Music

How Did John Legend Get Found out? His First Tunes Were being Uncredited

John Legend music have been hitting the charts for decades. The 42-calendar year-aged has gained 11 Grammys, and is one of only 16 individuals in background to E.G.O.T. But how did Legend get discovered? The tale requires stars like Kanye West and Lauryn Hill.

John Legend | Troy Harvey/ABC via Getty Illustrations or photos

How did John Legend get his stage name?

Legend generally dreamed of being a singer. Rising up in Springfield, Ohio, he was a bit of a musical prodigy. The “All Of Me” singer done with his church’s choir and sooner or later went on to show up at the College of Pennsylvania for college. Born John Stephens, he created songs below that name until he was residing in Philadelphia for school.

The Roots experienced a large presence in Philly when Legend was in faculty. He told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Display that he after approached Questlove at an open mic night asking him to pay attention to his CD. Questlove didn’t bear in mind the instant when they collaborated on the Grammy-winning album Wake Up! in 2010. In the same interview, Legend exposed the origins of his stage identify. He stated:

“Well, it was a nickname that some friends begun contacting me in the studio, just men that I was collaborating with. The 1st guy to phone me that was J. Ivy. He’s a spoken phrase artist from Chicago. I met him by means of Kanye (West). We were all in the studio jointly. He just commenced calling me ‘The Legend’ since he believed I sounded like a single of our aged school soul legends. And it just caught on with our very little group of good friends, and then they ended up like, ‘We ought to phone you John Legend.’ And it just genuinely was in our very little circle.”

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John Legend bought his start operating with Kanye West and Lauryn Hill

Right before he met West and in advance of he was a legend, the singer labored on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Whenever you listen to that album, you’re listening to the youthful Legend’s piano playing. As he explained to Gayle King on CBS This Morning in 2014:

The first time I at any time performed with somebody on a significant label was Lauryn Hill. I played ‘Everything Is All the things.’ I played the piano on that song back in 1998. I was even now a university student at University of Penn, and I knew 1 of her good mates. She brought me to a session, and she explained, ‘You really should listen to Johnny participate in and sing.’ I was Johnny Stephens. My mom and dad, I was still Johnny to them.

He continued:

All together while, I was generating my have music. I was recording my own music as a solo artist. I dreamt about it since I was a kid. I would watch Star Lookup and wanna be one particular of the young children who received the expertise display. I watched the Grammys, I viewed all these excellent Television performances by icons like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. I preferred to be them.

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John Legend’s debut album, ‘Get Lifted,’ arrived out in 2004

Legend got a tiny ego raise from functioning with Hill. His music roots have been introduced up on The Voice in 2019.

“I got to go back to my senior yr of college and be like, ‘I’m on Lauryn Hill’s album,’” he explained to Kelly Clarkson.

“That’s your very first move in the industry? I have no time for you,” she teased back. Legend also shared that when his friend advised Hill to hear to his participating in, he performed a Stevie Marvel track.

Legend’s connections in Philly led to him doing with West at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party on Sept. 18, 2004. Julie Fong, just one of the show’s producers, instructed The Ringer that the not known Legend’s voice impressed all people.

“I recall when we have been doing the soundcheck and John Legend went up on phase and all of us looked at every other and reported, ‘Who the f*ck is that?’” she reported. “I imply, the voice was amazing.”

Legend introduced his debut album, Get Lifted, three months later on on Dec. 28, 2004. It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard charts and gained him a few Grammys, which include Greatest New Artist. And with that, a legend was born.

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