Although many have welcomed John Legend’s new take on the Christmas classic Baby, It’s Cold Outside, which attempted to update the lyrics to a less sexist time, others, like Sharon Osbourne, have been more critical.
Legend, who teamed up with his fellow The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson, 37, to remake the song, which dropped on November 7, replaced outdated lyrics with a more modern interpretation. Legend, 40, finally addressed the criticism on Sirius XM’s Dial-Up the Moment campaign this week.
“First of all, there’s no side to be on,” he told PEOPLE. “It’s just another version of the song. If you don’t want to listen to it, you don’t have to. No one’s saying you can’t listen to the old version. Those versions all exist. People make new versions of songs all the time and we thought it’d be fun to update the song and make it more current.”
The singer, who has earned EGOT status after winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, says he wanted to put his own twist on the song. “We wanted a comedic angle to it so I asked Natasha Rothwell from Insecure to be my co-writer on it,” he said. “She came up with so many funny ideas and we used so much of it and made a brand-new version, one that’s kind of updated for now. And we had a lot of fun making it.”
Although Legend had fun with the remake, critics like Osbourne felt the need to put their two cents in. The 67-year-old Talk co-host said, “What would John Legend do if, in 40 years, if somebody wanted to — you know, times change — re-record one of his songs, and there was some group that found it offensive, and somebody just went, ‘Oh, I can change the lyrics on that.’”
“It’s, to me, like a master painting,” she continued. “You go and see these beautiful nudes in museums all over the world, they’re spectacular. Would it be right for me to go and draw a bikini top on one of those nudes? It’s still an art form, it’s a piece of art.”
On Tuesday, Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen stood by her man during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Talking about the song, Clarkson said that she and Legend wanted to change the lyrics after some radio stations refused to play the original, which many claim advocates date rape.
Teigen, 33, not one to back down, made fun of Osbourne’s comments. “Well then Sharon assumed you guys like burned them all in the backyard or something and that they can never listen to the original ever again,” she said. “If I can’t have my creepy song, it’s not Christmas. I want date-rapey songs.”
Legend, however, remains unfazed and even expected the backlash. “We figured it’d be fun, we figured it’d be funny, and we figured it’d be newsworthy. And I think we achieved all three,” he said.
Clarkson has also weighed in saying that lines like "say, what's in this drink?" are offensive in the #MeToo era. In the new version, the song says, "What will my friends think (I think they should rejoice) / If I had one more drink (It's your body and your choice)."
"Did you not hear that John and I ruined Christmas recently?" Clarkson told Teigen. The newly minted talk-show host was taken aback by Osbourne's outrage since she had just appeared on her show about a month ago and had been friendly to her.
"I love Sharon. She actually said and she means it, she loves (Teigen and Legend). That's why I thought it was so weird. Like, she took it so personally... I'm trying to understand it. There are so many issues in the world right now," she added.
Exactly, Christmas hasn’t been canceled regardless of what Osbourne may think. And if she and Ozzy wanted to listen to the original by the fire this holiday in their jammies, they’re more than welcome to do so. Happy Holidays!