John Legend has defended his decision to give holiday tune Baby, It's Cold Outside a #MeToo makeover, insisting the song's lyrics needed an update.
Legend dropped his new Kelly Clarkson duet on Friday (08Nov19), days after the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Dean Martin's daughter Deana took aim at the new version of the song her father popularised.
The All of Me singer and co-writer Natasha Rothwell came up with the new lyrics after women's rights leaders criticised the song for suggesting nonconsensual behaviour as a suitor attempts to persuade his date to stay with him a little longer, plying her with alcohol and hinting it's too stormy for her to go home.
In Legend's version, he calls Clarkson's stranded love interest a taxi, insisting, "It's your body, and your choice", offering her his coat for the ride home.
In the original lyrics, written by Frank Loesser, the male suitor encourages the woman to stay.
"NEW VERSION of #BabyItsColdOutside! A welcome update or 'PC Culture run amok & destroying everything great in the history of music?' You decide," Legend wrote on Twitter on Friday, poking fun at the furore surround his Christmas update.
Earlier this week, Osbourne slammed the new version on her U.S. TV show The Talk, stating, "What would John Legend do if, in 40 years, if somebody wanted to... re-record one of his songs, and there was some group that found it offensive, and somebody just went, 'Oh, I can change the lyrics on that'.
"It’s, to me, like a master painting. It’s a piece of art... What the hell are you on? That's ridiculous... I love John Legend... He’s an amazing artist that I really respect. Why do you do this? That's not right... If you don’t like the song, don’t record it."
Deana Martin agreed with Sharon, insisting her father's 1959 version of the song should not have been tampered with.
"He’s stealing the thunder from Frank Loesser’s song and from my dad," she said. "He should write his own song if he doesn’t like this one, but don’t change the lyrics. It’s a classic, perfect song."
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