John Legend Wiki, Profile, Family Update.
Born Name: John Roger Stephens
Date of Birth: December 28, 1978
Date of Birth: Springfield, Ohio, United States
Height: 1.75 m
Alma mater: University of Pennsylvania
Occupation: Singer,songwriter,record producer,actor,theatre director,film producer,keyboardist
Spouse(s): Chrissy Teigen (m. 2013)
John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), known professionally as John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and philanthropist. Prior to the release of Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, (2004) he had collaborated with already established artists and signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music. Legend has sung on Jay-Z's "Encore", Alicia Keys's "You Don't Know My Name", Dilated Peoples' "This Way", Slum Village's "Selfish", Fort Minor's "High Road", and played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything". Legend's single "All of Me" from his fourth studio album Love in the Future (2013) was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit.
In 2007, Legend received the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Legend won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award in 2015 for co-writing the song "Glory" from the film Selma. He has also won ten Grammy Awards. In 2017, Legend received a Tony Award for co-producing Jitney for the Broadway stage. In 2018, Legend portrayed Jesus Christ in NBC's adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice 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 one of 15 people and the first black man to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT). Legend is also the second youngest person to have achieved this milestone. Since 2019, Legend has been featured as a coach on The Voice winning the 16th season.
Legend was born on December 28, 1978, in Springfield, Ohio. He is one of four children of Phyllis Elaine (Lloyd), a seamstress, and Ronald Lamar Stephens, a factory worker at International Harvester. His father was a drummer, while "his mother sang and directed the church choir, and his grandmother was the church organist." In 2004, Legend stated that his parents were divorced for 12 years before reuniting. Legend was homeschooled by his mother. At the age of four, he performed with his church choir. He began playing the piano at age seven. Because of his academic talent, he skipped two grades.
At the age of 12, Legend attended Springfield North High School, from which he graduated as salutatorian of his class four years later. Legend was offered admission to Harvard University and scholarships to Georgetown University and Morehouse College; he ultimately decided to attend The University of Pennsylvania.
During college, Legend served as the president and musical director the co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group The Counterparts. His lead vocals on the group's recording of Joan Osborne's "One of Us" (written by fellow Penn alum Eric Bazilian of The Hooters) received critical acclaim, landing the song on the track list of the 1998 Best of Collegiate a Cappella compilation CD. Legend was also a member of the Sphinx Senior Society and Onyx Senior Honor Society. While in college, Legend 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. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis on African-American literature in 1999.
After graduating from college, Legend worked as a management consultant and began producing, writing, and recording his own music. He released two albums independently: his self-titled demo (2000) and Live at Jimmy's Uptown (2001), which he sold at his shows. He subsequently began working on his demo and began sending his work to various record labels.
In 2001, Devo Springsteen introduced Legend to Kanye West, then an up-and-coming hip-hop artist; Legend was hired to sing during the hooks of West's music. After signing to West's label, he chose his stage name from an idea that was given to him by poet J. Ivy, due to what he perceived as an "old-school sound". J. Ivy stated, "I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to call you from now on! I'm going to call you John Legend." After J. Ivy continued to call him by the new moniker "John Legend", others quickly caught on, including Kanye West. Despite Stephens' reluctance to adopt a stage name, he eventually announced his new artist name as John Legend.
2004–2007: Get Lifted and Once Again
Legend released his debut album, Get Lifted, on GOOD Music in December 2004. It featured production by Kanye West, Dave Tozer, and will.i.am, and debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200, selling 116,000 copies in its first week. It went on to sell 540,300 copies in the United States and was certified gold by the RIAA. An international success, Get Lifted also reached number one on the Norwegian Albums Chart and peaked within the top ten in the Netherlands and Sweden, resulting in worldwide sales of 850,000 copies. Critically acclaimed, it won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and earned Legend another two nominal awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Altogether, the album produced four singles, including debut single "Used to Love U", which entered the top 30 of the New Zealand and UK Singles Chart, and Grammy Award-winning "Ordinary People" which peaked at 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. John Legend also co-wrote Janet Jackson's "I Want You", which was certified platinum and received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.
