‘The Voice’ Season 22: Why John Legend Doesn’t Usually Turn for Artists Who Sing His Songs

For many coaches on The Voice, it’s an instant chair turn when an artist auditions with one of their songs. But that’s not often true for John Legend, who is notoriously picky when it comes to chair turns for his famous tunes. Here’s why it’s such a rare sight, according to Legend and his co-stars.

The Voice coach John Legend, who doesn't typically turn his chair for artists who sing his songs
‘The Voice’ Season 22 coach John Legend | Vijat Mohindra/NBC

Gwen Stefani says John Legend won’t turn for artists who sing his songs on ‘The Voice’

Legend joined as a coach in season 16 and has remained on the panel ever since. And though he’s honed and adjusted his coaching skills with every new team, one thing that hasn’t changed is his defiance when it comes to turning his chair for covers of his songs in the Blind Auditions. During a recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Legend’s fellow coach on The Voice Season 22, Gwen Stefani, spoke about his hesitation.

“John Legend is known to not press his button if someone does one of his songs,” she admitted. “And we’re just kind of like, ‘John! You have to press your button, they’re doing your song!’ I guess he gets very scientific about it and he just gets overwhelmed.”

Stefani, on the other hand, gets “really excited” to hear artists audition with her songs. Apparently, fans will see that happen during The Voice Season 22’s Blind Auditions, which were filmed over the summer.

“People have done mine. I can’t say when ’cause this hasn’t [aired] yet,” Stefani shared. “It’s very flattering, and it’s incredible.”

A contestant on ‘The Voice’ Season 20 made John Legend turn for his song for the first time

A few seasons into coaching on The Voice, John Legend finally turned his chair for a cover of his song. Season 20’s Victor Solomon, a gospel choir singer from Illinois, performed Legend and Common’s “Glory” during the Blind Auditions. The song was released in 2014 as the theme for the film Selma, earning Legend his first Oscar for Best Original Song.

Solomon’s cover received chair turns from Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, and to everyone’s surprise, Legend. The EGOT winner admitted to Solomon that he has turned “zero times” for a cover of his song so far, as he “scrutinizes it more than I normally would.” However, he felt that Solomon did “better” things with the song than Legend would have ever thought to do.

Legend loved the performance so much that he even duetted with Solomon on another one of his songs, “Ordinary People,” right there at the audition. The contestant joined Team Legend and ultimately made it to fifth place in season 20.

Legend says he presses his button for people he ‘authentically loves’

So, what does Legend typically look for when turning his chair for artists on The Voice? In a spotlight for the upcoming season, as seen above, the “All of Me” singer said he focuses on “turning for people who I honestly and authentically love.”

“I turn for them, even if they sing a genre that I don’t normally work in. No matter what, if I love their voice I’m gonna turn around for them,” he added.

The Voice Season 22 premieres on Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. on NBC. Will another artist win Legend’s chair turn with a cover of his song in the Blinds? Fans should tune in to find out.

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