Blake Shelton Offers Congratulations to ‘The Voice’ Partner John Legend for Humanitarian Award

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Blake Shelton is super proud of fellow “The Voice” coach John Legend and his work with criminal justice reform.

Earlier Thursday, the United Nations honored Legend with the High Note Prize for Social Justice. It was part of the UN’s Human Right’s Day celebration.

Shelton tweeted: “CONGRATS to my buddy John Legend on being named the 2020 High Note Global Prize Recipient on United Nations Human Rights Day. You deserve it for the great things yo do to transform the criminal justice system through your Let’s Free America campaign.”

John Legend Is Second Recipient of High Note Global Initiative Honor

The United Nation and the High Note Global Initiative honors artists who have used their voice and platform for positive change in their communities for at least a decade. This is the group’s second year to award this honor. Cyndi Lauper won it in 2019.

Legend, a Grammy and Academy Award winner, is widely known for his work with civil rights and criminal justice reform. He’s also been an advocate for voters’ rights, healthcare and education.

Legend started his Free America movement because of his mother. Legend grew up in Ohio. When he was a teen-ager, his mother dealt with depression and addiction issues after her mother died. Legend’s mother ultimately spent time in prison.

Legend told People magazine in 2018: “My mother’s addiction didn’t just tear her life apart. It tore me and the rest of our family apart, too. … My mother didn’t need punishment. She needed help.”

In accepting the honor, Legend said: “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.”

Legend started working with Blake Shelton when he joined “The Voice” as a coach in 2019.