A highly sought after collaborator, Legend was featured on several records the following years. He appeared on albums by Fort Minor, Sérgio Mendes, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, The Black Eyed Peas, Stephen Colbert, Rich Boy, MSTRKRFT, Chemistry, and Fergie, among others. Legend also tentatively worked with Michael Jackson on a future album for which he had written one song. In August 2006, Legend appeared in an episode of Sesame Street. He performed a song entitled "It Feels Good When You Sing a Song", a duet with Hoots the Owl. He also performed during the pregame show of Super Bowl XL in Detroit and the halftime show at the 2006 NBA All-Star Game.
In October 2006, Legend's second album, Once Again, was released. Legend co-wrote and co-produced the bulk of the album, which saw him reteaming with West and will.i.am but also spawned production from Raphael Saadiq, Craig Street, Sa-Ra, Eric Hudson, Devo Springsteen, Dave Tozer and Avenue.
2008–2010: Evolver and Wake Up!
In January 2008, Legend sang in a video for Barack Obama, produced by will.i.am called "Yes We Can".
In 2009, Legend performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
2011–present: Tour, Duets, Love in the Future and Darkness and Light
On July 5, 2011, songwriter Anthony Stokes filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against John Legend in United States District Court in the District of New Jersey, alleging that Legend's song "Maxine's Interlude" from his 2006 album Once Again derives from Stokes' demo "Where Are You Now". Stokes claimed he gave Legend a demo of the song in 2004 following a concert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Legend denied the allegations, telling E! Online, "I never heard of his song until he sued me. I would never steal anyone's song. We will fight it in court and we will prevail." However, nearly 60,000 people took a TMZ.com poll that compared the two songs and 65% of voters believed that Legend's "Maxine's Interlude" is a rip-off of Stokes' "Where Are You Now". A year later, Legend confirmed that he settled out of court with Stokes for an undisclosed amount.
Also in 2011, Legend completed a 50-date tour as a guest for British soul band Sade. In the San Diego stop, Legend confirmed that he was working on his next studio album and played a new song called "Dreams". Later, via his official website, he revealed the official title of the album to be Love in the Future, and debuted part of a new track called "Caught Up". The album has been executive-produced by Legend himself, along with Kanye West and Dave Tozer – the same team who worked on Legend's previous albums Get Lifted, Once Again, and Evolver. Legend has stated that his intention for the record was "To make a modern soul album – to flip that classic feel into a modern context."
Legend was granted an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Howard University at the 144th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Legend was a judge on the ABC music show Duets along with Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke. Legend's spot was originally for Lionel Richie but he had to leave the show due to a scheduling conflict. Duets debuted on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at 8/7c.
He released his fourth studio album, Love in the Future, on September 3, 2013, debuting number 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 68,000 copies in its first week.
In 2014, Legend partnered with the rapper Common to write the song "Glory", featured in the film Selma, which chronicled the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song as well as the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Legend and Common performed "Glory" at the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.
Legend was featured on Meghan Trainor's "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" from her debut studio album, which reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. On February 1, 2015, he sang "America the Beautiful" in the opening ceremony of Super Bowl XLIX. He provided guest vocals on Kelly Clarkson's song "Run Run Run" for her album Piece by Piece. He also co-wrote and provided vocals for French DJ David Guetta's song "Listen", as part of the album Listen.
Legend released his new album Darkness and Light, with first single "Love Me Now", on December 2, 2016 with songs featuring Chance the Rapper and Miguel. Legend featured on Kygo's song "Happy Birthday" for his debut studio album "Cloud Nine" released in 2016.
For the 2017 film Beauty and the Beast, Legend and Ariana Grande performed a duet on the title track, a remake of the 1991 original version sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson.
In April 2017, Crow: The Legend, a short animation film, premiered its prologue at the Tribeca Film Festival. Legend was cast in the title role as the character Crow. He also served as executive producer for the project and performed the original song "When You Can Fly".
On December 19, 2017, NBC announced that Legend had been cast in the title role in the live concert production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Marcy Avenue Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
On May 8, 2018, Google chose Legend as one of the six new Google Assistant voices.
