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John Legend’s double header

You’ve no doubt already marked your calendar for July 15 for the Sade/John Legend show at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. But if it would be more convenient for you to catch the soulful R&B duo in Miami, you’re in luck: They’ve added a second show, July 16 at downtown’s AmericanAirlines Arena. Tickets are on sale now through LiveNation.com or Ticketmaster ranging from $35-$148.

Legend talked to us about what we can expect from the “sexy, soulful’’ show and how excited he is to team up with the

Smooth Operator

singer.

You’ve collaborated with all kinds of R&B royalty. Any surprise guests?

There’s always that possibility, but the thing with that is, you really play it by ear because it depends on who’s in town, and a lot of times you decide that day what’s gonna happen. It’ll be spontaneous, but right now we have no idea. That’s the thing with musicians — we’re all over the place, and if we happen to be passing in the night at the same time, then it’s fun and we do something cool. If Kanye [West]’s in town, then maybe he’ll come onstage, or whoever’s in town that I’ve worked with before, and we’ll make something happen. But otherwise, we’re gonna put on a great show regardless.

How did you hook up with Sade? Are you friends?

No, to tell you the truth, we actually haven’t even met yet. These things happen through agents and managers, and when it became apparent that Sade was gonna be touring, her agent and my agent talked and thought it would be a great combination. And then you work out all the fine points and make sure everybody’s getting paid, and do the right thing on the business side. But at the end of the day, everybody wanted it to happen, because it just makes sense and it sounds great.

Were you a big fan of hers before this came together?

I’ve been a fan since I was young, yeah. I love Sade and I’ve always loved Sade. [Her voice is] transcendent and so unique, and there’s no one that sounds like her in any way — vocally, musically. Her songs are just so clearly hers, and she’s been so reliably mesmerizing for so many years. And also, the fact that she rarely tours makes it even more exciting, because people have been waiting for this to happen for like 10 years.

What inspired you to work with The Roots on your most recent album?

I knew from the get-go what the mission of that album was — it was to cover some classic songs from the ’60s and ’70s. At first, we weren’t sure if it was gonna be just soul music, or a blend of different things — you know, would we cover The Beatles or Bob Dylan AND Stevie Wonder, or would we just focus on a certain type of music. And the more we got into it with The Roots, it really felt like we should focus on some of the great black music from that era, music that represented a movement and a point of view. In some ways it brought me back to the music I grew up playing and singing in church, and the Motown that my parents used to play in the house. So all of those things felt really good to me, and it brought out a certain passion and energy for me as a vocalist, trying to do justice to those songs and the spirit of that era.

MICHAEL HAMERSLY
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