Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend thinks President Obama has what it takes to share the stage with him.
The soulful crooner referenced Obama’s recent bursts of song — including bits of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and B.B. King’s “Sweet Home Chicago” — and said he’s impressed by the president’s pipes.
At a fundraiser in Florida earlier this month, Obama joked that the “outstanding John Legend” wanted to sing a duet, but the president declined.
“I told him that he’s been sounding very good,” Legend said. “He’s supremely talented.”
The 33-year-old artist was in Washington on Wednesday to honor students from around the country at Samsung’s “Solve for Tomorrow” awards lunch.
Legend congratulated five schools that each won $100,000 of technology from Samsung, Microsoft, Adobe and DirecTV for their projects that used science, technology, engineering and math to address environmental community problems.
The finalists had spent the first part of the day meeting with their home-state members of the upper chamber, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Though Legend is no stranger to Washington, he said he doesn’t have any political aspirations of his own.
“As a politician, you have to deal with someone wanting you to fail every day,” he explained. “I think I prefer being in a situation where generally people are rooting for me, and if they aren’t rooting for me, they aren’t out there to see my downfall. I respect the people who have the stomach for it.”
An ardent supporter of Obama, Legend has performed at political events, including the recent state dinner for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and made a video for Obama’s 2008 campaign called “Yes We Can.”
He said he plans to support Obama’s reelection campaign and predicts a win — but an election that will be a close call — noting that “the country’s pretty much evenly divided between the Democrats and Republicans, and there’s a small sliver in the middle they’re going to be fighting over.”