Celebrating John Legend On His 42nd BirthdayDec 28, 2020 08:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
John Legend was born John Roger Stephens on December 28, 1978 in Springfield, Ohio. His love of music ran in the family; his dad was a drummer, his mom was a singer and choir director, and his grandmother was the church organist. He started to play the piano at age four, and his intelligence was quickly noticed.
John was homeschooled by his parents for the majority of his elementary years. He ended up graduating high school as Salutatorian at the age of 16. With offers from Harvard, Georgetown, and Morehouse, he eventually decided on The University of Pennsylvania. During his time there, he studied English with a concentration in African American Studies, and participated in The Counterparts, an a capella group.
After graduation, Legend worked for a consulting firm, but continued his love of music by performing in clubs. He was introduced to other artists including Lauryn Hill and Kanye West. In 2004, he released his debut album. It went platinum due to his hit single “Ordinary People.” Legend continued releasing albums, and even joined the cast of Soul Men. He released a number of albums over the next few years including Once Again, Love in the Future, and A Legendary Christmas.
Legend has made cameo appearances on a number of TV shows and has also appeared as a coach on the show The Voice. In 2018, John Legend produced and starred as the lead role in NBC’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.
Over the course of his career Legend has won a number of awards for his contributions to the music community. Legend made history on September 9, 2018 for becoming the youngest person and the first African American man to join the EGOT club.
John Legend makes a point to give back to the community. Education, he believes, is an essential part of a person’s life, and he fights for the right for all children to have proper access to education.
Since 2013, Legend has been married to supermodel, celebrity chef, and “Twitter Queen” Chrissy Tiegen. The two welcomed their first child, Luna Simone in 2016 with IVF treatments. Their son, Miles Theodore was born in 2018. The two lost a son, Jack, in 2020 due to pregnancy complications. The couple has been vocal about their support of Black Lives Matter and the democratic candidates running for president in the last few elections.
John Legend continues to create music, produce albums, appear on TV shows, and participate in live events, while also supporting the community around him.