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“I’d like to thank everyone for helping bring my father Dean Martin’s original version of ‘Baby’s It’s Cold Outside’ back to the top of the Billboard charts in 2018,” the 71-year-old told Fox News exclusively. “Dean’s song is included in his hugely successful 1959 album ‘Winter Romance,’ and I’m very proud that it has become an evergreen favorite that is played every holiday season.
“I personally love performing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will continue to do so,” the fellow singer continued. “This song is a cute, flirtatious and romantic song written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and it won the Oscar for best original song in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter.’ It has been recorded by dozens of the world’s top recording artists for over 60 years. Happy Holidays to all!”
Vanity Fair previously reported Clarkson and Legend are collaborating on the beloved Christmas tune with a twist.
Clarkson, 37, and Legend, 40, recorded their version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with lyrics reflecting the #MeToo era.
In the tune, which has been covered by many artists since its debut, a female sings: “I really can’t stay,” to which a man responds: “But baby, it’s cold outside.” In another part of a song, a woman is heard singing lines like “Say what’s in this drink?” “The answer is no” and “I’ve gotta get home.”
The #MeToo era put a spotlight on criticism that has simmered for years that the original song’s lyrics–in which the woman says nearly a dozen times that she has to leave and the man keeps pressing her to stay–suggest date rape and perhaps a drink spiked with a drug.
For his version, Legend updated the lyrics with Nathasha Rothwell, who writes and stars in HBO’s “Insecure.”
“What will my friends think …” Clarkson sings in the updated version.
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend says.
Recording artist John Legend (L) and host Kelly Clarkson speak onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
((Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
“If I have one more drink?” Clarkson asks.
“It’s your body and your choice,” Legend responds.
Vanity Fair, which got to hear a sneak peek of the song, said it’s “every bit as fun and swinging as the original, and its newfound sensitivity feels genuine, not performative.”
Last November, a Cleveland radio station, WDOK, withdrew the song from its lineup after a listener expressed concern over the standard’s lyrics.
“It wasn’t really our decision,” WDOK host Desiray told Fox 8 at the time. “It’s the decision of our listeners.”
She continued: “People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation. The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”
Meanwhile, criticism of the song drew backlash from some, with actor Dennis Quaid saying it was “going a little far” to call it problematic.
The song will be featured on Legend’s forthcoming expanded version of “A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition,” which will drop on Nov. 8. Clarkson featured the traditional version of the song on her Christmas album “Wrapped in Red” in 2013.
At the time, Martin announced on “Fox & Friends” she was “absolutely flabbergasted” about the controversy.
“It’s just insane. When I heard it, I said, ‘This can’t possibly be.’ You know, it’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song that’s been around for 40 years for my dad. He did it in ’59. But when I saw it, I tweeted, ‘I think this is crazy. What do you think?’ And then all of a sudden, it went viral.”
Deana explained that like her, many fans of the longtime track were perplexed by the news over the holiday season.
“They were saying, ‘This is madness. We’ve gone insane now,’” she explained. “It’s just a sweet, fun song. There’s nothing bad about it.”
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” has sparked a debate over the years on whether or not its lyrics are problematic.
Deana shared that the two characters are playing along with each other as the male attempts to woo his lady to stay a little longer due to the chilly weather.
“It’s flirty, it’s sexy, it’s sweet – there’s nothing bad about that song,” said Deana. “It just breaks my heart.”
Deana added her father would quickly respond to the backlash with just as much confusion.
“I know my dad would be going insane right now,” she said. “He would say, ‘What’s the matter with you? Get over it. It’s just a fun song.’ ‘Cause he was so sweet anyway. … He was a great guy. Fun guy. Nice. And he wouldn’t want to do anything offensive. That wasn’t Dean Martin. So this has just been outrageous.”
Despite the backlash, Deana said she does want to better understand why some listeners are offended by “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” especially now.
“I think it’s a moment for us in time to maybe change what’s going on,” said Deana. “I don’t know how to do it yet, but I’m out there trying to talk to people. It could be a learning moment for all of us.”
But as for modifying the lyrics for her audience? Deana added she’s perfectly content with the classic.
“I don’t want to change the lyrics,” she said. “When she says, ‘Hey, what’s in this drink?’ I don’t think she’s talking about some pill being put in that drink. It’s like, ‘Is this punch?’ You know, what’s in this drink? Is it vodka? It was nice. It’s just breaking my heart that people would turn that around.
“This PC is driving me nuts. You gotta sit back and relax. Have a good time. It’s OK. People gotta have a sense of humor about themselves. I understand the #MeToo movement and everything. I’m all for that. But this? We gotta relax and have fun again.”
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.