Legend Channels Marvin Gaye’s Groundbreaking Album

Posted January 31, 2012 at 2:07pm

Singer-songwriter John Legend and students from Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts performed Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Going On” at the Kennedy Center today.

The event was to help launch the Kennedy Center’s new national education initiative “What’s Going On … NOW,” a national arts and digital media campaign directed at youth.

“What’s Going On … NOW” asks young people to reflect on similarities and differences between the times reflected in Gaye’s groundbreaking album and today. The album, released in 1971, was a watershed moment for Motown Records, which had resisted social themes in much of its music until the Washington, D.C., native broke through with “What’s Going On.” They can share their perspectives on www.whatsgoingonnow.org.

Check out Legend talking soul music, Marvin Gaye and performing the signature song off the album.