NEW YORK — For any singer, performing the national anthem at a World Series game is a pretty big deal. Getting to share a stage with one of your idols is also a rare and spectacular occasion. So how did [artist id="1784962"]John Legend[/artist] feel about singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" to open Game 2 of the Yankees/ Phillies series before heading downtown to play two songs with Stevie Wonder at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert Thursday night?
"I feel like the luckiest kid in the world," Legend said. "I was able to do both the Yankees game and then come here with all these amazing artists."
Wonder brought Legend onto the stage about halfway through his set at the Madison Square Garden show. They tackled two covers together, Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." During the latter, Wonder emotionally freestyled, "Long live Michael Jackson," during an extended jam.
"Stevie's emotion for Michael is very heartfelt," Legend said. "You can see it and you can feel it, and I was honored to pay tribute to Michael's legacy."
Despite the fact that he was surrounded by legends at the Hall of Fame show, Legend said the earlier performance was far more nerve-racking. "It was harder at Yankee Stadium," he said. "The national anthem is a fundamentally harder song to sing than 'Mercy Mercy Me,' and it's also harder when you're just naked out there by yourself, and it's just you and millions of people around the world watching."