Not only has nine time Grammy Award-winner John Legend achieved astounding solo success, he's also responsible for hits by some of the biggest names in rap, hip hop, and R&B. He is known for his old school approach to R&B, which showcases his velvety vocals and melodic beats. John Legend's tour dates have become popular amongst jazz and R&B fans, and also attract a wider audience of music lovers. The music of John Legend has developed an international following, as evidenced by the many worldwide tour dates in 2011.
While attending the University of Pennsylvania, John Legend was the president of a co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group called Counterparts, which began to cultivate John's personal sound. Also while attending college, he was introduced to Lauryn Hill who asked him to play piano on a song from her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, titled "Everything is Everything".
In 2001, John Legend was introduced to a record producer that was trying to become a solo artist by the name of Kanye West, and John began singing backup vocals for him. He was eventually signed to West's GOOD Music label in 2003 and began singing backup for artists like Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, in the studio and on tour dates. It was at this time that John Stephens adopted the stage name "Legend," born from a reference to John's classic style by poet J. Ivy. John Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, was released in late 2004 and was instantly a success. It debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 and the single "Ordinary People" shot to #1 on the singles charts.
John Legend's follow-up album, Once Again, was released in 2006 with some production assistance from Kanye West and Will.I.Am. The album nearly achieved the same success as his previous one, reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts, eventually going platinum. Bolstered by the success of the previous two albums, Legend attempted to experiment with the range of styles without straying too far from his signature style. The result was the 2008 album, Evolver, which has become one of the most popular among John Legend's fans. In 2010, John conceived another musical undertaking when he recorded a collaboration album, Wake Up!, with The Roots, who shared Legend's interest in a classic R&B style.
Currently, John Legend is focusing his attention on his charity work and performing tour dates for 2011 that extend well into the fall. John Legend will play with The Roots at the New Orleans Jazz Fest before heading out to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival and the Urban Music Festival in Barbados. After a short break, Mr. Legend has a number of North American tour dates in 2011 scheduled with artist Sade. The first concert date on the tour is on June 16 in Baltimore, MD, and will last nearly four months, with plenty of tour dates along the east coast and California. Even a Legend can't keep up a touring pace like that for long; and with fans anticipating the announcement of a new album, these tour dates in 2011 might be fans' last chance to experience the harmonious voice of John Legend for a while.