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On Tonight

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Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits

John Legend and The Roots

Austin City Limits "John Legend and The Roots"
Airs Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 PM

John Legend's expressive, thoughtful vocal interpretations have earned him countless awards and fans. The Roots fuse their work with elements of funk so unique that they have become one of the most respected bands in the world. Tonight Austin City Limits features the musical collaboration between these two creative forces.

The Grammy Award-winning Legend has taken the world by storm in the past half-decade with his hits "Heaven," "Green Light," and "Ordinary People." The Roots have also blazed a fiery trail, using jazz and funk-intensive live instrumentation to fuel their politically-charged hip-hop, winning a Grammy and becoming the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon along the way.

The two R&B titans convened to make Wake Up!, which comes out later this year. This album features a unique spin on tunes from stars (Marvin Gaye, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Donny Hathaway) and underground legends (Ernie Hines, Baby Huey & the Babysitters, Mike James Kirkland) plus one original ("Shine") as well.

"These songs sound so relevant now," Legend said. "On most of them, you wouldn't change a lyric. 'Wake Up Everybody' has four verses — the first one is a general statement, the second is about education, third is about health care, and the fourth is about making a better environment. No editing needed."

"When these songs were written, people were more spiritually in tune," said Roots drummer/musical director Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. "It was fresh from the civil rights era and there was a feeling of hope that maybe, yes, someday we will all be free. In 2010, not so much."

Visit the national Austin City Limits website for more information on this and other related programs.