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How to make John Legend sing to you as your new Google Assistant voice

It's easy to get famous crooner John Legend to talk to you if you're using Assistant.

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Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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If you'd rather listen to John Legend than Google Assistant's robovoice, you're in luck. Google has turned the singer-songwriter into the newest voice option for Google Assistant. Legend's voice will croon to you from any Google Assistant device in US English, from your Android phone to any Google Home and Google Home Hub . Heads up, you can't trap him in your phone or home -- Legend's voice will only be available "for a limited time".

There are two ways to make Legend your Google Assistant.

Ask Google to turn on John Legend's voice

  1. Say: "Hey Google, talk like a Legend." This method works for devices where Google Assistant is always listening. 
  2. If your phone doesn't have always-on Assistant set up, launch Google Assistant (e.g. by long-pressing the Home button or pressing the Google Assistant button on your Android phone) and say "talk like a Legend."

Pick John Legend's voice from the Assistant app

  1. Open the Google Assistant app on your device
  2. Tap the button depicting three vertical dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Preferences
  5. Tap "Assistant Voice"
  6. Make your selection through the picker

Read alsoChange Google Assistant's voice right now and How to change the voice on your Google Home

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You can pick John Legend's voice in the Google Assistant app or by asking, "Hey Google, make me a Legend."

Google

John Legend's voice won't help you with everything

Keep in mind that John Legend's cameo on Google Assistant won't cover every need or request. But there are specific things you can say to get him to respond, instead of one of Google's more generic Assistant voices. What Legend's Google Assistant alter ego can't answer, the regular Google Assistant will. Here's the full list, including Easter Eggs.

Will there be more Google Assistant celebrity voices?

Likely, yes! Google says:

Cameo voices on the Assistant have been one of the top requests we've heard from you, and with the help of state-of-the-art speech synthesis model, WaveNet, they're now a reality. 

Since John Legend's voice is a limited-time deal, expect to see (and hear) more cameos from celebrity names.

Originally published on April 3 at 6:30 a.m. PT.