John Legend on tour with Alicia Keys, John Legend as a guest of Alicia Keys.
The critically-acclaimed neo-soul singer/songwriter/performer John Legend, whose debut album is currently among the nation's Top 10 best-sellers, will perform as the show opener on the upcoming Alicia Keys "Diary" Tour, beginning February 23 in Columbia, South Carolina (see full itinerary following).
John Legend's association with Alicia Keys goes back to 2003, when he lent his vocal talent to "You Don't Know My Name," the lead single from the multi- platinum "Diary Of Alicia Keys" (see here). John Legend also co-wrote, sang and played on the Kanye West remix of "If I Ain't Got You," from the same album.
Released to stores on December 28, 2004, Legend's "Get Lifted debuted" (see here) at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 before bulleting to #4 the following week. The album remains at #4 on the Top 200 while continuing to lock down the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B Album Sales chart for three weeks in a row.
Among the artist's television appearances, John Legend performed his hit single, "Used To Love U," on the NBC Emmy Award-winning morning talk show "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Friday, January 14. Legend can be seen performing "Uptight" as Stevie Wonder on "American Dreams," scheduled to air on April 10 on NBC (check your local listings).
Produced by platinum rapper Kanye West, "Get Lifted" has captured the hearts of R&B fans and the music press alike. John Legend has performed with Kanye West on tour and is featured as a vocalist, pianist and co-writer on several tracks on West's 2004 debut album, "The College Dropout" (see here).
"His brand of soul is mannered, even elegant," wrote Anthony DeCurtis in a four-star review in Rolling Stone (January 11, 2005) while Kelefa Sanneh, writing in The New York Times (January 3, 2005) observed that "John Legend is a lovely crooner ... The hip-hop tracks help keep him tethered to his strikingly handsome songs."
Jon Pareles, also writing for The New York Times (December 20, 2004), said that "John Legend's voice is the grabber. It's supple and bold, echoing the gliding, curving lines and impulsive dynamics of Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, the rasp of Otis Redding and the falsetto of Al Green."
"Legend is not a hip-hop artist," claimed Steve Hochman, in an article for the Los Angeles Times. "Rather, he is a classic R&B performer and songwriter in the tradition of Stevie Wonder."
"He has crafted an able neo-soul debut that will easily set him apart from his R&B counterparts," wrote Rashaun Hall in Billboard (January 5, 2005). "In Legend's case: believe the hype."
John Legend grew up in a household steeped in Gospel music. Moving from Springfield, Ohio, to Philadelphia, he fell in love with the sounds of contemporary urban and R&B music filling the local airwaves. He played piano on "Everything Is Everything" on the Grammy-winning "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998 (see here) and, by 2000, had become an integral part of the burgeoning neo-Soul movement, performing shows in and around Philadelphia and bringing his music to audiences in New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.
After Kanye West attended one of John's shows, the hit-making producer/rapper enlisted John's help for the College Dropout album in 2002. In 2003-2004, John Legend made a number of guest appearances on -- as well as writing for -- projects for artists including Twista, Dilated Peoples, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Eve, Common, the Black-Eyed Peas, and Alicia Keys, among others. Prior to beginning work on his eagerly-awaited debut album, "Get Lifted" in 2004, John Legend ended his nine-year tenure as choir director, pianist and head of the music department at Bethel AME Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
John Legend/Alicia Keys "Diary" Tour Dates:
2/23 Columbia, SC Township Auditorium
2/25 Miami, FL James L. Knight Center
2/26 Tampa, FL Carol Morsani PAC
2/27 Augusta, GA Bell Auditorium
3/2 Birmingham, AL Concert Hall
3/4 Houston, TX Reliant Stadium/RodeoHouston
3/5 Dallas, TX Nokia Live
3/6 Austin, TX Bass Concert Hall
3/9 Denver, CO Lecture Hall
3/11 Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre
3/12 Las Vegas, NV The Joint
3/16 Los Angeles, CA Kodak Theatre
3/17 Los Angeles, CA Kodak Theatre
3/19 Oakland, CA Paramount
3/20 Oakland, CA Paramount
3/23 St. Louis, MO Fox Theatre
3/25 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
3/26 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
3/27 East Lansing, MI Soaring Eagle Casino
3/29 Toronto, ONT Rama Casino
4/1 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
4/2 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
4/3 Cincinnati, OH Music Hall
4/6 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
4/7 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
4/9 Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
4/12 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music
4/13 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort and Casino
4/14 Boston, MA Wang Performing Arts Center
4/16 Washington DC Constitution Hall
4/17 Washington DC Constitution Hall
4/20 Richmond, VA Landmark Theatre
4/22 New York City Radio City Music Hall
4/23 New York City Radio City Music Hall
4/24 Newark, NJ NJPAC Prudential Hall
John Legend "Get Lifted" CD: ORDER IT NOW.