John Legend to Play Titular Character in 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen
John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen ( NTB Scanpix/Lise Aserud via REUTERS)

Grammy-winning artist John Legend will play Jesus Himself in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on Easter Sunday.

"I'm thrilled to join the cast of this production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. It's such a powerful, meaningful musical and I'm humbled to be part of this performance. We've already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I'm certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice," Legend says.

NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says, "(Legend's) casting is also groundbreaking, as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way."

Passionate believer Alice Cooper will play King Herod, but few other casting announcements have been made.

Though Legend was raised in the church, he is not a practicing believer now.

"I never lost the sense of moral compass, I never lost the sense that the world is bigger than just me and that there's more to life than just me as an individual, that there's a lot more. I try to live that way now. ... But what I've tried to do is shed some of the less desirable sides of the religious upbringing as well. Which, I saw a lot of hypocrisy. I feel like religion in a lot of ways was intended to control and subdue people rather than to bring out the best in them," Legend said in 2008.

His wife, Chrissy Teigen, isn't a Christian, either. When asked directly about Jesus' role in her life earlier this year, the model responded, "Jesus isn't shaping my anything."

The couple are parents to Luna and expecting their second child next year.

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