John Legend has been awarded the prestigious United Nations High Note Global Prize for social justice.
The honour was announced on Thursday on United Nations Human Rights Day.

The award recognises recording artists who use their music and fame to promote social justice.

"I believe in the power of music to inspire us, to connect our hearts, to give voice to feelings for which words alone won't suffice, to wake us up out of complacency, to galvanise and fuel social movements," the All of Me singer said in his virtual acceptance speech.

"Artists have a rich tradition of activism," he continued, sharing: "We have a unique opportunity to reach people where they are, beyond political divisions, borders, and silos. And it's been my privilege to use my voice and my platform to advance the cause of equity and justice."

Musing that "as a citizen of the United States, and of the world," Legend reflected: "I know that for far too long our most essential systems have served to perpetuate inequity and injustice. In order for us to create a just world those systems need to change."

He concluded: "With this award we celebrate a multitude of advocates, generations of movement leaders who have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress. I don't stand here absorbing these accolades for myself. I stand here grateful for their ideas and their energy and honoured that I can amplify their voices by using my platform."