Musical Monday: John Legend

I’m still covering artists I’ve seen live more than once. Today’s artist qualifies as I saw him again last week, this time at Jazz at Juan.

John Roger Stephens (1978 – ), known professionally as John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and successful businessman. He began his musical career by working behind the scenes, playing piano for Lauryn Hill and making uncredited guest appearances on other artists’ tracks. He subsequently signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music and released his debut album Get Lifted (2004), which reached the top ten on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The album earned him eight nominations at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, including nominations for the singles “So High” with Lauryn Hill and “Ordinary People”, with the latter song winning  Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, while also earning him awards for Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. His second studio album Once Again (2006), spawned the single “Save Room”, and became his second top ten album on the Billboard 200 chart. The lead single from his third album Evolver (2008), “Green Light” featuring André 3000, reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. In June 2008, he released the live album John Legend: Live from Philadelphia.

His fourth studio album, Love in the Future (2013), spawned the single “All of Me“(featured in the video below), which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and has been certified 13× platinum by the RIAA. Legend has since released the albums Darkness and Light (2016), A Legendary Christmas (2018), and Bigger Love (2020).

All of Me’s music video was shot in Italy just days before Legend’s wedding, featuring his fiancée, model Chrissy Teigen. The video ends with footage from their actual wedding in Lake Como, Italy. The video has received over 2.1 billion views and over 10 million likes on YouTube.

In 2018, Legend portrayed Jesus Christ inNBC’s adaptation of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. He received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his acting role, and won for his role as a producer of the show, making him the first black and second youngest person to have won all four of the major American entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).

Here’s a track from his last album

23 Comments on “Musical Monday: John Legend

  1. Legend, who grew up singing in church in Springfield, Ohio, and I have a common ancestor, Peyton Polley, my third great grandfather. Peyton was emancipated by his owner’s will in 1847 and secured the freedom of his family before moving from slave state Kentucky to free territory across the Ohio river. Peyton’s owner was also his father. His mother is only referred to as an unknown slave. Peyton Polley’s story and Legend’s relationship to him is documented in a PBS TV show.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Musical Monday: John Legend – Welcome to KZN HEART RADIO

  3. Pingback: Musical Monday: Lauryn Hill – View from the Back

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