Songland Premier John Legend Drops We Need Love – Behind the Songs!

SONGLAND -- Episode X -- Pictured: (l-r) Max Embers, Tebby Burrows, Ollie Gabriel -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

On the new NBC competition reality show, Songland, each week will produce a winner. And on the premiere, the featured artist of the week, John Legend chose “We Need Love” by Tebby Burrows. But only after panelist Shane McAnally and the team of producers worked a little magic on it.

Songland 2019 Premiere Recap – Live Blog VIDEO

John’s recording of the song was released on iTunes by the end of the broadcast. It charted on iTunes as high as No. 8, and has spent most of Wednesday at No. 10. 

While viewers saw Tebby working mostly with Shane, the song had NINE songwriters attached to it, including John (Stephens) Legend: “We Need Love” is credited to: Tebby Burrows, John Stephens, Shane McAnally, Andrew DeRoberts, Imran Avaz, Thomas Kessler, Juan Jose Botero, Marcello Valenzano & Andre Lyon. There is obviously MUCH more going on behind the scenes than we see on television. 

The two competitors whose songs John did not chose released solo songs to iTunes. Max Embers worked with Ryan Tedder while Ollie Gabriel worked with Ester Dean

Ollie’s song “Something New” is credited to Ollie Gabriel, Ester Dean, John Legend, Marty West, Rodney Jones, Ryan Tedder & Shane McAnally. The full panel, including Legend got credit on this one (and John is credited with his stage name here. Hm.)  

Max’s song “Lookin’ Up”, originally titled “Back Home” before a name makeover is credited to Max Embers, Andrew DeRoberts, Elliott Marchent, Emily Shearman, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder & Shane McAnally. John got no credit on this one. 

I wonder why the entire panel didn’t get credit on the winning song. They all worked on it during the initial session. What criteria must an artist meet to receive credit on the song? Hm.

The episode was crafted so it appeared that Ollie’s soulful R&B throwback, “Something New” would be John’s pick. But Shane and the team so thoroughly transformed Tebby’s “We Need Love”– from an island flavored jam to a tender acoustic ballad–that John went for it. He made the right choice. First and foremost, it was good TV! The transformation of “We Need Love” illustrated the power that songwriters and producers bring to the table. It’s the point of the show! Also, once the team tweaked the song, it really became the best choice. 

Let’s take a few polls

Did the right song win?

Favorite Song

Favorite Panelist

Will you watch Songland again?

We’ll be watching Songland again right here next Tuesday (June 4) when is the guest artist. 

About mj santilli 35011 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!