John Legend Accepts $300K to Perform Two Songs at Beverly Hills Hotel Despite Boycott

John Legend - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

John Legend - H 2015

The singer backed out of a party there in February after owner the Sultan of Brunei passed Sharia law in his country, but Legend seems to have had a change of heart, performing at a wedding reception at the venue in May.

A version of this story first appeared in the June 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

In February, John Legend backed out of a party that Los Angeles Confidential was hosting to celebrate his magazine cover because of the location: the Beverly Hills Hotel. Since then, Legend seems to have had a change of heart over his stance on the hotel's boycott, which started in early 2014 when the owner, the Sultan of Brunei, passed Sharia law in his country, calling for the stoning of gays and adulterers.

On May 30, Legend performed in the hotel ballroom for the wedding reception of Daniel Landy and Alexandra Lippman, daughter of L.A. commercial realtor Jim Lippman. Instagrams from the affair, which featured a cake from New York and a 12-foot hydrangea wall, confirm that Legend sang his hit "All of Me"; according to a source, Legend sang two songs in total and received about $300,000. His reps didn't return a request for comment and a hotel rep says, "We never comment on private events."

When L.A. Confidential announced plans for the Feb. 5 bash, it was to be the first major entertainment industry party to be held at the hotel amid the widespread boycott. When Legend backed out, his rep told THR that her client didn’t agree with the Sultan’s “horrific” laws.

“These policies, which among other things could permit women and LGBT Bruneians to be stoned to death, are heinous and certainly don't represent John's values or the spirit of the event. John does not, in any way, wish to further enrich the Sultan while he continues to enforce these brutal laws,” the rep said.

While the party was organized to celebrate the singer’s cover, it was also to toast his awards season run, which concluded with Legend winning the best original song Oscar alongside Common for “Glory” from Ava DuVernay’s civil rights drama Selma.