Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legend's Original Song, 'In America,' Released

 “In America, In America,
I poured my sweat in America
This land is my land, it’s America
I broke my back for America
All the money I make, all these chances I take
Just paying my rent, in America
Won’t just stand around and watch it go down”
[Lyrical excerpt from “In America,” written by John Legend and Dave Tozer]

Los Angeles, March 22, 2017 -  Academy Award®,  Golden Globe® winner and ten-time Grammy Award® winning visionary John Legend has released “In America,” a new, original song featured in WGN America’s hit TV series “Underground,” produced by Sony Pictures Television.  Written by John Legend and Dave Tozer, and produced by Tozer, “In America” was heard exclusively in the March 8 season two premiere of the critically acclaimed Underground Railroad drama for which Legend also serves as an executive producer.  The song will be available for sale and stream, beginning today. Underground airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on WGN America.

Legend said, “In America was born around the same time I was working on my most recent album Darkness and Light.  It’s a song I was writing while thinking about the duality of America, where it's known to be this place of freedom, equality and where anyone can make it.  The song points out the tension between the promise of America, the ideals of America, and sometimes us not living up to those ideals in practice.  In America was perfect song for ‘Underground,’ a series I’m incredibly proud to be a part of, and one that does a beautiful job of portraying a challenging time in our nation’s history while reminding us that change is possible.” 

In addition to serving as executive producer, alongside his producing partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius at Get Lifted Film Co., Legend will also make a guest-starring appearance as renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the episode airing Wednesday, April 5.  “Underground” follows an unremitting struggle for freedom within a divided America on the brink of civil war. Set in the aftermath of the Macon 7’s daring attempt to stage the greatest escape in history, this group of American heroes continues on their harrowing journey to freedom, with legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman blazing the trail.  

The celebrated “Underground” cast includes: Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“Friday Night Lights,” The Great Debaters), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta ComptonHidden Figures), Jessica de Gouw (“Arrow,” “Dracula”), Alano Miller (Loving, “Atlanta”), Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Amirah Vann (“Girls,” And So It Goes) and Marc Blucas (“Blue Bloods”). Additional guest stars this season include Aisha Hinds(“Under the Dome,” Star Trek Into Darkness) in the pioneering role of Harriet Tubman, along with Bokeem Woodbine (“Fargo”), Jasika Nicole (“Fringe,” “Scandal”), DeWanda Wise (“Shots Fired”), Michael Trotter (“Rosewood”), Jesse Luken (“Justified,” 42) and Sadie Stratton (“Code Black,” “Boy Meets World”).
The season two premiere of “Underground," trended worldwide and nationally on Twitter and was the #1 most social drama series across broadcast and cable on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The series was recently honored with a number of recognitions including four NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Amirah Vann) and Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series (Anthony Hemingway).  Additionally, the African American Film Critics Association named “Underground” as Best TV Show (Cable/New Media) and the second highest show overall for 2016, and honored Director Anthony Hemmingway with their 2017 Horizon Award.  Theseries also won several awards at the inaugural Cynopsis TV Awards including Best New Drama Series, Best Series Writing (Drama) and Best Showrunner.

“Underground” is created and written by Misha Green ("Sons of Anarchy," "Heroes") and Joe Pokaski ("Heroes," "Daredevil"), who serve as Executive Producers alongside Emmy Award® winning executive producer/director Anthony Hemingway (“The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," “The Wire”); Academy Award-winning writer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) of Weed Road Pictures; Tory Tunnell (King Arthur, Holy Rollers) and Joby Harold (King Arthur, Edge of Tomorrow) of Safehouse Pictures; John LegendMike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co (Southside with You, La La Land).; and Mark Taylor (“MadTV”).  Season two of the gripping original drama was shot in Savannah, Georgia.

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