Nine-time Grammy award winning singer John Legend was welcomed to the University of Arkansas as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series Monday (April 29).
It’s Legend’s first time in Fayetteville and he said he enjoys speaking to students.
“I love doing it,” Legend said. “I think the kids get something good from it because part of it we’re learning from each other.”
Legend is a social activist. He uses his music to address issues such as poverty, sustainability, health and education.
“I am genuinely interested in making this world and this country a better place and for us to do that we have to focus on making our schools better,” Legend said.
UA presented “an evening with John Legend” at Barnhill Arena where students lined up to see singer, songwriter and producer.
“I’m very excited that we have John Legend coming to our campus to speak to us about sustainability and it’s a major plus that he’s doing four songs at the end,” said Ethan Williams.
Tisha Boney said, “He just has a unique voice and he has such soul when he sings.”
Adriana James said she wasn’t aware John Legend was an activist.
“I’m really interested in seeing what he has to say about things that are going on right now,” James said.
Fans were very excited to hear him speak and sing. A group of them even sang a chorus to one of his songs outside of Barnhill Arena.
“I’m always excited to know that the music makes people feel it, are inspired by it, are excited to be part of our shows and my job is to deliver,” Legend said.
Autumn Lewis, distinguished lecture committee chair, said Legend was at the top of the list in their student poll.
“We also thought that doing a combination lecture performance would bring more students and it would be a different kind of event that we’ve done in the past,” Lewis said.
Legend said students should follow their passions and address world issues on a local scale.
“At least for some of them to come away thinking they can do something about it,” Legend said.
Legend closed his lecture with a mini concert performing four of his songs. He has sold millions of albums worldwide in the last decade.
The event is part of the University of Arkansas’ Distinguished Lecture Series paid by a student fee.