Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Legend


Half was through the challenge - I originally had a list of several musicians for "L" and I waffled back and forth. There's John Lennon, my personal favorite Beatle (Yoko follows me on Twitter, no joke...my friend's roll their eyes, which is the exact reaction I crave in all situations).  

Then there's Lenny Kravitz - love that modern day hippy-rocker, Hunger Games' stylist. How can I forget him?

Finally, I decided to pull myself out of the 70s-90s and get right into present day for L.

John Legend first appeared on my radar as one of the musicians on Lauren Hill's "Everything is Everything." It was a cool video accompanied by a great song - who wouldn't look it up? I saw the name "John Legend" and it occurred to me that it might be made up - and if so, it was a cool name. 

Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978, John was one of four children. The fact that he was homeschooled on and off caught my eye - and they must have done a good job, since he was offered scholarships to Georgetown and Harvard. John Legend must be one smart cookie. His choice was the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English and African American Lit - most importantly, he became involved in music and excelled in his work with (and in) their a capella group.

From the university, he took a job with a consulting agency and kept his music career on track. Eventually, he met a guy called Kanye West and sang back up. Someone told him his music reminded him of the old-school singers and "legends." Hence, his name: John Legend.

His 2004 debut album, Get Lifted, hit the Billboard charts at #7 and went on to international success. Follow up albums Once Again, Evolver, and Love in the Future each produced additional singles that sealed the deal for me - I'm a huge fan of that smooth voice and musicianship. 

It's hard to tell the tale of John Legend without talking about his extensive touring, work with other artists and awards, but I'm trying to keep it short. One of the most notable came just last year. In 2014, Legend and the rapper, Common, brought their formidable talents together and produced the song "Glory" for the movie Selma

I think you've caught my drift. How much of Cherdo likes John Legend? All of me...








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25 comments:

  1. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    "L" is for late, like today's post. :)

    It is I/me, Shecky Shady Shaft, a legend in my own mind. I'm strictly old school and never heard of John Legend. (The most recent artist I can think of is Vanilla Ice.) Legend has a voice like buttah and a positive message. The second video, although more up tempo, has a theme and lyrics that remind me of one of Philly's Phinest, Teddy Pendergrass, and his hit "Turn Off the Lights."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQiupDIedac

    Thank you for introducing me to this talented singer, dear friend Cherdo, and enjoy your day (what's left of it :)

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    1. Yeah, Cherdo is MTV old school and "hey-set-the-time-correct" late. I set up all the posts before the A-to-Z started (Name, Title, label, schedule) and then filled in the narrative and art. Apparently, I was road weary by the time I got to L and didn't change the time.

      I expect many rock and roll lawsuits for the damage this faux pas has caused. It's a Flipside flipout. My workstation now sports colorful post its that shout "check the time!"

      I loved Teddy Pendergrass. The Stylistics and Al Green were the first brand new album I ever got (a neighbor gave them to me for a birthday; he said he walked in the record shop and said "give me something a teenager would like"). I love a smooth, rich voice and harmony - but the music has to be tight. The arrangement needs to be decent.

      John Legend has it all.

      Enjoyed the video! Thanks, Shady!

      Delete
  2. John Lennon will forever by my favorite Beatle.

    Leeny Kravits is awesome. I loved him in the Hunger Games!

    John Legend is also amazing. I love his songs.

    Great L post!

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    1. The only reason I didn't do Lennon was because anyone who knows me would totally expect it, ha ha.

      Lenny Kravitz's song "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" is a staple. The video is so great; the energy is awesome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LhCd1W2V0Q

      Thanks for stopping by, Chrys! Glad you liked Legend, too.

      Delete
  3. Honestly, I'm surprised you were able to relinquish John Lennon for your L word. I suppose you've made your adoration CRYSTAL CLEAR, so it's okay to move on.

    John Legend. He's one of those singers that I know the songs, but didn't know the singer. I knew the name, but I didn't have a face. I wasn't sure I'd know any of his stuff until I played it. I did know All of Me. Is that woman in the video actually his wife? I was thinking "model" until the end when there was a wedding scene. The wedding looked pretty darn real. The fact that she might be his wife make me now feel uncomfortable about what I was thinking about her during the video. Oh heck. I'll just say it. She often wears RBF (Resting Bitch Face). It's a phenomena that you only understand when you see it. Most people have to work to pull of that bitchy look, but some people (God bless 'em) just seem to wear it as their "normal" expression. Hence RBF. She's a beautiful woman, but would be more so if her face rested on something more pleasant. Ah well. This comment should be about the song and NOT the video.

    I really like All of Me. Now I know with certainty that John Legend sang it. Whew.

