A Legend In Our Time

John Legend

Many of you may know that I am not really a fan of reality television, especially musical contests. At one time, I was a regular viewer of American Idol but eventually did not find it entertaining and used my time in other ways. Since my abandonment of AI, more music reality shows have come upon the television scene and the TV viewing audience has made them popular.  A couple of weeks ago I started to see commercials for another new reality music show called “Duets”.  The premise was different from the others in that it put the contestants with established vocalists (Robin Thicke, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and originally Lionel Richie). However, Lionel Richie had to withdraw because of scheduling conflicts and John Legend was called as his replacement. As I listened to an interview with Legend last week about the show, and how he came to be a regular participant, he stated it was just coincidence that he finished a tour and new music and was able to do the show. Therefore, John Legend would work with aspiring singers on the new show “Duets”.  John Legend (John Roger Stephens) born December 28, 1978 is one of those singers who climbed to the top of the entertainment world very fast. Legend was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio where he learned to play the piano at four years of age. After graduating salutatorian from high school he went on to major in English at the University of Pennsylvania. An introduction to Lauryn Hill while in college got his career started in professional music.  Prior to the release of his debut album, John Legend’s career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. He added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to Kanye West’s All of the Lights, on Slum Village’s “Selfish” and Dilated Peoples’ “This Way”. Other artists included Jay-Z’s “Encore”, and he sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys’ 2003 song “You Don’t Know My Name” and Fort Minor’s “High Road.” John Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything.” Even though John Legend is enjoying a very successful solo career, he continues to work with other musicians on compilations. Nevertheless, can John Stephens truly be considered a musical Legend? Well if not he is surely on his way. After winning the 2006 Grammy award for Best New Artist, John Legend won eight more. I will give in and watch the remaining episodes of “Duets”, but I will be looking forward to more John Legend music.

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