John Legend has been named the High Note Global Prize recipient in recognition of his social justice advocacy work.
The annual award, which is presented by United Nations Human Rights and David Clark Cause, honors recording artists who use their platform throughout their career to promote social justice.
In a statement, Legend said, “I am both proud and humbled to thank you for this honor. I believe in the power of music to inspire us, to connect our hearts, to give voice to feelings for which words alone won’t suffice, to wake us up out of complacency, to galvanize and fuel social movements. Artists have a rich tradition of activism. We have a unique opportunity to reach people where they are, beyond political divisions, borders, and silos. And it’s been my privilege to use my voice and my platform to advance the cause of equity and justice.”
He continued, “As a citizen of the United States, and of the world, I know that for far too long our most essential systems have served to perpetuate inequity and injustice. In order for us to create a just world those systems need to change. When we founded #FREEAMERICA we became part of a community of leaders, advocates, and champions working to dismantle inequities in the American criminal justice system. We wanted to lift up the voices of those who had been silenced. We wanted to envision a new way forward. With this award we celebrate a multitude of advocates, generations of movement leaders who have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress. I don’t stand here absorbing these accolades for myself. I stand here grateful for their ideas and their energy and honored that I can amplify their voices by using my platform. I accept this award with deep humility for the honor, renewed commitment to the work, and abiding hope for a just future."
This is the second year the prize has been awarded. Last year’s recipient was Cyndi Lauper.
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Article Image: John Legend performing in Shenzhen, China on Mar. 6, 2018. (ChinaImages via DepositPhotos.)