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John Legend: 'Trump presidency may spark musical revolution'

Published 01/12/2016

John Legend
John Legend

John Legend hopes musicians will get creative and come up with a response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's controversial policies.

John Legend hopes the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States will inspire musicians to create great music like is peers did in the '60s and '70s.

The Ordinary People singer, 37, is an outspoken opponent of Trump, having accused the President-elect of racism.

However Legend isn't entirely downbeat about the controversial billionaire's election last month (Nov16), looking back to the 1960s and 1970s as a time when a divided America resulted in a surge in musical creativity.

"The Vietnam war and the struggle for civil rights ushered in a golden era of soul and rock and folk music," he tells British newspaper The Times. "Perhaps that will happen again, but hopefully he won't drive us to as much turmoil as that era had."

The soulful superstar's hope that the world of music will respond strongly to Trump does not mean he is ready to rein in his criticism of America's president elect, however.

Repeating his accusation that Trump's campaign, which saw the Republican candidate promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and call Mexican immigrants "rapists", was a racist one, he says, "The overriding message of his campaign is, 'we need to make America white again'. He called it 'We need to make America great again', but all the signals he was sending were that the problems of this country were down to black and brown people."

Legend says he's thinking about moving away from the U.S., adding, "I'll continue to consider my options."

The singer performed at the White House for the outgoing President, Barack Obama, but believes he is unlikely to be on his successor's list of guests.

"I don't think he'd (Trump) be interested in having me, given how much I've talked negatively about him," he explains, joking that if he did visit the Trump White House he'd, "probably not want to drink the tea."

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