John Legend (born John Stephens, 28.12.1978)
John Legend is an American soul musician. He is a pianist, songwriter and singer and is a Grammy Award winner.
John Legend: Childhood
John Legend was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. At the age of three, his grandmother started to teach him to play the piano, in a gospel style. At seven, he was involved in the church choir as well as taking classical music lessons. He graduated from Springfield North High School at 16 and went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English.
During his time at University, Legend was in Counterparts, a jazz / pop a capella group. He was the President and Musical Director of the group.
Pursuing his love of music after leaving university, Legend played in the New York nightclub circuit, as well as in Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
John Legend: The Big Break
John Legend was introduced to Kanye West by Kanye's cousin, who happened to be Legend's roommate. Eventually, Legend became the first signing to West's G.O.O.D. Music label. John Legend sang many of the hooks on West's College Dropout album and to return the favour, West supplied a number of the rhythm tracks for John's demo tapes.
John Legend's debut album, Get Lifted was eventually released on G.O.O.D. Music.
Legend has collaborated with a number of Kanye's protégés, including the rapper Common, and Fort Minor, both of whom are his label-mates. He has also collaborated with The Black Eyed Peas and Michael Jackson.
In July 2007, John Legend appeared at the London leg of the Live Earth concert, where he performed his track 'Ordinary People'. That same month, Legend spent a day folding laundry at Tide's Clean Start Mobile Laundromat, helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Legend's second album was Once Again. The debut single to be released from the album was 'Save Room'. The single featured production credits for will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas, as well as Kanye West and Raphael Saadiq.
In April 2008, John Legend returned to Pennsylvania University in support of the Barack Obama Presidential campaign.
Legend's third album, Evolver has been given a release date of October 2008 and features the rapper Andre 3000 of OutKast.