The most well dressed singer and pianist in the industry will bring his pop sound and political saviness to the Bay Area just one week before the presidential inaguration. Legend blew into the living rooms of ordinary Americans this year, with his part in the Barack Obama tribute song "Yes We Can."
Born John Stephens, Legend, who was a child prodigy who grew up singing gospel in Ohio, for years was behind the scenes of some of the biggest acts in the business. But with a fashion sense like his, who can stay in the closet that long?
Legend got his big break when he was still a teenager, when Lauryn Hill chose him to play piano on her hit "Everything Is Everything" in 1998. After completing college, he moved to New York, where he began to build a loyal following playing in nightclubs and hawking his own Cd's.
But it was his writing skills, and not his lovely sense of style, that got him noticed, and his steady cash flow. Legend wrote and played for artists such as Alicia Keys, Common, Twista, Janet Jackson, and Kanye West.
But, it wasn't until the biggest ego in show business, West, signed him to his new label that he adopted the Legend name with 2004's Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory. Get Lifted, his first studio album, was released that same year.
His single "Ordinary People," helped his album reach the Top Five of the Billboard 200 and led to three Grammy Awards: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist. Once Again, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and number one on the R&B/hip-hop Albums chart, followed in October 2006.
Legend will play the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Monday night at 8 p.m. And while we may have given you short notice, tickets are still available at Razor Gator.