50 interesting facts about John Legend: He was his high school's prom king, he majored in English

John Legend is a talented singer-songwriter and he won his first Grammy Award with 2004's Get Lifted. The album went platinum, thanks in part to the hit single "Ordinary People." Since then, he has been unstoppable.

  1. His real name is John Roger Stephens and he was born on December 28, 1978, in Springfield, Ohio.

  2. He is one of four children of Phyllis (née Lloyd), a seamstress, and Ronald Stephens, a factory worker and former National Guardsman.

  3. As a child, he was homeschooled on and off by his mother.

  4. He had an early start into the music world. He began singing at his church choir at the age of four and began playing the piano when he was just seven years old.

  5. Growing up, he knew he wanted to be a musician but he said he also aspired to be Andy Griffith's lawyer character, Ben Matlock.

  6. As a child, he once won a spelling bee while he was in school.

  7. He attended North High School.

  8. He was popular at high school and was both the high school's student-body president and prom king.

  9. The first time he ever went on a plane was at age 16.

  10. Legend was the choir director, pianist and head of the music department at Bethel AME Church in Scranton, PA from the year 1995 to 2004.

  11. Legend did very well at school and as a result, he was offered admission to Harvard University and scholarships to Georgetown University and Morehouse College. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English with an emphasis on African American literature.

  12. One of his first jobs as a teenager was as a wedding singer. Lucky couples!

  13. While in college, Legend served as president and musical director of a co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group called Counterparts. His lead vocals on the group's recording of Joan Osborne's "One of Us" received critical acclaim landing the song on the track list of the 1998 Best of Collegiate a Cappella compilation CD.

  14. After graduation, he switched gears and worked for Boston Consulting Group but continued to perform in nightclubs in New York City.

  15. John Legend says some of his musical role models include Boyz II Men, LL Cool J, MC Hammer and Michael Jackson.

  16. He met Michael Jackson while on a trip to Bahrain.

  17. While in college, Legend was introduced to Lauryn Hill by a friend. He played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything."

  18. Apart from playing piano for Lauryn Hill, he also played in Jay-Z's "The Black Album", Talib Kweli's "Around My Way" and Twista's "Overnight Celebrity."

  19. He released two albums independently; his self-titled demo (2000) and Live at Jimmy's Uptown (2001), which he sold at his shows.

  20. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Legend began working as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

  21. He was soon introduced to up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West, and the two musicians collaborated on one another's demos. ; Legend was hired to sing during the hooks of West's music.

  22. He became the featured performer during Kanye West's School Spirit Tour.

  23. How did he get the name "Legend?" After signing to West's label, he chose his stage name from an idea that was given to him by poet J. Ivy, due to what he perceived "old-school sound". J. Ivy stated, "I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to call you from now on! I'm going to call you John Legend." After J. Ivy continued to call him by the new moniker "John Legend," others quickly caught on, including Kanye West, and the name stuck.

  24. Legend's debut album, 2004's Get Lifted, went platinum thanks in part to the hit single "Ordinary People," a song that he originally penned for the Black Eyed Peas.

  25. John Legend also co-wrote Janet Jackson's "I Want You", which was certified Platinum and received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.

  26. Legend made his film debut in "Loverboy" (2004).

  27. Legend performed during the pregame show of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, during the halftime show at the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, and "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at the 2006 Major League Baseball All Star Game in Pittsburgh.

  28. He appeared on the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, singing a cover of You Don't Know Me. He also appeared on an episode of the television series "Las Vegas" in February 2007 performing his single "Save Room" solo at the end of the episode.

  29. In January, 2008, he sang in a video for Barack Obama produced by Will.I.Am called "Yes We Can".

  30. Legend appears in a recent commercial for a Lexus SUV, in which Legend is shown listening to Nina Simone's "Backlash Blues" and describing his experience with the music. He is also notable for performing closing music in many of Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs' keynote presentations.

  31. He performed at the wedding of footballer Ashley Cole to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy.

  32. Legend signed on as the new face of Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur Baileys Irish Cream in January 2008.

  33. He is an avid reader and he prefers non-fiction books.

  34. Legend has an English bulldog named Puddy and a French one called Pippa.

  35. John married his long-term girlfriend, 28-year-old model Chrissy Teigen, in Lake Como, Italy, on September 14, 2013.

  36. They married exactly seven years after they first met.

  37. John considers himself a staunch feminist, having stated at a recent Chime for Change event, "All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights the world will be a better place." Gotta love him for that!

  38. His latest song "All of Me" is a personal one - he wrote it for his wife Chrissy before they got married; and she stars in the film clip and it also features video footage of their recent wedding in Lake Como, Italy.

  39. He is 5' 9" tall.

  40. Legend says he would really like to visit India and Eastern Europe someday.

  41. His favorite music to listen to when he wants to set a romantic mood, is anything by Marvin Gaye.

  42. John Legend's net worth is $20 million.

  43. Before every show, he eats half a rotisserie chicken.

  44. Legend always has red wine backstage but he doesn't drink it because it's not good for his voice. "When I'm off tour, I try to make up for lost time!"

  45. His wife does most of the cooking but he says he can "make a soulful mac 'n' cheese."

  46. John Legend loves sports. "I'm a big college-football fan. I've delayed my stage time to see the end of a close Ohio State game!"

  47. He sang at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

  48. He did a duet with Hoots the Owl on Sesame Street.

  49. Apart from music,, Legend is involved in numerous social and charitable causes. He is a supporter of the Harlem Village Academies, a New York City organization that runs several charter schools.

  50. Legend lent his song "Shine" to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman. The film takes a critical look at the nation's public school system.

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