John Legend has updated the well-known Christmas hit to reflect a heightened awareness of sexual violence and coercion against women.
US singers John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have recorded an updated version of the Christmas hit Baby, It's Cold Outside which ran into controversy with the #MeToo movement.
Penned by Frank Loesser in 1944, the song is a duet where a man tries to convince a woman to spend the night at his place – ostensibly because of the weather – and she gives a series of hesitant excuses why she must leave.
The song has long been controversial but has grown particularly offensive in wake of the #MeToo movement. The hit – made famous by Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Lady Gaga and Tom Jones to name a few – received special criticism for the line “Say, what’s in this drink?”, which has since been interpreted as a date-rape attempt.
In 2018, numerous US radio stations took the song off the air.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Legend said he and writer Natasha Rothwell had penned some new lyrics for the song and he had recorded it with Clarkson.
He said the new version included the lines: "What will my friends think? (I think they should rejoice) / If I have one more drink? (It's your body and your choice)."
The new version will feature on Legend's seasonal album A Legendary Christmas, to be released on 8 November.