John Roger Stephens, professionally known as John Legend is an American singer, songwriter, actor, pianist, record producer, and more.
His take on the fusion of soul music along with R&B made him famous. Legend is the first African American man to have won all four major North American Awards such as Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
After graduation, he moved to New York where he used to work at the Boston Consulting Group during the day and played the piano and sang during the night. It was during this time that he also released two self-produced CDs.
He met Kanye West, who was an up-and-coming producer at the time. Legend began contributing keyboard music and backing vocals to other artists like Alicia Keys and Black Eyes Peas. Soon after, he adopted the surname, Legend.
John Legend also worked on Kanye West’s debut album. Although he recently revealed that they are not friends anymore.
John Legend Albums in Order
Let us take a closer look at the complete list of John Legend’s albums including his upcoming one called Legend!
Released December 28, 2004
- Let’s Get Lifted
- Used To Love U
- She Don’t Have To Know
- Number One
- I Can Change
- Ordinary People
- Stay With You
- Let’s Get Lifted Again
- So High
- Refuge (When It’s Cold Outside)
- It Don’t Have To Change
- Live It Up
Kanye produced his first album after forming G.O.O.D Records with Sony Music. The song “Ordinary People” took off, which helped the album climb the charts on the European and American rhythm and blues charts.
It got 8 Grammy nominations and won the award for Best R&B album and best male R&B vocal performance.
Released October 24, 2006
- “Save Room”
- “Show Me”
- “Each Day Gets Better”
- “P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)”
- “Slow Dance”
- “Where Did My Baby Go”
- “Maxine’s Interlude”
- “Another Again”
- “Coming Home”
The album won Legend another Grammy for best male R&B performance (for the single “Heaven”). He also co-won the award for best R&B performance by a duo or group. The award was for their famous rendition of the “Family Affair” from the tribute album Different Strokes by Different Folks.
Released October 28, 2008
- “Good Morning (Intro)”
- “Green Light” – featuring Andre 3000
- “It’s Over” – featuring Kanye West
- “Everybody Knows”
- “Quickly” – featuring Brandy
- “Cross The Line”
- “No Other Love” – featuring Estelle
- “This Time”
- “Take Me Away”
- “Good Morning”
- “I Love, You Love”
- “If You’re Out There”
This album stepped up his fame and popularity even more than before. It was also co-produced by Kanye West. It featured guest appearances by Estelle, Andre 3000, Kanye West and more.
His song “This Time” featured as the closing song in the closing scenes of season 3 of the drama The Game.
Wake Up! John Legend And The Roots
Released September 21, 2010
CD Track listing:
- “Hard Times” (feat. Black Thought)
- “Compared To What”
- “Wake Up Everybody” (feat. Common & Melanie Fiona)
- “Our Generation (The Hope Of The World)” (feat. CL Smooth)
- “Little Ghetto Boy (Prelude)” (feat. Malik Yusef)
- “Little Ghetto Boy” (feat. Black Thought)
- “Hang On In There”
- “Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)”
- “Wholy Holy”
- “I Can’t Write Left Handed”
- “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”
John Legend’s fourth album Wake Up was a collaborative effort with The Roots! It brought him back to winning awards and creating waves in the industry. His collaboration ended up winning 3 Grammys! They won for best &R&B album, best traditional R&B vocal performance, and best R&B song (“Shine”).
In this album, John Legend and The Roots covered socially conscious soul tunes of the 60s and 70s. The list of songs was also strategically chosen. While some songs were aimed at older audiences, some songs appealed to the youth.
5. Love In The Future
Released September 3, 2013
- “Love In The Future (Intro)”
- “The Beginning”
- “Open Your Eyes”
- “Made To Love”
- “Who Do We Think We Are”
- “All Of Me”
- “Hold On Longer”
- “Save The Night”
- “What If I Told You? (Interlude)”
- “Wanna Be Loved”
- “Angel (Interlude)”
- “You & I (Nobody In The World)”
- “Caught Up”
The evergreen song “All of Me” came from this album. He dedicated the song to his wife Chrissy Teigen. It peaked at number one on the Billboards Top 100 and became Legend’s first number one hit in the United States of America.
It became the second-best selling song that year in the USA with 4.67 million copies sold. It also became the third best-selling song in the world with over 12.3 million units sold across the globe. Right now, it is one of the most popular songs on Youtube with over 2.1 billion views.
The music video also featured his wife. Nine years after the song was released, people still play it as their wedding songs. It will go down in history as one of the most well-written and romantic songs of all time.
6. Darkness and Light
Released December 2, 2016
CD Track Listings:
- “I Know Better”
- “Penthouse Floor” (featuring Chance the Rapper)
- “Darkness And Light” (featuring Brittany Howard)
- “Overload” (featuring Miguel)
- “Love Me Now”
- “What You Do To Me”
- “Right By You (For Luna)”
- “Temporarily Painless”
- “How Can I Blame You”
- “Same Old Story”
- “Marching Into The Dark”
- “Drawing Lines”
- “What You Do To Me”
- “Love You Anyway”
“Darkness and Light” is rated among the best albums by John Legend. The album did fairly well and sold over 26,000 units in the first week. Furthermore, the album was streamed around 12.5 million times in the first week.
The album debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200. The song “Love Me Now” turned out to be one of the big hits from the album.
