Radha Rao normally plays John Legend's hit song "All of Me" when she performs in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, but it was quite the shock when the singer himself popped up as she was singing the ballad during her set on Sunday.
"I was just doing my normal gig playing a two-hour set, and obviously one of the most popular songs that I tend to sing is 'All of Me,'" said Rao, who goes by the stage name Radha. "It felt like divine timing, because when I chose to sing the song, I saw a man that looked like John Legend appear with a mask on."
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Sure enough, it was Legend, 42, who was in Boston for a concert. Joined by wife Chrissy Teigen and their children Luna, 5, and Miles, 3, the 12-time Grammy winner listened as Radha performed his song.
"It's completely insane," said Rao. "There was no thought, no planning. People were asking me, 'Was this staged?' I was like, 'No, I was just singing my set casually, and he appeared at the front of the crowd.' I thought, 'Wow, that looks just like him.'"
"He dropped the mask, and he was listening, and I was shocked," she continued. "But I kept going because I wanted to continue to share my art and sing and connect with someone I respect and look up to so much."
Dressed in a black and tan trench coat, Legend approached Rao, tipped her and gave her a hug, as his daughter Luna waved a pink-and-blue balloon animal and his son Miles enjoyed an ice cream.
"He said, 'Thank you so much for singing my song,' and just kind of gave me good words, which is very kind of him," said Rao.
The family of four was joined by an assistant and a bodyguard for the outing. At the end of the song, Teigen, 35, who wore a colorful coat, also waved at Rao.
"I just thought it was a great family moment, watching him interact with his kids," said Rao. "They were very happy, and he was holding them, holding their hands and being an affectionate dad. It was beautiful to see that. [Teigen] seems super chill. I think she was trying to keep a lower profile. She was very sweet as well."
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Legend and Teigen also squeezed in a bit of shopping during the afternoon. The group headed into the popular shop Newbury Comics, where browsed before purchasing two Jurassic Park Funko Pop dolls.