Legend was one of the few celebrities to appear and speak out in the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly. The six-part docuseries details sex abuse allegations spread over four decades against acclaimed R&B singer R. Kelly. It highlights women who claim that the singer and record producer for decades used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and underage girls. Legend lambasted R. Kelly during his interview in the final episode of the series, asserting that "R. Kelly has brought so much pain to so many people. Time's up for R. Kelly." Despite countless public allegations and controversies concerning Kelly, Legend stands as the only major recording artist willing to come forward and speak against him in the documentary. In response to fans who labeled him as "brave" for his actions, Legend stated the following on Twitter ahead of the program's debut: "To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision." Executive producer Dream Hampton revealed that it was "incredibly difficult" to get men and women who had artistically collaborated with Kelly to come forward, including those who had criticized him. During an interview with Detroit Free Press she said, "We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Céline Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle. [They're] people who have been critical of him. That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me."
On May 21, 2019, Legend was the winning coach on The Voice and won the competition with his artist Maelyn Jarmon.
In November 2019, Legend was named People's Sexiest Man Alive.
Legend performed a benefit concert in Springfield, Ohio in 2005 in support of a tax levy for the Springfield City School District.
In May 2007, Legend partnered with Tide laundry detergent to raise awareness about the need of families in St. Bernard Parish (Chalmette, Louisiana), one of the most devastated areas hit by Hurricane Katrina; he spent a day folding laundry at the Tide "clean start" mobile laundromat and visited homes that Tide was helping to rebuild in that community. On July 7, 2007, Legend participated in the Live Earth concert in London, performing "Ordinary People". After reading Professor Jeffrey Sachs' book The End of Poverty, Legend started his Show Me Campaign in 2007. In this campaign, Legend called on his fans to help him in his initiative for residents in Bosaso Village, Somalia
In early 2008, he began touring with Alexus Ruffin and Professor Jeff Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute to promote sustainable development as an achievable goal. Legend joined Sachs as a keynote speaker and performer at the inaugural Millennium Campus Conference. Legend then joined the Board of Advisors of the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), and has aided MCN programs through online support and funding fellowships for MCN summer interns through the Show Me Campaign. In 2009, Legend gave AIDS Service Center NYC permission to remix his song "If You're Out There" to create a music video promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and testing.
On January 22, 2010, he performed "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" on the Hope for Haiti Now telethon show. On September 8, 2010, John Legend joined the national board of Teach For America. Legend also sits on the boards of The Education Equality Project, the Harlem Village Academies, and Stand for Children. He serves on the Harlem Village Academies' National Leadership Board. On September 9, 2010, he performed "Coming Home" on the Colbert Report as a tribute song for the end of combat operations in Iraq, and for the active troops and the veterans of the United States Armed Forces. In 2011, he contributed the track "Love I've Never Known" to the Red Hot Organization's most recent album Red Hot+Rio 2. The album is a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot+Rio. Proceeds from the album sales were donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues. On March 6, 2012, John Legend was appointed by the World Economic Forum to the Forum of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Legend stopped by Children's Hospital Los Angeles for a surprise visit and acoustic performance as a part of Get Well Soon Tour. On June 1, 2013, Legend performed at Gucci's global concert event in London whose campaign, "Chime for Change", aims to raise awareness of women's issues in education, health and justice. At a press conference before his performance, Legend identified himself as a feminist saying, "All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights the world will be a better place."
In 2016, Legend co-signed a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calling for a more humane drug policy, along with people such as Richard Branson, Jane Fonda and George Shultz. The following year, Legend appeared on Salem State University's speaker series and was recognized by Voices Against Injustice (formerly known as the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice) as the inaugural Salem Advocate for Social Justice. Also in 2017 Legend donated $500,000 to Springfield City School District to renovate an auditorium, which is named in his honor, within the Springfield Center of Innovation. He performed at the John Legend Theater on October 9, 2016. In 2018, he starred in an animated virtual-reality short film written and directed by Eric Darnell, titled Crow: The Legend, together with Oprah Winfrey, telling a Native American origin tale.
Legend met model Chrissy Teigen in 2006 when she starred in the music video for his song "Stereo". They became engaged in December 2011 and were married on September 14, 2013, at Villa Pizzo in Como, Italy. The 2013 song "All of Me" was written and is dedicated to her; the music video was reportedly displayed at their wedding. The couple had a daughter, Luna, in April 2016 and a son, Miles, in May 2018. Both children were conceived via in vitro fertilization.
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