John Legend performs a stripped-down, solo piano version of Stevie Wonder’s 1970 Motown hit “Signed, Sealed Delivered I’m Yours” in an artful live clip produced in connection with L.A. charity The Art of Elysium’s fundraising gala HEAVEN.
The video, directed by Mike Rosenthal, opens in complete silence, as Legend walks up into a freight elevator, sits behind a grand piano and makes his slow ascension to an unknown destination. The singer adds a bluesy edge to the chords and joyfully shifts from gravelly low notes to a slick falsetto. At various points, he even throws in some jerky, Wonder-esque dance moves. After finishing the track, he steps off the elevator as the frame dissolves into white light.
The Art of Elysium will honor Legend as the 2018 Visionary for HEAVEN at the organization’s annual fundraiser, set for January 6th, 2018. “Heaven is love, light and laughter,” Legend said in a statement. “I want to create an experience that celebrates love and justice, truth and light and the joy that connects us all.”
Legend covered “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” after attending the 2017 event, which honored Wonder.
Past Spirit of Elysium award recipients include Camilla Belle, Elijah Wood, James Franco, Kirsten Dunst and Eva Mendes, among others. In April, Rufus Wainwright reinterpreted the song as an elegant piano ballad for the HEAVEN event.