MUSIC

John Legend on Kanye West's Beck GRAMMY Diss: 'I Disagree With Those Comments'

by 8:30 AM PST, February 11, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

John Legend is now clarifying his initial remarks about Kanye West's infamous GRAMMYs interruption, when Beck surprisingly won the Album of the Year award over the likes of Beyonce, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams.

"I thought it was funny," he initially told Us Weekly after the GRAMMYS. "It didn't hurt anybody. Anybody who's upset just needs to relax. It was funny." 

Now after seeing Kanye's epic post-GRAMMYs rant, Legend would like to clarify …

Though Legend isn't taking back his comments that the moment was "funny," he disagrees with Kanye's controversial post-GRAMMYs interview, in which he said that Beck should give his GRAMMY to Beyonce to "respect artistry."

"When I said that was funny and people should lighten up about it, that's what I meant," he clarified in a longwinded Instagram post. "I wasn't referring to Kanye's comments after the show, which I have now seen and heard. I disagree with those comments."

I want to clarify my thoughts on Kanye's actions at the Grammys on Sunday. First of all, Kanye is my friend. He believed in me years ago when very few did, and I wouldn't be here without his support. That doesn't mean we'll agree on everything, but it does mean that I am grateful to him. And I also believe he is one of the most gifted people I've had the privilege of working with. In my comments to US Weekly, I said that when Kanye walked up on stage, mimicking his interruption of Taylor Swift's VMA acceptance speech, then turned around as if he was just playing, most of the room including me saw this as funny, as a way of taking the piss out of himself for his infamous behavior several years ago. When I said that was funny and people should lighten up about it, that's what I meant. I wasn't referring to Kanye's comments after the show which I have now seen and heard. I disagree with those comments. Beck is indeed a true artist's artist. He's a multi-instrumentalist, a creative and unique singer-songwriter whose music I have bought and enjoyed over the years. While his win may have been a surprise to many, it's not because he's not a great artist deserving of recognition. All of the other nominated artists, including Beyonce, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win. This is not an objective process. It's completely subjective, in fact. We can all debate who we thought should have won. But even if you didn't vote for him, plenty of our colleagues in the music business did. These voters are all creators who love music and have dedicated their lives to it, and the plurality of them chose Beck as the Album of the Year. I respect their decision and congratulate Beck on this outstanding accomplishment.

A photo posted by John Legend (@johnlegend) on

NEWS: Beck on Kanye West Diss -- 'I Still Love Him and Think He's Genius'

"Beck is indeed a true artist's artist," he stresses. "He's a multi-instrumentalist, a creative and unique singer-songwriter whose music I have bought and enjoyed over the years. While his win may have been a surprise to many, it's not because he's not a great artist deserving of recognition."

He also defended the "Devils Haircut" singer's big win.

"We can all debate who we thought should have won. But even if you didn't vote for him, plenty of our colleagues in the music business did," the 36-year-old "All of Me" singer says. "These voters are all creators who love music and have dedicated their lives to it, and the plurality of them chose Beck as the Album of the Year. I respect their decision and congratulate Beck on this outstanding accomplishment."

Though Kanye's GRAMMY interruption on Sunday night was initially seen as a joke, the 37-year-old rapper once again caused controversy when he revealed he was actually dead serious in a post-show interview with E! News.

"Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it," he heatedly said. "The GRAMMYs, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more. ... Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in their face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you're disrespectful to inspiration."

Kim Kardashian also Instagrammed this picture of her with Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen with the caption, "This is the Beck won that award face?!?!?" which some comments called out as being "tasteless."

This is the Beck won that award face?!?!?!

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

But despite disagreeing with Kanye's take on the GRAMMYs snub, Legend has nothing but respect for his friend of many years.

"Kanye is my friend," Legend also wrote in his Instagram apology. "He believed in me years ago when very few did, and I wouldn't be here without his support. That doesn't mean we'll agree on everything, but it does mean that I am grateful to him. And I also believe he is one of the most gifted people I've had the privilege of working with."

PHOTOS: All the Big 2015 GRAMMY Winners

ET actually caught up with Legend at the GRAMMYs red carpet on Sunday, when he commented on yet another controversy -- Beyonce singing "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" instead of R&B singer Ledisi, who sang the gospel staple in the film Selma.

Listen to his comments below:

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