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John Legend Biography

Home > Music > L > Legend, John > Biography

Birth Name: John Stephens
Born: 1978/12/28
Birth Place: Springfield, Ohio, United States
Years Active: 2001 – present
Genres: R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, Neo Soul

John Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American recording artist, musician and actor. He is the recipient of six Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Legend added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He has appeared on tracks by Kanye West, Slum Village and Dilated Peoples, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Fort Minor among others. Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill's “Everything Is Everything.”

Legend released his debut album, “Get Lifted,” in December 2004. It debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and went on be certified platinum by the RIAA. It has sold three million copies worldwide. The album’s single, “Ordinary People” which peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and won the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The album won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and earned Legend the award for Best New Artist.

“Once Again,” his second studio album, was released in 2006 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. The song “Heaven” won a Grammy award for Best Male R&B Performance.

Legend released his third studio album “Evolver” in October 2008. The album debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200. Since the album's release it has been certified gold by the RIAA.

Both John Legend and The Roots teamed up to record a collaborative album, “Wake Up!,” which was released in September 2010. The album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart. Legend won three Grammy Awards (one by himself and two with The Roots) at the 53rd Annual Grammy Music Awards Ceremony. Legend won a Grammy for Best R&B Song for “Shine,” while Legend & The Roots won Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album for “Wake Up!” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “Hang On In There.”