7. A Legendary Christmas
Released October 26, 2018
- “What Christmas Means To Me” (featuring Stevie Wonder)
- “Silver Bells”
- “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (featuring Esperanza Spalding)
- “No Place Like Home”
- “Bring Me Love”
- “Merry Christmas Baby/Give Love On Christmas Day”
- “Christmas Time Is Here”
- “Waiting For Christmas”
- “Purple Snowflakes”
- “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”
- “Please Come Home For Christmas”
- “Wrap Me Up In Your Love”
- “By Christmas Eve”
- “Merry Merry Christmas”
There are many artists who have released Christmas albums to make their mark. Singers like Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, and even Justin Bieber released Christmas albums to ignite the flame of nostalgia and to go down in the history of best Christmas songs.
It featured collaborations with the greats like Stevie Wonder, Esperanza Spalding, etc. It went on to get nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
The album debuted at number 26 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 20,000 album equivalent units. The album featured 14 songs. Half of those songs were classics while the other six were original tracks.
8. Bigger Love
Released June 19, 2020
- “Ooh Laa”
- “I Do”
- “One Life”
- “Wild” (with Gary Clark Jr.)
- “Bigger Love”
- “U Move, I Move” (featuring Jhene Aiko)
- “Favorite Place”
- “Slow Cooker”
- “Conversations In The Dark”
- “Don’t Walk Away” (with Koffee)
- “Remember Us” (with Rapsody)
- “I’m Ready” (featuring Camper)
- “Never Break”
The album added more awards to the list of Grammy wins for John Legend. It won the award for best R&B album. It also made it to the number 1 position on the UK R&B Albums (OCC) while it peaked at number 19 on US Billboard 200.
The album was accompanied by a US and UK tour. But the itinerary was either postponed or canceled due to the COVID outbreak.
JOHN LEGEND LIVE ALBUMS
The singer has also released some live albums over the years. Live albums capture the true essence of a song and make the listener feel like they are there. Here is a look at the songs in John Legend’s live albums.
Live at SOB’s
Released June 2002
“Set It Off”
“Hurts So Bad”
“Sun Comes Up”
“The Wrong Way”
“Burning Down the House”
Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory
Released June 2004
“Introduction” by J. Ivy
“Do What I Gotta Do”
“She Don’t Have To Know”
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
“Sun Comes Up”
“Stay With You”
“So High” (featuring J. Ivy)
“If This World Were Mine” (featuring Imani Uzuri)
“All Falls Down” (featuring Kanye West)
“Must Be the Way”
Live from Philadelphia
Released June 3, 2008
“Do U Wanna Ride”
“Let’s Get Lifted”
“Where Is the Love”
“I Can Change”
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
“Dance to the Music”
“P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)”
“Feel Like Makin’ Love Medley”
“Used to Love U”
“Show Me” (Encore)
“So High” (Encore)
Upcoming Album: Legend
His Upcoming Album is Called “Legend” and will be released on September 9.
Legend Track List:
1) “Rounds” ft. Rick Ross
3) “Dope” ft JID
4) “Strawberry Blush”
5) “Guy Like Me”
6) “All She Wanna Do”
7) “Splash” ft Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla $ign
9) “Fate” ft Amber Mark
10) “Love” ft Jazmine Sullivan
11) “One Last Dance”
12) “All She Wanna Do” ft. Saweetie
3) “Wonder Woman”
4) “Honey” ft. Muni Long
5) “I Want You to Know”
6) “Speak in Tongues” ft Jada Kingdom
7) “The Other Ones” ft Rapsody
10) “Good” ft Ledisi
11) “I Don’t Love U Like I Used To”
After releasing his last album in 2020, John Legend is back with an announcement about his upcoming album. The 12-time Grammy winner announced that his upcoming album Legend will be released by Republic Records on September 19th.
The album will be executively produced by him and Ryan Tedder. Tedder has also worked with some of the most renowned artists in the world like Adele and Beyonce.
Interestingly, the album will be broken into two parts ACT 1 and ACT 2. The journey of the album will take the listeners on an experience of joy, pain, and healing.
The hitmaker talked about self-titling the album in an interview. He said, “Until this point, I’ve never used an aspect of my name as the title of an album.” The closest he came to it was titling his Christmas album “A Legendary Christmas”.
He went on to add that he had to “earn” the right to name an album after himself.
Legend debuted his single with Saweetie titled “All She Wanna Do” when he announced his upcoming album. Legend said that he was aiming for a Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson off-the-wall vibe with this song.
Other songs like “Honey” featuring Muni Long and “Dope” feat JID were released to help build up hype around the upcoming release of the album. The album is described as “an unapologetic spirit of sensuality and joy, informed by the full vulnerability of pain, praise and healing.”
To complement the self-titled album, John Legend has also appeared on the cover art for the album. While it is pretty common for singers to feature on the album cover, Legend has chosen a sultry, shirtless look for this album. Comparatively, his other album cover arts featured his face in different avatars.
John Legend has successfully grown his fanbase over the decades that he has been around. He has been able to do so because of his versatility and also his unique take on music. His combination of soulful music with R&B has impressed people time and again.
Legend’s varied accolades are a testament to his capability as a singer and a record producer. It will be interesting to see how his music has changed since his last album, especially now that he is also co-producing it.
Fans are excited for the release of his upcoming album Legend. He had not released any music while the pandemic was around. A lot of artists took this time to introspect and come out with music that is authentic to them and not something that they make thinking that the fans would like it.
The cover art and the two songs that he has dropped so far give us a good sneak peek into the album and what could be expected from it. It will not be surprising if this album further increases his Grammy nominations or awards among other prestigious awards.