A Conversation with John Legend
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, and renowned philanthropist John Legend inspires audiences in this moderated conversation. Legend shares how he became in the philanthropic space, the importance of social impact work, and his multi-faceted work in this impactful talk.
John Legend: A Moderated Conversation with Music
In this memorable program, EGOT-winner and change agent John Legend connects with audience through a moderated conversation and a musical performance. Legend shares his journey to becoming a global music icon, as well as his work in film, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship for an unforgettable event.
John Legend named one of BCG’s “Most Distinguished Alumni” and shares the lessons he learned about success from his corporate consulting job
Consummate performing artist, philanthropist, and activist JOHN LEGEND was recently named one of the “Top 10 Most Distinguished Alumni” of Boston Consulting Group – the prestigious consultancy he worked with after college. An Ivy League alum of University of Pennsylvania, Legend went on to work for one of the leading business management consultant firms – BCG – just out of college. As he shared in an interview with CNBC, he worked on mergers, drug licensing, and consulting with pharmas, working with companies that impact the economy. He maintains connections from UPenn and BCG to this day, and as he told CNBC, the experience was valuable: “it ups your level of expectations for the kind of businesspeople you want to work with, how you work in teams, how you come to good decisions as a team” – all of which influenced his career as a musician. As he continued his work with the prestigious consulting firm, he never gave up on his dream of working full-time as a musician. As CNBC described, “Legend’s story is not one of overnight success but savvy moves that gave him the opportunity to pursue his passion, including working a safe corporate job for years while hustling through countless rejections and working music on the side.” He worked on his craft and developing relationships, eventually released his album Get Lifted – and the rest is EGOT history.
Headspace’s Chief Music Officer John Legend advocates for mental health and wellbeing, especially for veterans
Award-winning artist, philanthropist, activist, and investor JOHN LEGEND is an outspoken advocate for mental health and wellbeing, and the power of music to influence our lives. In an interview with ESSENCE Magazine, Legend shares how music can be therapeutic during times of healing – especially for veterans. Earlier this year, Legend headlined a Memorial Day concert event for Northwell Health’s “Side By Side” music series – with 100% of the proceeds going to veterans and military programs. Legend told ESSENCE, “I’m glad that so much of the money that we’re going to raise is going to directly help people who are dealing with health issues, mental health issues, and all the things that may arise for our veterans. I’m glad we’re doing what we can to show them some love and support and to express our gratitude to them.” Legend also mentioned his work with Headspace, the popular meditation and mindfulness app, for which serves as Chief Music Officer. He has collaborated with Headspace on a series called “Music on My Mind,” shares his thoughts on the importance of sleep, and more.
Legend in the ESSENCE interview, saying, “Music is powerful and music can be therapeutic. Music can be inspirational. Music can bring us together and transcend some of the boundaries that a lot of people may feel we have. Music can do all that, and music’s going to gather us all in this big arena to celebrate our veterans, celebrate life, and celebrate the idea that we can help each other.” In inspiring and unique presentations, Legend combines the power of storytelling with incredible performances for a memorable event.
EGOT-winner John Legend continues to leverage his platform to make a difference – focusing on local politics with his new project HUMANLEVEL
EGOT-winner, philanthropist, and investor JOHN LEGEND continues to leverage his wide-reaching popularity and influence to make a difference. Legend has been talking to journalists about the importance of local elections, and has endorsed more than two dozen candidates with progressive views on criminal justice reform and ending systemic racism. In addition to encouraging voters to get passionate about their local representatives, Legend has announced his new project HUMANLEVEL – a bold new initiative to build communities that work for all. The national program, which features an executive fellowship, is a partnership with FUSE Corps, a non-profit organization with a decade of experience in the field. The initiative will launch in eleven cities and work to uplift communities disproportionately impacted by institutionalized racism by creating projects that address immediate needs at the city and local level while advocating for more equitable policies at a local, state, and federal level.
In a compelling Wall Street Journal profile, Legend shared his perspective on how his activism dovetails with his expanding success as an artist and entrepreneur: “I was always inspired by people who spoke out, whether they were artists or activists or politicians who went against the grain.” He continued, sharing his calling to make an impact in the world: “To be an artist, to be a leader, meant that you had to speak out when you saw injustice, speak out for what’s right. That’s what it meant to live an important life.”
John Legend expands his reach into publishing, skincare, and NFTs, while continuing to create incredible music
One of the most talented and engaging performing artists of our time, JOHN LEGEND is also a consummate business leader – recently expanding his reach into publishing, skincare, and NFTs. Beyond his Get Lifted Film Co. production company – which has had numerous successes across genres including the IDA Award-winning HBO docu-series Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children – Legend has ventured into book publishing. Partnering with Zando, he, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius have launched Get Lifted Books – a social justice-focused imprint. Legend has also partnered with A-Frame Brands, an LA-based holdings company, to create a skincare line focused on the unique needs of darker, melanin-rich skin, according to Fortune. The EGOT-winner, in partnership with Our Happy Company, is set for the global launch of the art and music NFT platform OurSong. Described as a “social commerce platform,” OurSong will prioritize ease of access for users and Legend will serve as Chief Impact Officer, as reported by Forbes and Cointelegraph.
