The superstar gave an emotional performance in Los Angeles on Wednesday

By Darlene Aderoju
Updated October 14, 2020 09:45 PM
Advertisement

John Legend powered through his emotional performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards Wednesday night.

The EGOT-winner, 41, dedicated his moving song "Never Break" to his wife Chrissy Teigen less than two weeks after they announced they had experienced a pregnancy loss.

"We will never break/ Built on a foundation/ Strong enough to stay/ We will never break," sang the star, holding back tears. "As the water rises/ And the mountains shake/ Our love will remain."

Clad in a white suit, Legend sat center stage where he played the piano throughout the performance. Afterwards, host Kelly Clarkson shared her support for Legend and Teigen, telling her fellow Voice coach she was sending "all my love to you and Chrissy."

John Legend
Kevin Winter/BBMA2020/Getty
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Frazer Harrison/Getty

"I want to take a moment to talk about a friend who inspires me on the daily," Clarkson said. "Not only as a musician, a songwriter, but as a human. John Legend is one of my favorite people on this planet and it's easy for us all to feel that way about them because he and Chrissy just have this warm way of inviting us into their world — the highs and the lows."

She continued, "Our hearts go out to you both in this very difficult time and I'm thankful that you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us for the very special performance, possibly my favorite of the night," Clarkson declared.

On Instagram and Twitter, BBMAs shared similar sentiments writing, "Our love for @johnlegend will Never Break. ❤️🎙."

Earlier this evening, three-time BBMA host Clarkson, 38, headlined the ceremony with a performance of Whitney Houston's song "Higher Love." Pop group Pentatonix and iconic percussionist Sheila E joined Clarkson for the act.

Legend's appearance comes as part of tonight's jam-packed lineup of performers which include Maluma, Sia and En Vogue.

Alicia Keys, Luke Combs and Post Malone performed before PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive. Brandy also delivered her first-ever BBMA performance alongside Ty Dolla $ign ahead of the star, singing her tunes “Borderline," “Almost Doesn’t Count” and “No Tomorrow.”

John Legend
Kevin Winter/BBMA2020/Getty

Later, country star Garth Brooks will receive the biggest honor of the night — the Icon Award. The 58-year-old is the ninth artist to earn the coveted title after fellow superstars: Neil Diamond (2011), Stevie Wonder (2012), Prince (2013), Jennifer Lopez (2014), Céline Dion (2016), Cher (2017), Janet Jackson (2018) and Mariah Carey (2019).

Brooks is the only musician to amass eight diamond-certified albums, each with sales at more than 10 million. He remains the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history, with more than 156 million albums sold.

RELATED VIDEO: John Legend Set to Return to Stage for 2020 BBMAs Performance, Host Kelly Clarkson Will Open Show

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Billboard Music Awards were postponed from the originally scheduled April 29 date. At the time, the ceremony was set to take place in Las Vegas. Tonight's show is broadcasting from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles instead.

Last month, BBMA revealed the 2020 list of nominees. The most nominated artist of the night, Post Malone, is up for a total of 16 BBMAs. Just a few nods behind him, Lil Nas X is nominated for 13 awards. Khalid and Billie Eilish are also top contenders, both with 12 potential wins.

Lizzo follows with 11 nominations and Kanye West has racked nine, including four of the five top gospel song nods. Check out the complete list of nominees.

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards aired live on NBC Wednesday night beginning at 8 p.m. EST.