- John Legend says his friendship with Kanye West fractured after West started backing Trump.
- Legend said they publicly disagreed on West’s MAGA support and West’s running for office.
- Legend said it “became too much for us to sustain our friendship.”
John Legend said on Thursday that his friendship with Kanye West has been fractured ever since the latter started supporting former President Donald Trump.
Legend told podcast host David Axelrod on the August 4 episode of “The Ax Files” that his longtime friendship with the rapper had fallen apart.
West — who formally changed his name to Ye last year — made headlines back in 2018 when he started backing Trump, saying that putting on the MAGA hat made him feel like Superman. West also said at the time that he supports Trump because they both have “dragon energy.”
West met with Trump at the White House, where he was photographed hugging Trump. The rapper continued to voice his support for Trump in 2020.
Separately, West said in July 2020 that he was running for president, but missed the deadline to register to be a candidate on the ballot in at least four states.
On the podcast, Legend said he and West “publicly disagreed on his running for office, his supporting Trump, I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly.”
Legend also said West was annoyed with him for not supporting his presidential run, to which Axelrod said he was not “alone.”
“I wasn’t alone in that, but, you know, he wasn’t happy about that. And we really haven’t been close since then,” Legend replied.
Legend, however, said that he thought West was “very real,” citing the latter’s openness with “who he is and his struggles with mental health.
“So I think there’s not a lot about him that people don’t get,” Legend said of West. “Like, he’s been pretty upfront with his opinions, his struggles, all the things that he’s dealing with. And I think what you see with him is pretty much what you get.”
Legend and West openly feuded in April 2018 over West’s tweets about his political views. Legend texted West asking to have a conversation about race and politics, but West — on multiple occasions — took screengrabs of those texts and shared them on social media.
In response, Legend posted a thread on Twitter about race and US politics that concluded with: “I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth.”
Chrissy Teigen, Legend’s wife, said in September 2018 that her husband and West had squashed their beef, but that Legend “still stands by everything he said.”
Representatives for West and Legend did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.