Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28 - The multi-talended John Legend is 35-years-old today.

Born in Springfield, Ohio as John Stephens - but now known best by his stage name John Legend - he has earned six Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Prior to the release of his debut album, Stephens' career began with successful collaborations with multiple established artists including Kanye West, Slum Village Jay-Z's "Encore." He also sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road," and played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything."

At the age of four, John began playing the piano and at the age of seven, he performed with his church choir. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English with an emphasis on African American literature. While in college, he served as president and musical director of a co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group named Counterparts. Stephens' lead vocals on the group's recording of Joan Osborne's "One of Us" landed the song on the track list of the 1998 Best of Collegiate a Cappella compilation CD.

While in college, Stephens was introduced to Lauryn Hill by a friend. Hill hired him to play piano on "Everything Is Everything," a song from her album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Stephens also performed in concerts around Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album cover for direct link to Amazon):

John Legend - Live from Philadelphia

When he graduated from college in 1999, he began producing, writing, and recording his own music. He released two albums independently; his self-titled demo, and 'Live at Jimmy's Uptown' which he sold at his shows.

To support himself, he worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, while on the side, he began working on his demo and began sending his work to various record labels.

In 2001, Devo Springsteen introduced Stephens to then up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West; Stephens was hired to sing during the hooks of West's music. After signing to West's label, he chose his stage name from a nickname that was given to him by poet J. Ivy, due to Stephens' "old-school sound."    

Stephens/Legend's vocals can be heard on several tracks including Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name," Jay-Z's "Encore," Kanye West's "Never Let Me Down," Dilated Peoples' "This Way," and Slum Village's "Selfish."       

John released his debut album, Get Lifted, in December 2004. It debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200, selling 116,000 copies in its first week. It went on to sell 2.1 million copies in the U.S. and 3 million worldwide, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album produced two singles: "Ordinary People," which went hit number one and "Used to Love U."

The first single from his second album, Once Again, which was released October 24, 2006 was "Save Room." The album included production from Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, and from The Black-Eyed Peas.

In October 2008, John released his third studio album Evolver. Rapper Andre 3000 of OutKast is featured on the first single titled "Green Light."        

Legend continues to collaborate with other artists. In addition to the ones already mentioned, John has collaborated with Colombian Rock artist Juanes, Sérgio Mendes, the Japanese R&B duo CHEMISTRY, Rich Boy, Mary J. Blige - the list goes on and on...


For more about john, visit his Website at -

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