John Legend was cast as Jesus in the recreation of the 1970 rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, “Jesus Christ Superstar: Live.” Legend’s known for his amazing vocals, and yet audiences were still blown away by his solo performance of “Gethsemane (I Only Wanted to Say)” — and for good reason. Legend’s singing was absolutely amazing.
For five minutes, he explored a range of highs and lows with his incredible voice, and it’s truly chill-inducing. If you didn’t watch it when the show aired on April 1, watch it for the first time below — and make sure you’re sitting down for this. If you did watch it live, then you know it’s worth an encore!
See the full performance of the song for yourself:
Legend was joined by other incredible vocalists Sara Bareilles and Brandon Victor Dixon, playing Mary Magdalene and Judas, respectively. With those three talented singers cast in main roles, it’s no wonder this live show is getting rave reviews.
People on Twitter couldn’t wait to commend the cast and crew for an amazing live performance:
That was just excellent, @JohnLegend, @BrandonVDixon, @SaraBareilles, @NormLewis, @AliceCooper, @OfficialALW, cast and crew of @JCSTheMusical. And to nail all of it live. Congrats! #JesusChristSuperstarLive @NBC pic.twitter.com/IUGrGdimaC
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) April 2, 2018
Bareilles recognized all of the hard work that went into this production:
I am marveling at the incredible hard work of everyone involved with @JCSTheMusical. Hundreds of people working together to make last night happen all high fives and smiling backstage as we leapt off a giant cliff together. It was exhilarating and I feel privileged.
— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) April 2, 2018
The official “Jesus Christ Superstar” Twitter account says that John Legend’s performance, especially, “left [them] truly speechless.”
— Jesus Christ Superstar (@JCSTheMusical) April 2, 2018
And the singer’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, revealed that she knew her husband was “nervous” to perform this ballad:
But people were quick to notice that the “nerves” took his performance “to another level.”
— Mask Up 😷🗽 (@GopSux2) April 2, 2018
Amen to that!
Leading up to the airing of the show, Legend told NBC News that he was taking the role of Jesus very seriously.
“It’s a challenge, one that I’m not taking lightly and I’ve been spending a lot of time just learning the material,” he said. “You really just want to get to the point where you have it so in your spirit and your system that it feels like you wrote it yourself and it feels natural.”
And boy — did he manage to make it his own. Bravo, Legend, bravo!