John Legend


John Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, mixed classic R&B grooves with modern hip-hop sounds (and artists) and was one of 2005's top albums, ending the year with a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Legend's career began while he was still a college student in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when he was picked to play on Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything" (1998). After finishing school he began playing clubs on the east coast of the United States, gaining an audience and getting the notice of recording artists and producers as an accomplished studio musician. His session work in the late '90s and early '00s included guest spots with several top recording acts, but it was Kanye West who helped Legend leap into the spotlight and a deal with Columbia Records. Legend, a piano player and singer who has also worked with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, chose from the more than three dozen songs he'd been performing in clubs to put together Get Lifted, and by the end of 2005 the album had produced hit songs including "Used to Love U" and Song of the Year nominee "Ordinary People." His next release, Once Again (2006), included the singles "Save Room" and "Heaven," and then Legend turned his focus to writing songs for the likes of Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin.

From Discogs:

Born in Springfield, Ohio, John is a multi-talented musician who later moved to Philadelphia, attending the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Before diving into a full-time career in the music biz, he was music/choir director for nine years at the Philly-area's Bethel A.M.E. Church. His influences stem from classic soul and gospel legends, creating his own style. He learned to play piano at an early age. He has made appearances on many R&B/hip-hop records from the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Eve, Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys, among many others. John has been performing for a long time; since 2000, he started performing more amd more. It wasn't until he met Chicago's rising star, Kanye West, when people in the music industry started to take notice.December 28, 2004 is the U.S. release date of his debut CD for Sony Urban, "Get Lifted", with production from BEP's Will.I.Am, his long-time associates, Dave Tozer & Devo Harris, and, naturally, Kanye West, who is behind the boards for his debut single, "Used To Love U".

From Lastfm:

John Stephens (born December 28, 1978 in Springfield, Ohio), better known as John Legend, is a Grammy award winning R&B singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and actor signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. Prior to the release of his debut album Get Lifted in 2004, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists such as Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill. He released his second album, Once Again in 2006, and his latest release, 2008's Evolver showcased a more experimental and upbeat side of Legend.

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From Wikipedia:

John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, Legend 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 lent his voice to Magnetic Man's "Getting Nowhere," 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", 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".

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