A big-name singer was in D.C. Tuesday to promote the 40th anniversary of a legendary concert.

John Legend left students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts almost speechless when he joined them for a jam session as they rehearsed for Music of Motown — their performance on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center Tuesday night.

Legend joined with the Kennedy Center to a start a program honoring the late Marvin Gaye, whose 1971 album “What’s Going On?” was Motown’s first to tackle social issues like war, poverty and addiction.

“We have young people here today, and young people across the country that this music still means something to,” Legend said.

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