A street performer sang “All of Me” at Faneuil Hall. That’s when John Legend arrived.



“I just appreciate that he listens to local talent.”

Before local singer Radha arrived at her usual Sunday set at Faneuil Hall, she knew something would be different during the day.

“I remember thinking that every experience at Faneuil Hall brings something so colorful and spontaneous,” said Radha, a 22-year-old musician from Allston. “I’m excited to see the characters I meet today, and I would love to see how it goes and how it goes.”

Shortly after arriving, Radha – who only uses her first name as her stage name – was singing the popular John Legend song “All of Me”, a song she called “fan favorite” at Faneuil Hall. . As people passed – some stopped to listen, others danced and sometimes a few sang – she noticed one man in particular standing away from the crowd and watching her play with his. family.

“I see someone who looks like John Legend, in a trench coat and a mask, with kids by his side,” she said. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty funny; he looks like John Legend.

It was when the man took off his mask while watching the performance that Radha performed: The man was the original artist of the song she was singing.

“It was quite a coincidence,” she said. “People were wondering if it was like staging or something, and it was like there was no strategy at all.”

The legend was walking Faneuil Hall with his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and their two children on Sunday before his concert at the Orpheum Theater that evening. But Radha had no idea he was in town.

“There was a part of the experience where I asked him – while I was singing – ‘Why are you in Boston?’ “, did she say. “It was just one of the first thoughts that came to my mind. Like why?

Radha said she was shocked. But despite the pressure, she said she was trying to live in the moment and enjoy the whole experience.

“Obviously I was shocked inside, but I wanted to keep singing and sharing this moment with him and his family and just thanking him through the music for being such an inspiration to me,” she said. . “The artist in me is programmed to continue, no matter what.”

Some folks at Faneuil Hall captured the interaction in a video, which quickly went viral on Instagram and Twitter.

A recent graduate from Boston University, Radha studied finance and works in the commercial sector of a music technology company. But on weekends and at night, she said she gave concerts around Boston at hotels, luxury properties and for the past two months at Faneuil Hall.

“The live performances in particular have been the most gratifying and rewarding for me every day,” she said. “So every night I take the opportunity to do concerts, get exposure and share art and interactions with people. “

Radha, who is of Indian descent, said she mainly plays R&B and likes to incorporate a bit of “Indian rocket” into her work. She also sings Indian classical music.

She comes from a musical family: Radha said her mother is a singer and her family has always encouraged her to “be creative”.

Before Sunday, Radha’s voice caught the attention of other celebrities, such as Willow Smith and Jason Derulo. But these interactions have all been online; it was his first live interaction with a celebrity.

“It was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience,” she said. “Especially at Faneuil Hall, I didn’t meet any artist as famous as John Legend, so it was really unique.”

At the end of Radha’s performance of “All of Me”, Legend came over, tipped her, and had a brief chat.

“He was really nice – gave me a tip, which I didn’t expect – and then gave me a hug,” she said. “Our conversation was short and sweet. Basically he said, ‘You have a very nice voice and thank you for singing my song. It means a lot. ‘”

Radha said that she also told Legend that he was a great inspiration to her and thanked him for listening.

“I just appreciate that he listens to local talent,” she said. “It was truly a wonderful and rewarding feeling.”

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