Radha Rao

John Legend tips street performer singing ‘All of me’ after chance encounter

Radha Rao has been performing outside the Faneuil Hall reguarly since August

A street musician by the name of Radha Rao had a performance, unlike any other Sunday night. Rao was playing the piano and singing “All of me” by John Legend outside Faneuil Hall in Boston when she noticed he was in the small crowd listening. The Grammy Award-winning singer was visiting the hall with his family before his show at the Orpheum when he came across Rao singing. The performance left him impressed and he hugged and tipped the 22-year-old artist. Legend was wearing a mask and Rao had no idea he was in town ahead of the once-in-a-lifetime chance encounter. She shared photos and videos from the experience on Instagram and said it felt like, “a mix of divine timing and luck.”

Understandably, Rao admitted to being nervous when Legend removed his mask. She told the Boston Globe she didn’t want to lose confidence and finished the song which has been a regular part of her two-hour set. She said once she finished he expressed sentiments about her voice, the performance, and how grateful he was. “I really respect his art and his dedication, and, you know, the way he’s been able to move and impact others,” the 22-year-old said. “[I’ve] always loved ‘All of Me.’ Of course, it’s not that recent of the song anymore, but I feel like it’s a timeless classic at this point.”

The Boston University alum has been performing a mix of covers and original songs at Faneuil Hall on the weekends regularly since August. “A lot of people tend to ask, ‘Did you play it because he was there?‘ And the answer is no,” Rao said. “I was playing it, and then he happened to appear after I started the song, so it was quite a shocking experience.”

Rao got to see his wife Chrissy Teigen too, “I didn’t really recognize that it was him at first. It looked quite like him, but he had a mask on. And then he took his mask off and his kids were there, and [Christy Teigen, his wife] was there,” she told the Globe.

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