John Legend updates Baby, It's Cold Outside after radio stations boycotted song in 2018

Singer John Legend teamed up with singer Kelly Clarkson to record an updated version of the Christmas song Baby, It's Cold Outside.
Singer John Legend teamed up with singer Kelly Clarkson to record an updated version of the Christmas song Baby, It's Cold Outside.PHOTO: AFP, REUTERS

In 2018, some radio stations in the United States and Canada gave the Christmas song Baby, It's Cold Outside the cold shoulder.

Their programmers said the 1944 classic by composer Frank Loesser was inappropriate in a #MeToo era which has seen the downfall of powerful men in entertainment and other fields after they were accused of sexual harassment.

The song, which features a back-and-forth conversation between a man and a woman, prompted a debate about consent, with one line - "Say what's in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)" - seen as manipulative.

But the song could get a new leash on life this Christmas, after singer John Legend teamed up with singer Kelly Clarkson to record an updated version.

It has these lyrics.

Clarkson: "What will my friends think..."

Legend: "I think they should rejoice"

Clarkson: "...if I have one more drink?"

 

Legend: "It's your body, and your choice."

Last year, a Cleveland radio station first made headlines after it nixed the 1944 song when listeners complained about the lyrics.

Glenn Anderson, a host for the station, said in a blog post then: "The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place."

Vanity Fair, which had a sneak listen to the Legend reboot, said it is "every bit as fun and swinging as the original, and its new-found sensitivity feels genuine, not performative".