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John Legend Said Kanye’s Presidential Run & Trump Support Was “Too Much” For Their Friendship To Survive

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John has opened up about the messy breakdown of their friendship after Kanye called him a “sellout.”

John Legend and Kanye West’s friendship goes back decades, with the pair first meeting by complete chance in New York.

After completing four years at the University of Pennsylvania, John — who at that point went by his real name, John Stephens — moved to the city, and his roommate happened to be Kanye’s cousin, DeVon Harris.

DeVon introduced John to Kanye, and the rest was history. Kanye was instrumental in the early days of John’s career, and even had a hand in giving him his stage name.

Meanwhile, John famously sang at Kanye’s wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014, and the two have been just as close outside of the recording studio as in.

Explaining how his moniker ‘John Legend’ came about, John previously told Jimmy Fallon that a friend he met through Kanye, J. Ivy, started calling him ‘The Legend’ while making music together.

The name ended up becoming a private nickname within the circle of friends, but one day Kanye put a mixtape out where he referred to John as “John Legend.”

“It just started to spread among more of the people that were listening to our music,” John explained. “And then, at some point, I had to decide, Am I going to stick with John Stephens, which I was perfectly fine with. I wasn’t looking for a stage name. Or am I going to go with this more audacious name and call myself a legend before I even have a record deal?

Kanye was equally influential when John’s record deal finally did come about, with the rapper acting as producer on his debut album, Get Lifted, in 2004. The record ended up winning a Grammy for Best R&B Album, and John also won a Grammy for Best New Artist that year.

In addition to producing John’s albums, Kanye also acted as John’s manager for a time, and the two collaborated on several tracks throughout their careers.

However, in 2018 their long-time friendship came under strain when Kanye started to publicly support controversial president, Donald Trump.

In fact, John was so concerned that he privately reached out to Kanye to urge him to reconsider his support for Trump in messages that Kanye screenshotted and shared on social media at the time.

“Hey it’s JL. I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” John’s first text read. “You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for. As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They are loyal to you and respect your opinion.”

“So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color,” he continued. “Don’t let this be part of your legacy. You’re the greatest artist of our generation.”

In the screenshot, Kanye replied: “I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”

After sharing the messages, Kanye tweeted: “I tweeted the John text to show that there are people around me that disagree with me and voice their opinion. I respect everyone’s opinion but I stand my ground.” He later added: “If you feel something don’t let peer pressure manipulate you.”

He also shared John’s reply, which read: “Think freely. Think with empathy and context too. Your words and actions have consequences. Much love.”

“I really appreciate this dialogue with John Legend because I’m actually very empathetic,” Kanye then told his followers. “I’m still the kid from the telethon. I feel when people think of MAGA, they don’t think of empathy.”

The following year, John downplayed the nature of his and Kanye’s relationship as he admitted that he found the rapper’s support for Trump particularly “challenging” because Kanye didn’t have a history of being political.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, John said of their differing political stances: “I’m not trying to disown Kanye because I still love him and love everything we’ve done together creatively, but we were never the closest of friends.”

“I think what was always challenging about it was Kanye has never been political,” he added. “He just kind of embraced Trump’s spirit and the energy of himself being countercultural in supporting him.”

And the year after that, in 2020, Kanye announced that he was running for president — something that John refused to support.

In November 2021, Kanye called John out for turning his back on him, calling him a “sellout” as he confirmed that they are no longer friends and demanded an apology.

Speaking on the Drink Champs podcast, Kanye said: “Both John Legend and Big Sean, when I ran for office, got used quick by the Democrats to come at their boy who actually changed their life, and that’s some sellout shit. And I don’t rock with neither of them. And I need my apologies.”

And now John has confirmed that Kanye’s presidential run combined with his support for Trump became “too much” for their friendship to survive.

“We aren’t friends as much as we used to be because I honestly think because we publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump, I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship,” John said on The Axe Files podcast on Thursday.

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

In spite of their difficult relationship, John went on to praise how “open” Kanye is, and insisted that the public know the “real Kanye.”

“I think he’s been very open with who he is and his struggles with mental health. And he’s very real, honestly. So I think there’s not a lot about him that people don’t get,” he said.

“He’s been pretty upfront with his opinions, his struggles, all the things that he’s dealing with. And 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,” John went on. “I think you’re pretty much seeing the real Kanye publicly.”

John’s podcast appearance came just one day after his wife, Chrissy Teigen, announced that she is pregnant — two years after the stillbirth of their son, Jack.

John and Chrissy also share six-year-old Luna and four-year-old Miles.

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‘Grease’ Cast Reacts to Olivia Newton-John’s Death

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Kanye Deleted His Instagram Post Mocking Pete Amid Reports That He’s Seeking “Trauma Therapy”

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Kanye West Deleted Post Mocking Pete Davidson Amid “Trauma Therapy” Reports

Just when we thought Kim Kardashian and Kanye West might finally be seeing eye to eye, things just got a little more complicated.

As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Kim and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson, broke up last week after nine months of dating.

Soon after the news surfaced on Friday evening, fans turned their attention to Ye, who, throughout the duration of the highly publicized relationship, made it abundantly clear that he had hopes of rekindling his and Kim’s marriage.

On Monday, Ye eventually gave fans the reaction they’d been waiting for, taking to Instagram to mark the death of “Skete Davidson” — “Skete” being the name he began using in reference to Pete when he first started posting about the comedian on Instagram back in February.

