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NBC Insider Christmas at Graceland

John Legend Reveals Even More of His Impressive Range Covering "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

The Voice Coach sang an emotional version of the song during NBC's Christmas at Graceland special. 

By Jackie Manno
John Legend Performs “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” LIVE | Christmas at Graceland | NBC

During the Christmas at Graceland special on NBC on November 29, John Legend performed a passionate cover of the meaningful song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon. 

The Voice Coach played the piano and crooned with a rich tone during his version. The backup choir and violins added depth to the performance as Legend's voice soared. 

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What to know about "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon

Released in 1971 and recorded with Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band, and the Harlem Community Choir, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over) was written as a peace activist tune during the Vietnam War. 

In 2020, The Los Angeles Times listed it as the 49th best Christmas song, describing it as "an antiwar message whisked together with Christmas utopianism, buoyed by a cresting melody and booming production."

"Happy Xmas (Was Is Over)" has since been covered by Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Maroon 5, Wilco, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, and more. 

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John Legend Performs “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” LIVE | Christmas at Graceland | NBC