As hit or miss as Yahoo’s daily streaming concert series has been — the coming week includes sets from Linkin Park, Goo Goo Dolls and Taylor Swift — there’s no denying the one-night-only appeal of next Wednesday’s John Legend performance. Set to happen at the Hollywood Bowl at 8 p.m. PST, the night will feature Legend covering Marvin Gaye with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. According to a Yahoo interview with the singer, Jones will join Legend in singing Gaye’s most popular duets during the first half of the show, and the rest will be centered around Gaye’s classic album What’s Going On, as backed by the Dap-Kings and a 50-piece orchestra.
“I’m under no illusion that I’m as gifted a vocalist as Marvin Gaye,” Legend said, “but I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to perform this amazing music. The standard is clearly very, very high, and I’ll do the best I can to honor his incredible legacy.”
As for why he feels What’s Going On is such a pivotal record, Legend added, “It had a strong sense of cohesion and clarity in its vision. And it was such a bold choice for an artist known primarily for his sweet love songs to make such provocative album with such a strong political message. But what made it so great was that it didn’t come off too preachy. He was able to make this ‘message’ record that was still sensual and beautiful. It was still love music.”
Check out footage of Legend’s first crack at covering “What’s Going On” — a Kennedy Center event from a few years back — down below…