NEW YORK — John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, his fellow coach on “The Voice,” have joined forces on a reimagined version of the oft-criticized Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
The song, written by Frank Loesser in 1944, is a duet that has a man trying to convince a woman to stay overnight at his home on a cold winter’s night. It’s been a flashpoint of the #MeToo era, with foes calling it everything from sexist to an ode to date rape.
Legend and comedian Natasha Rothwell of HBO’s “Insecure” wrote the new take, which includes Clarkson leading the lyrics:
“What will my friends think (I think they should rejoice)
If I have one more drink? (It’s your body, and your choice.)”
Gone are such lines as, “Gosh, your lips look delicious,” sung by the man, and “Say, what’s in this drink?” by the woman.
The Grammy-winning Legend includes the song on a new expanded version of his first Christmas album, “A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition,” out Nov. 8.
The original song won an Academy Award in 1949 after Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban performed it in the film “Neptune’s Daughter.” Among the famous who have reprised it are Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, and Fantasia and CeeLo Green.