John Legend

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About John Legend

Magnetic, passionate and disarmingly suave, John Legend’s music is a reflection of the artist himself, whose radiant charisma has lit up the ’00s entertainment landscape. Legend is the first African-American EGOT winner, netting an Emmy, GRAMMYⓇ, Oscar, and Tony award. These accolades are driven by Legend’s towering talent, heard in his fluent command of vintage gospel and R&B, which he weaves into candlelit piano ballads and socially conscious soul burners. Born John Roger Stephens in 1978, he was only six when he started singing in his Springfield, OH church. When he left home to attend UPenn at 16, he became immersed in the humming Philadelphia neo-soul scene that revolved around influential hip-hop band The Roots. One invitation to play piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything” turned into others from hip-hop and R&B artists including Talib Kweli, Mary J. Blige and JAY Z. A connection with then-up-and-coming producer Kanye West led to Legend’s 2004 debut, Get Lifted, which introduced his sandy croon as one of R&B’s most promising new voices. He delivered on that promise with an ever-expansive range and emotional gravitas through the ‘00s and ‘10s: his fiery, socially conscious 2010 collaboration with The Roots, Wake Up!; his swooning 2013 ballad "All of Me"; his smouldering 2016 release, Darkness and Light. During all this, Legend’s side gigs were just as impressive, including a coaching spot on The Voice and an Emmy-winning performance in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. Striking that balance—dapper reality-show singer, first-call hip-hop collaborator, dreamy R&B solo artist, artistic social activist—has made Legend worthy of his stage name.

Springfield, OH, United States
28 December 1978
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