John Legend and Kelly Clarkson Give ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ a Modern Twist [Listen]
John Legend has called on Kelly Clarkson to help update a classic, "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
The two superstar acts stepped off The Voice stage and into the recording studio to create a modern version of the song. Legend teamed up with Natasha Rothwell (former writer on Saturday Night Live and current star on Issa Rae's HBO show Insecure) to pen new lyrics that are more appropriate for 2019.
The new concept finds the man encouraging the woman to leave his apartment when she feels ready, as opposed to trying to make her stay. The lyrics of the male verses have been heavily changed, with such lines as "it's your body and your choice," "text me when you get home" and "I want you to stay, it's not up to me," in addition to introducing a new character named Murray, the driver who's called to take Clarkson's character home.
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Clarkson's portion hasn't changed much lyrically, but a few alterations have been made, including the line "I'm supposed to say no" and replacing "maiden aunt" with "gossipy neighbors" in lyrics originally written as "my maiden aunt's mind is vicious."
While the song has been reworked, the jazz arrangement honors that of the original, and Legend and Clarkson's voices sound classic.
The original version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and made famous by Dean Martin's recording, released in 1959. The song has come under analyzation in recent years, with some radio stations pulling the song in the wake of the #MeToo movement. While critics have targeted the song for lyrics that imply sexual harassment, others see it as a feminist anthem where a woman is trying to break free of the societal stereotypes placed on her.
Legend and Clarkson's duet of the song is featured on the deluxe edition of his holiday album, A Legendary Christmas, released on Friday (Nov. 8).
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