John’s Legend: Beautiful music has no boundaries

John’s Legend: Beautiful music has no boundaries

Without a doubt the greatest phenomenon in recent R&B music was the rise of John Legend. Coming to us with his debut album in 2004, John already had 4 years of live performances on major stages in his portfolio. Winning Grammy 5 times, twice in ’07 and 3 times in ’06, only scratches the surface. At a time when R&B singers have focused predominately on production work to gain radio play, John has become known for amazing lyricism, while still getting more radio attention than most of his competition combined.

His skills on piano gathered amazing collaboration efforts for him before his songs did. He played keys on Lauren Hill’s Everything is Everything (1999) before getting his vocals out to the masses. Singing in church as a kid and in school and college bands was a rather typical path for a kid who would grow to become an award-winning singer in his 20’s. Soon after instrumental contribution to Hill’s song, he sang vocals on Alicia Key’s, Jay-Z’s and Fort Minor’s songs. Putting out a low numbered circulation of his live performances between ’01 and ’03 Legend felt that it was time to make the first highly exposed and publicized musical move.

Some time earlier, one of his college classmates, Devon Harris, introduced him to Kanye West. That was before College Dropout days. The introduction facilitated a strong musical relationship and later the label association for John. He signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music. Needless to say, he also contributed a great deal to the above-mentioned College Dropout and his label’s boss pushed John into the public eye. Building production for a demo for Legend, Kanye also later helped it turn into the first Platinum album by John Legend, Get Lifted. Less than 2.5 years later that album went on to sell almost 2.5 million copies.

However, how often does a singer or a band goes on to sell a high number of a debut album, just to fail on the consecutive efforts? It certainly wasn’t the case for John. His sophomore release of ‘06, Once Again, went Platinum even faster. Should it be noted that it occurred at a time when record sales have experienced quite a slump? Kanye West’s production was joined by will.i.am’s on that album. Besides the 2 Grammies it generated several singles and music videos, solidifying John Legend’s place as a successively flourishing and thriving performer. He is even said to be working on Michael Jackson’s new album.

His shows are sold out all over the world. His entrance on stage is always welcomed by a roar of support and screams of ‘We love you, John’. His songs are memorized down to the tiniest intonations by almost every visitor. Beautiful music has no boundaries. John Legend reaches people on the highest levels with his lyrics, his music and his performance. Singing of love and play, sorrow and joy, real emotions and dishonesty, he causes people to relate. Offering a Broadway play worthy appearance, both in dress and demeanor, he makes people fall in love with the man behind the music.

Only in his 20’s and just with 2 studio albums out, John Legend seems to have been in our lives for a long time now. He has no reason or intention of slowing down. His fan collective is growing geometrically still and his voice is reaching more and more people every day. It makes the perfect sense that his stage name is Legend. The imprint of his work is most visible on people’s souls and is substantiated by the very demand he causes. Is he the R&B messiah everyone’s been long awaiting? One thing’s for sure. The vast abundance of John Legend’s talents is yet to bring many more wonderful moments to all.

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