The Real Reason John Legend & Kanye’s Friendship Crumbled

Kanye West, John Legend

Getty Kanye West (L), John Legend (R)

When rumors first started to swirl about “Voice” coach, John Legend’s deteriorating friendship with rap star, Kanye West, Legend tried to blame it on living two different lives in two different cities.

The 43-year-old EGOT winner told the UK Sunday Times in 2020, “I just think we’re doing our own thing. He’s up in Wyoming. I’m here in L.A. We’ve both got growing families and I no longer have a formal business relationship with him as an artist, so I think it’s just part of the natural cycle of life.”


What Really Caused the Divide?

Legend has since changed his tune about the rift between him and West. On the August 4, 2022 episode of CNN’s podcast, “The Axe Files,” hosted by David Axelrod, Legend admitted that their division was mostly politically based.

Axelrod posed the question to Legend, “Let me ask you about your relationship with him, because I know you’re friends still, but he’s, you know, his behavior and his politics, I guess, his politics are much different or have been much different than yours.”

Legend replied, “Well, you know, we aren’t friends as much as we used to be, because…we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump, I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly.”

The “All of Me” singer continued, “he was upset that I didn’t support his run for presidency of the United States of America for understandable reasons…I wasn’t alone in that. But, you know, he was not happy about that. And we really haven’t been close since then.”


Past, Present and Future

West and Legend first became friends through their music. West was helping Legend get his career off the ground back when the “Voice” coach was still going by John Roger Stephens, according to Tidal. They worked together on Legend’s debut album “Get Lifted,” which dropped on Legend’s 26th birthday, Tidal reports.

People explains that the two were able to stay friends for so long because they “never talked about politics before.”  It just wasn’t a part of their relationship until West began publicly supporting Trump and actually threw his own hat in the Presidential ring. According to People, Legend asserted, “Our interaction was almost always about creativity and music. [Kanye] was also in a different place musically. He’s doing gospel music. That’s what he’s focused on right now, designing his clothes, so we’re in different places.”

On the Axe Files podcast, Legend talked briefly about West’s struggles with mental health. He implied that some of West’s political antics may have been related to those issues. “He’s been very open with who he is and his struggles with mental health. And he’s very real, honestly” Legend described. “I think what you see with him is pretty much what you get. I don’t feel like he’s a whole separate person in private than he is in public. I think you’re pretty much seeing the real Kanye publicly.”

West is still in the legal process of divorcing reality TV star, Kim Kardashian, according to Cinema Blend. Legend will return as a coach on “The Voice” this fall.  He and his wife, Chrissy Teigen recently announced they are having a baby.

READ NEXT: ‘This Year’s Love’: ‘Voice’ Winner Announces Surprise Engagement

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