Less than a month after announcing the loss of their third child, a baby boy named Jack, due to pregnancy complications, John Legend returned to the stage for the first time for the Billboard Music Awards.
Dressed in a white suit, the musician performed the song “Never Break” from his latest album, Bigger Love, dedicating the emotional ballad to his grieving wife. “This is for Chrissy,” Legend said as he sat behind the piano.
The song was initially written in 2019, but as Legend has noted in interviews since, the lyrics about perseverance and human strength took on a new meaning when the album was released in June of this year – and likely much more so on a personal level for the couple now. The lyrics read, “We will never break, we will never break / Built on a foundation, stronger than the pain / We will never break, as the water rises and the mountains shake / Our love will remain.”
Wednesday’s ceremony marks the first appearance for Legend since he and Teigen shared the heartbreaking news that they’d lost their third baby halfway through her pregnancy.
“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” Teigen wrote on Instagram on September 30th, sharing heartbreaking black and white images from the hospital. “On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”
Since then, Teigen and Legend have largely stayed off social media, apart from Teigen commenting that a meme finally made her giggle earlier this week.
During the performance, viewers took to social media to express their emotions at the raw show of grief.
— JustAsSureAsMyNameIsWanya (@JJustITA) October 15, 2020
just tuned in and john legend has me legit bawling at 2am pic.twitter.com/hvO7HYPp2X
— lara (@happierlovato) October 15, 2020
fam john legend got me having chills up and down and up and down my body my heart is breaking
— 🌤⁷ (@nycnamjoon) October 15, 2020
— Nicole Perez (@nicole_perez1) October 15, 2020