NEW YORK (AP) - Can Jesus be black? John Legend can't see why not.

He will portray Jesus in NBC's live staging of "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Easter Sunday, April 1.

Legend says he grew up in the church and can understand that people have set ways of thinking about the Bible, but it's OK to think of it in new ways.

I'm thrilled to join the cast of this production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,’” Legend said. “It's such a powerful, meaningful musical and I'm humbled to be part of this performance. We've already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I'm certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”  

A highly accomplished musician, concert performer, songwriter, actor, and music and film producer, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. In 2015, he, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala.

Sara Bareilles who plays Mary Magdalene, says she recalls Legend saying that a lot of depictions make Jesus look like he's from Oslo.

Bareilles says thinking of a person as "a soul instead of a skin" will be the first step in changing the world