That's just one of the numerous mantras John Legend has espoused during his Bigger Love Tour. After delaying his original dates (because COVID, of course), the R&B legend has returned to the stage and is using his music to spread positive vibes throughout the second leg of his tour.
The Ohio native is back on the road in support of his latest album, Bigger Love, during his 28-city tour, which kicked off in Atlanta on September 1. South Florida fans are in for a treat when the EGOT lands at the FLA Live Arena (formerly BB&T Center) on Sunday, October 10, for what Legend calls his "best tour yet."
"The first leg of the tour has been truly so fun and so inspiring and full of energy and life," Legend tells New Times. "The response we're getting from the fans and critics, and everybody has been so good. I think it's my best tour yet creatively. Just thinking about the way we put the setlist together, the visuals, the flow of the show just feels like we've outdone ourselves. We've done better than we've done before. It's a team effort."
Legend dropped his seventh studio album last year during the height of the pandemic and George Floyd protests. Since then, the R&B singer has remained adamant about social distancing, wearing a mask, and receiving the vaccine. So much so that he pushed his tour back to 2021, which kept the album in his orbit for a lot longer than he'd expected.
With Raphael Saadiq serving as executive producer, the 16-track LP features production from Anderson .Paak, Charlie Puth, and Oak and vocal contributions from Rapsody, Jhene Aiko, Koffee, Gary Clark Jr., and Camper. Earlier this year, Legend's Bigger Love nabbed the Grammy Award for "Best R&B Album," further cementing that the album is one of his best.
"It's very interesting, because once I release an album, I kind of move on after I tour it," Legend says, laughing. "But it's been weird because I wasn't able to tour it for so long that it's been kind of hanging there, just frozen in time for a little while, until we were finally able to tour it."
The live performance of the album's upbeat title track is something to look forward to. Yet, of all the songs on the album, Legend points to tracks like "One Life," produced by Anderson .Paak and Jeff "Gitty" Gitelman, and "Remember Us," featuring skilled wordsmith Rapsody, as his favorites to perform live.
Fans will also have the opportunity to meet Legend for a quick drink before the show. The singer will host an LVE Rosé garden party where loyal fans who've purchased the VIP package get a chance to rub elbows and raise a toast with the singer.
If you harbor any hope of getting close to Legend, you'd better wear a facemask.
While Florida doesn’t have vaccination requirements to enter venues, Legend and everyone working on his tour, all of whom are vaccinated, strongly encourage his fans to come vaxxed and masked.
"I really do want everyone who comes to the shows to be vaccinated and/or wear a mask to protect themselves and their families," Legend elaborates. "I want people to get together safely. I just can't stress it enough that we encourage people to take precautions so they're not spreading this disease around."
The tour is just one of many events on Legend's schedule. In addition to being a judge of NBC's The Voice, the singer-songwriter remains active on Broadway. Legend recently appeared with the cast of Ain't Too Proud for a performance during the 2021 Tony Awards.
Outside of the tour, he's focused on working on his next album. The crooner is still trying to determine the upcoming project's sound and direction, but he promises the album will be "really fun, colorful, and full of energy."
"The odd part about that is I've been writing the whole next album while I was waiting to go on tour, which I've never really done before," he adds. "So my brain is torn between thinking about the new music that's coming out for next year and then revisiting the Bigger Love stuff that we're touring now."
John Legend. 8 p.m. Sunday, October 10, at FLA Live Arena, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; 954-835-7469; flalivearena.com. Tickets cost $34.75 to $144.75 via ticketmaster.com.