Responding to the breakup, Ye shared a photoshopped image of a New York Times cover, emblazoned with the words: “SKETE DAVIDSON DEAD AT AGE 28.”

After being live on his account for about four hours, and amassing thousands of comments in that time, the post has since been deleted.

Ye’s statement prompted great concern among fans, marking the most recent in a string of online attacks aimed at Pete since the start of the year, with several making reference to his death or causing physical harm.

If you need a refresher, Ye’s public harassment of Pete began in January, when he dropped a new song, “Eazy,” in which he threatened to “beat [his] ass.”

This was followed by a slew of Instagram posts in the following months, whereby Ye called Pete “trash,” a “dickhead,” and even shared their text messages declaring that the Saturday Night Live star would “never” meet his and Kim’s kids.

He posted a screenshot of Kim’s text with a caption that many interpreted to be a threat of violence. “UPON MY WIFE’S REQUEST PLEASE NOBODY DO ANYTHING PHYSICAL TO SKETE I AM GOING TO HANDLE THE SITUATION MYSELF,” the caption read.

Despite Kim’s pleas, things only wound up getting worse over the course of the following weeks after Kanye released a music video for “Eazy.”

The video — which dropped one day after Kim was declared legally single on Mar. 2 — depicted Ye kidnapping and decapitating a claymation version of Pete, ending with the message: “EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER EXCEPT SKETE.”

The disturbing footage marked the final straw for many fans, with some calling for Pete to take legal action against Ye.

It was later revealed in leaked text messages that Pete resorted to confronting Ye privately, slamming the rapper for his behavior and calling for him to “grow up.”

“I have your back even though you treat me like shit because I want everything to be smooth. But if you continue to press me like you have for the past 6 months I’m gonna stop being nice,” Pete wrote in the texts with Ye.

And now, following Ye’s latest hit, reports claim that Pete made the decision to seek therapy to help him cope with the online harassment from Kim’s ex and his legion of supporters.

On Monday, a source informed People that Pete has been in “trauma therapy” since the start of April, “in large part” due to Ye’s “threatening posts” throughout February and March.

“The attention and negativity coming from Kanye and his antics is a trigger for [Pete], and he’s had to seek out help,” the insider revealed, adding: “Moving forward he just wants to focus on his career.”

The source also claimed that Pete has no regrets in his decision to pursue a romance with Kim, going on to say that “she’s been nothing but supportive of him.”

With this in mind, other insiders have emerged to say that it was Kim who influenced Ye to delete the post, claiming that she is “not okay with this type of behavior and won’t tolerate her loved ones being treated like this.”

“She has asked numerous times for him to take down the post,” the insider shared with E! News on Monday. “She will always protect Pete.”

They went on to say that the breakup has been particularly difficult for Kim, and that Ye’s post only made matters more upsetting and “tested her mentally.”

Ye’s comment on Kim and Pete’s breakup came shortly after reports that he and Kim were finally coparenting with ease after months of tension between the exes.

On Aug. 4, a source close to the former couple told Us Weekly that they are “very civil with each other and right now, there are no issues.”

After being banned from Instagram for 24 hours in March, Ye took a “hiatus,” during which time he was rumored to have sought “behavioral” treatment.

Neither Kim or Pete have formally addressed their split or Ye’s reaction, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they do.

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No One Will Know You Got This Designer-Style Tote on Amazon

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Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.

We love our designer bags. Of course we do! We wouldn’t deny it. But we only own so many. They’re expensive, and even though we view them as “worth it” in a way, we’re also not on board with spending our entire paycheck on them — especially if there’s a more affordable option that’s potentially just as good.

Plus, it’s fun searching the internet for more inexpensive alternatives! It’s like a game, or a treasure hunt. How good does it feel to strike gold? We know we were totally elated when we spotted this tote on Amazon for under $50!

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Get the lMKIDS The Tote Bag for just $49 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, August 9, 2022, but are subject to change.

If you’ve wanted a tote like this before but didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a small leather version, this easy-to-clean, PU leather look-alike is a fantastic option. It saves you an impressive amount, and it reportedly looks just as amazing! It’s structured, featuring neat topstitching and two top handles. There’s an adjustable and removable shoulder strap as well!

Inside this bag is one large main compartment, plus a slotted pocket and a zipper pocket to help you organize smaller items like your phone, keys or lip balm. Back outside, you have five colors to choose from: beige, black, brown, white and grey. Such wearable shades!

See it!

Get the lMKIDS The Tote Bag for just $49 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, August 9, 2022, but are subject to change.

Want to see more totes? We’ve got you. Amazon has so many amazing bags to offer, we wanted to feature five more we thought you might love. Shop below!

  • Looking for something slouchier? This KALIDI corduroy tote is such a great piece for casual, everyday wear!
  • How about something on the sporty side? Each version of this tie-dye Adidas tote is totally unique!
  • We’ve been completely digging the puffy, pillowy trend lately, and this BAGSMART tote is the perfect example!
  • Small and cozily covered in sherpa, this The Drop tote is a smart and stylish option for going to into fall and winter!
  • If you need something large, maybe for work or travel, this ECOSUSI Laptop Tote is a fan-favorite — featuring multiple compartments!

Looking for more gift ideas? Shop our other picks below:

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as wedding-guest outfits, purses, plus-size swimsuits, women’s sneakers, bridal shapewear, and perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!

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