The North Carolina A&T State University senior wowed Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas and Legend, who all turned around early on in his inspirational performance — but it was quite the rare move for the original singer.
“I grew up singing gospel music, and when we wrote that song, it was meant to evoke the hymns that we grew up listening to and the songs that carried a lot of our ancestors through a lot of tough times when they were marching for voting rights,” Legend told Solomon. “I have literally zero times turned for anyone singing my song. It’s just that I scrutinize it more heavily than I normally would, but I was like, ‘I don’t need to do that.’ I was like, ‘He’s doing some things I haven’t done that are better than what I would do with the song.’ … He was better than me! He was better than me.”
But the 22-year-old singer has had a lot of luck with Legend’s songs in the past: Solomon told him that his performance of Legend’s 2005 Grammy-winning song “Ordinary People” made him win his eighth grade talent show, which prompted the two to sing it together.
Clarkson, who believed she didn’t have a chance once Legend turned around, cut Shelton absolutely no slack for not knowing his fellow Voice coach co-wrote and performed the award-winning song. “I knew an angel wrote that song, is all I know,” the country singer responded in his defense.
“Glory,” the theme song for the 2014 historical drama Selma, won best original song at the 2015 Oscars and Golden Globes and won best song written for visual media at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Watch Solomon blow away Legend with his cover of “Glory” during the Blind Auditions below before picking the man himself as his coach. Part 2 of The Voice season premiere airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.