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John Legend

American singer, songwriter, and record producer, John Legend was born in 1978 in Springfield, Ohio. Legend was introduced to performing at the early age of four when he began singing in the church choir and he began playing the piano at age seven. Before enrolling in high school at the age of 12, Legend was homeschooled by his grandmother because his parents were killed in a car crash. Four years later, he graduated second in his class and was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania where he served as president and musical director of a jazz and a cappella group called, Counterparts.

Legend's lead vocals on one of his group's recordings received critical acclaim, landing the track on a compilation CD. From there, he was introduced to Lauryn Hill who hired him to play piano on one of her songs from the album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This expanded his audience base and he began recording his own music independently, which he sold at shows. He subsequently began working on his demo and began sending his work to various record labels.

From there, Legend's career took off; he was hired to sing hooks on then up-and-coming hip-hop artist, Kanye West in 2001. He released in debut album, Get Lifted, in 2004, which debuted at number 7 on the US Billboards 200. Critically acclaimed, it won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and earned Legend another two nominal awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. He released his second album, album, Once Again, which released to major commercial success.

Legend has since become one of the largest selling recording artists, a musical icon and philanthropist.