Legend recently released his contribution to Audible’s “Words + Music” series, with Living Legend. He explores his history and presents a combination of music and stories that reflect on the way themes like faith, freedom, and love have followed him through his life. This release follows his eighth full-length studio album, the self-titled Legend double album, which he describes in an insightful New Yorker interview titled “John Legend Bet On Himself.” Legend shares his incomparable insights in riveting moderated conversations, which can include a musical performance as well, for a truly unforgettable event for audiences of all kinds.
John Legend's advocacy for social justice and equality
From a young age, JOHN LEGEND aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. In an essay competition Legend won at age 15, he wrote of his dream to become a star recording artist and to use his influence and resources to give back to his community. And that is exactly what he has done – throughout his career, Legend has committed his time, energy, and resources to social justice and equality.
For well over a decade, Legend's philanthropy and advocacy has focused on building just, equitable, and thriving communities. Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015, a multi-year culture change campaign focused on ending mass incarceration. FREEAMERICA works to amplify the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system and those working to change it in an effort to challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and end the era of mass incarceration. FREEAMERICA launched the first-of-its-kind accelerator for formerly incarcerated individuals in partnership with New Profit and Bank of America: Unlocked Futures supports innovative social enterprises led by formerly incarcerated individuals and people directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
In 2007, Legend started The Show Me Campaign, to give every child access to a quality education as well as address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities, and disadvantaged.
EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multiplatinum singer-songwriter John Legend has garnered 12 Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award, among others. Legend is the first African-American man to earn an EGOT and one of only fifteen people in the prestigious EGOT club. Legend has released seven celebrated albums over the course of his career and is also a coach on The Voice.
Legend is the first African-American man to earn an EGOT and one of only fifteen people in the prestigious EGOT club. Legend has released seven celebrated albums over the course of his career, including, Get Lifted (2004), Once Again (2006), Evolver (2008), Love in the Future (2013), Darkness and Light (2016), A Legendary Christmas Deluxe (2019), and Bigger Love (2020). Currently, Legend’s “All of Me” ties with Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” as the highest certified track in Recording Industry Association of America’s history.
Legend starred as Jesus in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert in April 2018. That year, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and won an Emmy as a producer in the category of Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for the show.
Legend joined The Voice for Season 16 (2019) and is currently a coach on Season 20. In October 2018, Legend released his first Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas, and closed out the year with his A Legendary Christmas tour. He released a special A Legendary Christmas Deluxe version in 2019.
Beyond his music career, John, along with partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, is a principal of Get Lifted Film Co. Most recently, Get Lifted produced David E. Talbert’s acclaimed holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey for Netflix, the HBO, IDA Award-winning docu-series Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, the IFC and AMC comedy series Sherman's Showcase and Sherman's Showcase: Black History Month Spectacular, and Rhythm + Flow for Netflix. Their other recent projects include the documentary 40 Years A Prisoner on HBO Max and the documentary Giving Voice, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is available for streaming on Netflix. Their forthcoming projects include the film Monster, which was recently acquired by Netflix, and the film adaptation of S.A. Cosby’s novel Blacktop Wasteland. Recently announced, Get Lifted and Erik Feig’s PICTURESTART formed Picture LIFT, a joint venture focused on developing, producing and financing multiple films in the $10M range, featuring diverse filmmakers and inclusive casts.
From a young age, Legend aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. In an essay competition Legend won at age 15, he wrote of his dream to become a star recording artist and to use his influence and resources to give back to his community. And that is exactly what he has done – throughout his career, Legend has committed his time, energy, and resources to social justice and equality.
Through supporting the work of grassroots organizations on the ground, John Legend has played a significant role in achieving cutting-edge policy victories across the country - in places as different as California (Proposition 47 in 2014, Proposition 57 in 2016), Louisiana (Comprehensive piece of reform legislation in 2017, and Amendment 2 in 2018), Florida (Amendment 4), New York (Close Rikers Campaign and the bail reform bill in 2019), and the federal Ban the Box policy.
From a young age, Legend aspired to use his position in the entertainment industry as a platform for social change. Throughout his career, Legend has committed his time, energy, and resources to social justice and equality. His philanthropy and advocacy has focused on building just, equitable, and thriving communities. Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015 to change the national conversation surrounding our country’s misguided criminal justice policies and to end mass incarceration. In 2007, Legend started The Show Me Campaign, to give every child access to a quality education as well as address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities, and disadvantaged.
In addition to Legend’s signature initiatives, he serves on the Board of Directors of Harlem Village Academies and Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and on the Advisory Board for The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Teach for All.