ARTIST PROFILE

John Legend

Name: John Roger Stephens

Birthday: December 28, 1978

Fav Dish: Pasta & Pizza

John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), known professionally as John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor.

Legend was born on December 28, 1978, in Springfield, Ohio. He is one of four children of Phyllis Elaine (née Lloyd), a seamstress, and Ronald Lamar Stephens, a factory worker and former National Guardsman. Throughout his childhood, Legend was home-schooled on and off by his mother. At the age of four, he performed with his church choir. He began playing the piano at age seven. At the age of 12, Legend attended Springfield North High School, from which he graduated salutatorian of his class four years later. According to Legend, he was offered admission to Harvard University and scholarships to Georgetown University and Morehouse College. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English with an emphasis on African-American literature.

While in college, Legend served as president and musical director of a co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group called Counterparts. His lead vocals on the group’s recording of Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” (written by 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 prestigious senior societies Sphinx Senior Society and Onyx Senior Honor Society while an undergraduate at Penn. 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.

Prior to the release of Legend’s debut album, he collaborated with already established artists. At various points in his career, Legend has sung in Magnetic Man’s “Getting Nowhere”, Kanye West’s “Blame Game”, on Slum Village’s “Selfish”, and Dilated Peoples’ “This Way”. Other collaborative appearances include Jay-Z’s “Encore”, backing vocals on Alicia Keys’ 2003 song “You Don’t Know My Name”, the Kanye West remix of Britney Spears’ “Me Against the Music”, and Fort Minor’s “High Road”. Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything”.

For his solo work, he earned a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single with “All of Me” in 2013. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2015 for writing the song “Glory” from the film Selma. He has also won ten Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In 2007, Legend received the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2017, Legend received a Tony Award for co-producing Jitney for the Broadway stage. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, Legend portrayed the title role in the NBC adaptation of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice “rock opera,” Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, sharing top marquée billing with Sara Bareilles (Mary Magdalene) and Alice Cooper (King Herod).

Legend met model Chrissy Teigen in 2007 when she starred in the music video for his song Stereo. After four years of dating, Legend became engaged to her in December 2011. They got married on September 14, 2013, 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. On April 14, 2016, the couple’s first daughter, Luna Simone Stephens, was born through IVF. In April 2018, Legend & Teigen welcomed the couple’s second child through IVF.

 

Close