social media to praise the star’s vulnerability.
“John Legend dedicating his performance to Crissy and their baby is both heartwarming and heartbreaking,” one fan wrote. “I can’t imagine what they must be feeling in this season with their recent miscarriage, but their strength and vulnerability is inspiring.”
“Very touching performance tonight, John!” another tweeted. “It was lovely. Thank you.”
“@johnlegend’s beautiful song “Never Break” dedicated to Chrissy had me in tears,” a thrid agreed. “May their light and love always move mountains! God bless your beautiful family and grant you all comfort and strength.”
Shattering news shared by Chrissy online
Supermodel Chrissy and husband, John Legend, earlier this month confirmed that despite the hospital’s best efforts, their baby son did not survive, paying tribute to the bub in a brave post shared to social media.
The heartbreaking message included an apology to Jack, whom she said would ‘forever’ be a part of their family.
“We will always love you,” she wrote online.
Posting several black and white image of herself and John with the bub in hospital, she let loose her emotions in the no holds barred message.
“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” she wrote in a caption of her sitting heartbroken on a hospital bed.
“We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.”
In a Tweet an hour later, the mum shared her distress at leaving the hospital.
“Driving home from the hospital with no baby,” she wrote.
“How can this be real?”
Everyone from celebrity pals to fans reached out with touching words of support, many thanking the star for being brave enough to share a loss that is often kept private.
“My heart breaks for you,” one woman responded. “Every mom’s worst nightmare.”
“Thank you for sharing this experience,” another wrote. “You are bringing light to what has long been shrouded in darkness.”