John Legend Says He Appeared on R. Kelly Docuseries Because He Wanted to Lend His Voice 'to These People Who Have Been Hurt'

John Legend revealed why he decided to participate in Lifetime's unsettling docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, which purported to expose the R&B singer's alleged abuse and sexual assault of women and young girls. Legend was one of the only major artists to appear in the docuseries, which aired in six parts for three nights on Lifetime in early January.

Legend appeared on Watch What Happens Live! with his wife Chrissy Teigen on Thursday when a caller asked why he agreed to appear on the docuseries and what he thought about the many celebrities who turned it down. Surviving R. Kelly executive-producer and director Dream Hampton previously revealed she reached out to several elite musicians who have collaborated with Kelly in the past, including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Celine Dion, Erykah Badu and others, all of whom rejected Hampton's requests.

Legend said he agreed to be on the docuseries as an effort to help highlight the voices of rape and sexual assault victims.

"I don't wanna cast any aspersions on people because everybody has their own reasons for not doing something. I get asked to be on documentaries all the time. It's not because I don't agree with the premise of the documentary that I don't do it—but there's all kinds of reasons you don't do it. So I don't wanna cast any aspersions on people who didn't do it, but I'll just tell people the reason why I did it," Legend began.

"One, I'm friends with the director. Her name is Dream Hampton. She's awesome. We've worked together on ending mass incarceration. I respect her work a lot. She asked me to do it, so I said yes," he continued. "Another reason I wanted to do it was because I have good friends that were part of the #MuteRKelly movement. They were literally marching on the streets and they work with rape victims in Chicago. And they try to help them recover, try to help them have a voice, and they work with a lot of black girls in Chicago who are often overlooked. And so, I knew that as a celebrity that I could lend my voice to something that could highlight these young people who have been hurt and give them a voice and make sure they're heard, and so I said, 'I'm gonna do it.'"

The award-winning singer and songwriter initially tweeted in response to viewers' reactions to his appearance on the disturbing docuseries, which included interviews of Kelly's inner circle admitting to witnessing his sexual misconduct as well as dozens of women who claimed to have been abused physically, mentally and sexually by Kelly.

"To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a f**k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision," Legend wrote.

Teigen shared in Legend's sentiments of Kelly. Following the show's premiere, Teigen wrote on Twitter she was "proud of John but so in awe of the strength and courage of the women involved, who survived and told their stories."

"I wish I could be so eloquent as John—but f**k R. Kelly," she wrote.