Arts & Culture
John Legend: LIVE at BluesFest
- 9:30 pm
25 October 2019
O2 Arena | £65 - £165
The 2019 edition will run from Wednesday 23rd – Sunday 28th October. John Legend, Raphael Saadiq and Rickie Lee Jones are the first artists to be announced for the 2019 concert series. Tickets for the show can be purchased here
John Legend (nee Stephens) grew up in Ohio, surrounded by every musical influence from gospel to hip-hop. While attending the University of Pennsylvania (where he majored in English), Legend found time to make his own music, whether it was recording his own albums, performing at talent shows and open mics, or directing the choir at a local church. In fact just months before he began work on Get Lifted, Legend finally ended a nine-year tenure as music and choir director at Bethel A.M.E. Church in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend’s career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Stephens added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to 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” and Fort Minor’s “High Road.” Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything.”
In 2004, John Legend stepped into the solo spotlight as a premier singer-songwriter-pianist-performer in his own right with his debut album Get Lifted. Driven in part by the hit singles “Ordinary People” and “Used To Love U,” Get Lifted was a critical and commercial triumph, earning John an astounding eight Grammy nominations. He won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (“Ordinary People”) and Best R&B album, and selling more than three million copies worldwide.
After two more solo albums, he released his collaboration with the Roots, Wake Up!, in 2010. Legend also appeared on the TV competition Duets as a coach before dropping his next album, 2013’s Love in the Future. The artist shared an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy with Common for their song “Glory,” from the 2014 film Selma, and later received an Emmy for his performance in the 2018 production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.