Singer begins “legendary” career

With a background as a singer, songwriter and musician, John Legend has the #1 r&b/hip-hop album and it is just his debut.

Last week, 118,000 fans across the country got lifted off of his album "Get Lifted."
Born John Stephens, Legend grew up in the church, singing and playing the piano for the gospel choir since the age of five.

He revealed to Houston Style Magazine that he has a big family.

"I grew up in Springfield, Ohio with three other siblings, a whole bunch of cousins and grandkids in the family," Legend said.

As a child, Legend said he was only allowed to listen to gospel and classical music.

"My parents were pretty religious and we went through a time when they didn’t let me listen to secular music. So, I listened to all gospel as a kid. As a teenager, I started listening to a lot of hip-hop and that definitely infiltrated my musical style and influence," said Legend in an interview for

Legend left Ohio when he was 16-years-old to begin studying at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Not yet out of his teens, Legend was tapped to play the piano on Lauryn Hill’s "Everything is Everything."

After obtaining his college degree, he moved to New York City with a friend who later introduced him to Kanye West.

By late 2002, Legend had begun working with West on Kanye’s debut album "College Dropout."

In 2003, Legend lent his vocal and writing talents to "You Don’t Know My Name" on the multi-platinum album, The Diary of Alicia Keys.

In 2004, he played the keyboard on "Overnight Celebrity" from Twista’s Kamikaze album.

He also became an in-demand session musician; playing and writing for a wide range of artists including, Eve, Common and Britney Spears.

What is next for John Legend? According to sources, Legend may host a Southern Tour as early as February.