John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have taken an old holiday classic and revamped it for modern times. The stars changed the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after critics said the iconic tune promoted date rape.
Legend posted his duet with Clarkson on Vevo Thursday, and the song was also made available for streaming. It appears on the deluxe edition of his Christmas album “A Legendary Christmas.”
The crooner released the Christmas album in conjunction with a TV special, which aired on NBC last year. This holiday season, he’s adding more songs to the album, and he’ll also appear in a new special “Christmas Under the Stars” on BYU TV, which he announced on Twitter Thursday.
Legend and Clarkson’s re-recording of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” follows backlash toward the song, which came to a head last year. The 1944 tune was criticized as inappropriate, especially in the #MeToo era. Several radio stations vowed not to play the song last season, because many listeners thought the lyrics of promoted date rape.
Now, radio stations no longer have to worry about offending listeners with the song – they can just play the stars’ new version.
“What will my friends think…” Clarkson sings in the new version.
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend responds.
“…if I have one more drink?”
“It’s your body, and your choice.”
Legend first revealed to Vanity Fair he was giving the tune a modern spin. According to the report, he worked with “Insecure” actress Natasha Rothwell to change the lyrics and later recorded it with Clarkson, his fellow “Voice” judge.