    I'd never heard the second song... I don't think. There was a game room I went to that featured soul music all the time and so I heard plenty of songs I'd never be able to remember and identify later. This could've been one of them. Unlike some comments you'll get today, I like rap music sometimes. This wasn't one of those times. Legend's song was really beautiful and then... the rap. I'm not sure what could or would have made that work better (maybe nothing), but I really liked that song until the rap... and then not so much.

    I should've commented on my last comment, but I was overloaded and overwhelmed and... didn't, but I went backwards through your A to Z and tried to comment on everything. I believe I missed Cat. But other than that.... Anyway, really enjoying your A to Z:)

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    1. Robin, I am really appreciating your great commentary!

      John Lennon was an obsession of mine for a long time. There was a period after the Beatles when it was hard to find anyone who knew much about his solo work and there was a lot of Yoko-hate, as if that was the "main" thing. Then Double Fantasy exploded, he was hot again - then gone. So sad.

      I'm with you on "the face." Why would anyone want to have "the face?" Wouldn't that cause people to run? Apparently not, because she IS John Legend's real wife and of course, she does the face when she is sitting across the table from him in the video. "All of Me" is my favorite John Legend song.

      Now for the rapping mid-song: not a big fan. Otherwise, I love that song. Why is the rap interlude popular at all? There's very few examples where it works for me.

      That said, you'll notice I don't have any top ten albums myself - so what do I really know about it? I'm able to place my comments in perspective. :-)

      Thanks for your devotion to the comment task, Robin!

      Delete
  4. Hi, Cherdo,

    I was shocked you hadn't used John Lennon, BUT your choice is certainly worthy.... We must always be current with the talent of today. It dumbfounds me how talented the newer generations are in music. I've heard voices over the past several years that are truly iconic....

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    1. Anyone who knows me is shocked. Expect the unexpected, ha ha. I actually like a broad range of music, but I realized that I was sticking to 70s-90s too much. John would forgive me.

      There's fabulous talent in all genres and generations. I can't understand when someone limits themselves to a niche. They're loosing out.

      Thanks, Michael!

      Delete
  5. Nice choice. Smoooooth.

    Now for the important part of this comment: YOKO FOLLOWS YOU ON TWITTER? Did you just follow her and she followed back, or did she suddenly start following you, or did you send a drawing of John looking like Franklin? I want Yoko to follow me on Twitter.

    When Joyce Maynard became my Facebook friend, I darn near passed out. I don't know how I'd handle any contact with Yoko.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I can't remember how it occurred, but I do remember the moment I saw "Yoko Ono followed you on Twitter" in my mailbox. I did a cartoonish "WHHHHHAAA??"

      Bill Reilly followed me the other day..."whaaaa????"

      I'm sure this is some intern in front of a computer clicking on names.

      Delete
    2. I am now following Yoko and Lady Gaga. If Bill O'Reilly follows me, I'll . . . do something to make him go away.

      Delete
  6. It's not the type of music I listen to, but he has a really nice voice. Clever to take Legend as his last name.

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    1. I was wondering if that was his real name.

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  7. So many great L's indeed. Legend sure will work with almost anyone, shows his range I guess.

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  8. I've heard of him but couldn't have told you any of his songs. The song Tonight has a great back beat.

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  9. John has a captivating voice, for sure. Great find for the "L" today!

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  10. John Legend - nice voice but I'm not a fan of these two songs. I'd have to have look at his other stuff. Still I'm enjoying your A-Z theme!!

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  11. Have to say I don't know much beyond the name on Legend, but Teddy P.? NOW you're talking!

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  12. He's a remarkable talent and someone I think will be around a long time.

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  13. I'm late, I'm late, for a very important hate
    No time to say "Hello", goodbye! I'm late!

    Oh, wait...
    John ...LEGEND.

    OK, didn't know nuttin' 'bout him, but now I do.

    Like Shecky Shady Shaft, I too noticed the lateness of this blog bit. Usually your A2Z post is up and running before I pass out for the night.

    CHERDO, Jeanine Pettibone follows you on Twitter? How interesting.

    Some famous person once left a comment on one of my blog installments but now... I've forgotten who it was. Oh well, fame is a fleeting thing. Here today... hmmm... I've also forgotten how the rest of that saying goes.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  14. I'd heard of John Legend but not listened to his music, that's going to have to change; thanks for the introduction!

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  15. Big fan of Legend! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge, and I look forward to visiting again!

    Sylvia
    www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com

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  16. I am not a Legend fan but I love your bio on him. I learned more about him and I always thought he was one smart cookie. Now I know where his last name comes from too:)

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  17. I've heard of John Legend but don't know much about his music. I've kind of stopped paying attention to what's on the radio for the past few years...

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo