John Legend opens up exclusively to PEOPLE about his new cameo on Google Assistant, The Voice and his life at home with Chrissy Teigen and their two kids
Step aside Siri and Alexa, John Legend is making his mark in the virtual assistant world.
Starting Wednesday, the singer, 40, is lending his silky smooth voice to the Google Assistant so that users can hear him answering questions, briefing them on the weather, telling jokes and even offering a serenade through their Google Home speaker, Pixel phone, Android, iOS device or any Google Assistant-powered speaker in the U.S.
Though switching the voice on the program is simple — just say “Hey Google, talk like a Legend” — whether Legend will use it himself while at home with wife Chrissy Teigen, 33, and their kids Luna, 3 this month, and Miles, 10 months, is still up for debate.
“It might be a little weird to use it in my own voice!” Legend exclusively tells PEOPLE. “We already use the Google Assistant all the time, and we’ll probably stick with the static voice. Using mine might be a little freaky at home.”
Legend says he and Teigen use their Google Assistant a lot in the kitchen to look up recipe ideas, set timers while their food is cooking and play music, so it felt like an organic partnership for him to be a part of. To make the cameo what it is now, Legend had to go through an extensive recording process.
“We went to the studio, I think, 10 days in a row where I was saying all types of phrases and sentences and words with different inflections and all kinds of things,” he says. “Google has some kind of amazing algorithm, but it takes a lot of recording to do that. I thought it’d be cool to be one of the voices so here we are.”
When Legend is not lending his voice to Google, he’s keeping busy recording new music, spending time with his family and proving himself as a force to be reckoned with as the newest coach on The Voice.
“I’m having so much fun,” he says of working on the NBC series. “We tape the early shows months in advance so it’s exciting to see how they put it all together when it airs for the public.”
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Legend says Teigen has been loving visiting the set, but the kids don’t quite understand what’s going on yet when they come along.
“They’ve come to show, but they have no idea what’s happening yet,” he says. “Luna, I think she’s old enough to understand now and she wants to watch it — but we usually watch it at night when she’s already in bed.”
After his Voice stint, Legend plans on going on tour to play shows across Europe. Though the next few months are set to be busy, he’s planning on setting aside some vacation time to spend with family while they’re abroad.
“I’m very fortunate to have my work bring me to very cool places sometimes,” he says. “So we’ll probably schedule a vacation around one of those trips.”
In the meantime, Legend is gearing up to host Luna’s third birthday party on April 14. While he isn’t spilling the details of the party yet, Legend says that Luna has been “really into” the movie Coco as of late.
Though Miles will celebrate his first birthday just a month later, Legend says he and Teigen are taking the party planning one step at a time.
“He’ll never remember this first birthday, but we’ll take pictures of it for him to remember later,” he says with a laugh.
This is a stark contrast from Legend and Teigen’s friends Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, who hosted an elaborate first birthday bash for their daughter Chicago in January. While Luna and Miles got to hang out with the kids at the party, Legend says playdates with them don’t happen all that often.
“We don’t live super close to them, like 45 minutes from here to there, so it’s not an easy playdate,” he explains. “But yeah, there’s a lot of kids around the same age so it’s cool when they can all get together.”
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Legend and Teigen are known for being hilariously candid about marriage and parenthood on social media, but being so open can sometimes come with a downside. The couple been critiqued by parent shamers on everything from holding Luna incorrectly to Miles needing to wear a helmet after developing plagiocephaly.
“Obviously Chrissy gets it more than I do because people tend to shame the mother more than they shame the father,” he says. “Most people know better than to do that, but there are occasionally a few people who somehow haven’t gotten the message that it’s not cool. Most of the time, the people that are writing us are very supportive and loving. A lot of parents can relate to the things we go through.”
He adds: “We used to get it a lot more like when Chrissy first had the baby and obviously there’s some sexism involved in that because she would get criticized and I wouldn’t.”
Over time, Legend says they’ve gotten used to how best to deal with it and move forward.
“We’ve been well-known people for a long time and we’ve been well-known parents for three years now, so I think we understand how it all works and what works as far as what we should post and what we shouldn’t post.” he says. “We are able to navigate it even better now.”