John Legend has opened up about the real-life couples appearing in his new music video “Love Me Now,” sharing their stories of hope, perseverance, and unity via his Instagram account Tuesday.
Released earlier this month, Legend’s video features not only his own family — wife Chrissy Teigen, daughter Luna — but also lovers from around the world.
Among them are Miles, a retired schoolteacher from the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Tribe, and LaDonna, a historian for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “LaDonna and Miles met in college,” Legend writes, “and for 30 years they have been praying for unity and solidarity, and working to help leave the world a better place.”
Also featured in the video are Abdulrahman and Zeren, who fled the war in Syria and are “striving to build a life together” at the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq.
Norman Casiano, featured with his beau Ryan Cunnington, is a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando who “has begun his healing process and continues to do better thanks to his friends and family.”
And there are Nata and Julissa, “who grew up together on the backstreets of Cabarete Town, Dominican Republic in an impoverished neighborhood of Dominicans and Haitians known as ‘La Cienega,'” Legend writes. “Life in ‘La Cienega’ has many challenges: the infrastructure is fragile and the opportunities are sparse. But they have each other and they have the ocean.”
Read the full stories of the “Love Me Now” couples below, and watch the video above.
Miles is a proud family man from the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Tribe. A retired elementary school teacher with a passion for mentoring youth, Miles has dedicated his life to raising his 9 children and helping to raise his grandchildren alongside his wife of more than 30 years, LaDonna. LaDonna is from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a historian for the tribe whose family has lived on the lands since 1873. She is the founder of the Sacred Stone Camp, where the Dakota Access Pipeline protests began to resist the takeover of the tribe’s sacred water lands by the U.S. Government. LaDonna and Miles met in college, and for 30 years they have been praying for unity and solidarity, and working to help leave the world a better place. #LoveMeNow #LoveMeNowStories
Abdulrahman is from Qamishli, Syria and his bride Zeren is from Hasaka, Syria. Abdulrahman worked as a ceramic maker and Zeren worked in a salon in Hasaka. Both were forced to flee the war in Syria with their families and ended up at Domiz Refugee Camp in the area known as Kurdistan in northern Iraq, where Abdulrahman is still able to work as a ceramic maker in the camp. Abdulrahman and Zeren met at a house party a year ago and fell in love quickly. Though their relationship was initially a secret, they were married a year later and are striving to build a life together at Domiz. #LoveMeNow #LoveMeNowStories
Nata and Julissa grew up together on the backstreets of Cabarete Town, Dominican Republic in an impoverished neighborhood of Dominicans and Haitians known as "La Cienega." Life in "La Cienega" has many challenges: the infrastructure is fragile and the opportunities are sparse. But they have each other and they have the ocean. Just a few kilometers from the place they call home, is Encuentro Beach, a famous surf town, where Julissa and Nata surf together. #LoveMeNow #LoveMeNowStories
Norman Casiano, 26, and Ryan Cunnington, 20, both currently reside in the city of Orlando. Norman was born in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to Orlando in 1996 where he has resided ever since. He attended college at Le Cordon Bleu and received his associated degree but soon decided that the kitchen wasn't for him. Instead, he would pursue his passions in fashion and makeup. Norman frequented Pulse nightclub and felt safe there until June 12th, when a gunman rained fire on them and some close friends. Norman was shot twice and although his life changed dramatically on that night, he has begun his healing process and continues to do better thanks to his friends and family. Ryan was born in Fort Myers, Florida and went to FGCU, but recently moved to Orlando to transfer to UCF. He is currently studying exercise science for occupational therapy and works as a part time server. #LoveMeNow #LoveMeNowStories