John is a Legend

by Sam Hofer on March 22, 2015

John Legend and The Roots perfom at American Airlines BlackAtlas.com Cultural Event

By Sam Hofer

First coming onto the scene with his debut album Get Lifted, in 2004, John Legend has since successfully written and recorded three studio albums, won a multitude of Grammy Awards along with multiplatinum singles such as Everybody Knows and Ordinary People. Additionally, he recorded a collaborative album with The Roots in 2010 entitled Wake Up! Despite this enormous success, John Legend has never forgotten where he came from and hasn’t lost his ability to empathize and help those in need.

(Related: Effort. Attitude. Enthusiasm. And love.)

Born in 1978 in Springfield Ohio, John Roger Stephens became a child prodigy at piano, which was noticed by his grandmother who taught him the instrument. He sang in the church choir as a youth and continued to advance his mastery of piano. He went to an office job out of college, but still began to play in night clubs in New York. Early in his career he helped ghost-write songs for legends like Twista, Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys. Soon he became very in demand as a songwriter and emerged as a singer when introduced to Kanye West. Legend and West traded talents on each other’s demos and within a few years Legend had released his first studio album Get Lifted, in 2004. The rest is history.

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With the great amount of wealth that comes from successful music making, John Legend has paid it forward with generosity. Legend has donated to 35 charities supporting over 20 causes; some of which are Feeding America, Global Fund, Peace One Day and UNICEF. Not only has he been incredibly generous with his resources, he is an advocate for volunteering. He is a spokesperson for the Tide Loads of Hope Campaign and spent an entire day folding the laundry of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

(Related: Yoga Girl, Envision 2015)

John Legend continues to make the world a better place with his soulful music and his benevolent character. He is a true role model and his efforts are a Good Sign.

Sam is the first ever Good Sign intern! Follow him on Instagram @GoodSignSam

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