John Legend (born John Roger Stephens; December 28, 1978), is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He has won ten Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe, and one Academy Award. In 2007, Legend received the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Prior to the release of Legend’s debut album, his career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with established artists. He sang in Magnetic Man’s “Getting Nowhere,” 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”, the Kanye West remix of Britney Spears’ “Me Against the Music”, and Fort Minor’s “High Road”. Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything”. He has gained chart topping hits from his solo work as well, including the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, “All of Me”. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2015 for writing the song “Glory” from the film Selma.
John Legend is on a mission to transform America’s criminal justice system. Through his Free America campaign, he’s encouraging rehabilitation and healing in our prisons, jails and detention centers — and giving hope to those who want to create a better life after serving their time. With a spoken-word prelude from James Cavitt, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, Legend treats us to his version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” “Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?”
With his philanthropic work, John Legend is leveraging his stardom to raise social consciousness and make a positive impact on a global scale.
Fueled by a lean, immediate sound and a message rooted in optimism, John Legend has become a true superstar with blockbuster tours, high-profile collaborations, nine Grammys and an Oscar (for Best Original Song, “Glory” in 2015’s Selma).
Legend is well-known for his philanthropic work, which includes the Show Me Campaign, an organization that seeks to provide every child with access to a quality education. Most recently, Legend launched #FREEAMERICA, a multi-year cultural change campaign focused on ending mass incarceration. As a respected artist, Legend is using his platform to engage stakeholders from all areas of the criminal justice system to work towards that goal.