He made his entrance amid the usual whirlwind of autographs, photos and smiles, but John Legend wasn’t heading into a performance. The nine-time GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist was visiting patients in the Hematology/Oncology Day Hospital at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Legend entertained and interacted with young patients last week in the clinic’s playroom, which provides a fun space for creativity and distraction for children who are receiving blood transfusions, chemotherapy infusions, spinal taps, bone aspiration and other outpatient treatment of cancer and blood diseases.
After posing for photos, chatting with families and engaging in a battle of “dinosaur versus Tonka Truck” in the playroom sandbox with a pint-sized patient, Legend captivated the group with an impromptu acoustic performance of “Ordinary People.” His voice settled the normally boisterous playroom into an unprecedented silence— the only other sound was the quiet “snaps” of little patient fingers keeping time with the song.
Afterward, Legend made his way through the clinic, visiting teen patients one-on-one as they received blood transfusions for sickle cell and other blood diseases, as well as oncology patients receiving chemotherapy.
Legend came to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as part of the Get Well Soon Tour, a nonprofit organization that unites musicians to bring happiness and light to sick children through magical music performances at hospitals around the world; and OneBlood, an advocacy organization whose core competency is promoting public awareness and raising funds for Sickle Cell Disease.
In addition to his dedication to music, Legend founded the nonprofit “Show Me Campaign.” Taking its inspiration from Legend’s song, “Show Me,” the mission is to break the cycle of poverty using solutions that have been proven to improve people’s lives and to give them the opportunities to survive, thrive and succeed.