Tag Archives John Legend

John Legend Shares Why He Participated In The ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Documentary

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Since the premiere of Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary, we’ve seen a number of celebrities speak out against the singer-songwriter and Chicago native via social media and news outlets. Some have even made the conscious decision to remove their R. Kelly collaborations from streaming platforms. However, there were several celebrities who reportedly declined to appear in the Lifetime documentary for unknown reasons. One celebrity in particular, however, decided to make an appearance and lend his voice to the victims of abuse.

John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen appeared on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen’ and revealed why he decided to speak out in the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries after a caller requested to know what he thought of other celebrities declining to participate.

“I don’t want to cast any aspersions on people because everyone has their own reasons for not doing something,” he said. “I get asked to be on documentaries all the time. It’s not because I don’t agree with the premise of the documentary that I don’t do it, but there are all kinds of reasons you don’t do it.”

John revealed that he is friends with both the director of the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary and those who were a part of the Mute R. Kelly movement.

“The reason why I did it is, I’m friends with the director Dream Hampton,” Legend continued. “She’s awesome we worked together on ending mass incarceration and I respect her work. Another reason is that I have good friends that were a part of the Mute R. Kelly movement. They were literally marching on the streets and they work with rape victims in Chicago. I knew that as a celebrity that I could lend my voice to these people who have been hurt.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh6pwdVz18s&w=560&h=315]

Letitia Wright To Star In Remake Of French Comedy ‘Le Brio’ Produced By John Legend

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Letitia Wright is set to not only star in but executive produces the American remake of 2017 French comedy, Le Brio. Joining Wright as a producer will be singer-songwriter John Legend under his Get Lifted Film Company banner.

The original Le Brio film tells the story of the relationship between a young French-Arab woman from an underprivileged neighborhood and a brilliant but prejudiced professor, who is forced to coach her for an annual speech contest. In the remake, it will explore the complex relationship between a student and a professor who come from different ethnic and social backgrounds. However, according to Variety, the film remake will not center on the speech competition.

The film is expected to go into production next year, with Letitia Wright starring as the female lead. A director has not yet been attached.

“With Get Lifted Film Company’s great creative input, the remake will have more of a political bend than the French film to reflect the current tense climate and race relations in the U.S.,” said French producer Dimitri Rassam. “Ultimately, the film will show how sharing knowledge can help build bridges between people from different generations and backgrounds, as well as help people overcome their own prejudices and anger.”

Rassam will also be co-producing the film via his Paris-based banner Chapter 2.

Ebony Magazine Unveils Its 2016 Ebony Power 100 List

This year has been full of black magic and last week, EBONY unveiled their annual Power 100 list honoring the extraordinary achievements of Black professionals, entertainers, and civic leaders. The list includes Beyonce, NFL player Colin Kaepernick, comedian Kevin Hard, tennis champion Serena Williams, singer Solange, artist Chance The Rapper, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, groundbreaking web/television star Issa Rae, and President of the NIKE brand Trevor Edwards just to name a few.

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EBONY selects the movers and shakers in our country who have made proficiently significant achievements over the past year. EBONY doesn’t just focus on the entertainment industry these entities are chosen from all fields, including business, medicine, sports, media, religion, creative arts, and anything else impactful or influential to our society.

“These 100 individuals are not only authoring their own success stories, they are leveraging their platforms in order to improve various facets of Black life and render us visible on the world stage.” – Editor-in-Chief, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles.

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The 2016 annual EBONY Power 100 issue is themed “power in numbers” reflecting on how vital it is to stick together as a community and open doors for one another. Nas is featured for employing brown people to tell the true story of hip-hop in the hit Netflix series The Get Down. Ava DuVernay is educating viewers by giving a voice to the voiceless through her mass incarceration documentary, 13th.  John Legend is documenting the true narrative of Black Wall Street. Simone Biles who has made history and is inspiring little black girls all over the world to believe in the unbelievable. Ebony says, “Power is nothing if it is not shared.”

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The 2016 Power 100 list will appear in the December issue of EBONY, check the full list of the EBONY Power 100, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews on EBONY.com

 

See How These Celeb Moms Celebrated Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a time to show love for all the strong women of the world who play inspirational roles in their children’s lives. Moms, aunt’s, and grandmothers everywhere are dedicated this special day to be reminded of how appreciated they are.

Every family celebrates Mother’s Day differently. Some enjoy a night on the town, other’s prefer a lazy morning in bed. And, of course, there are those who do it big, like having a live orchestra perform in their living room! No matter what way these ladies are celebrated, they are greatly appreciated.

Let’s take a look to see how some of your favorite celebrities enjoy the special day.

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Welcome Baby Girl

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Congratulations are in order for Chrissy and John, who just brought their first baby into the world together.

Baby Luna Simone Stephens was born at a healthy six pounds eleven ounces. Although the model/ TV personality posted the big news on Sunday, Luna was actually born Thursday, April 14th.

John did his part to let fans know about the new arrival too.

Very happy for the love birds, and good luck on your growing family!

John Legend Readies to be Executive Producer of New Slave Drama

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So many titles can be thought of when the name John Legend is said. Now, executive producer is the latest one he has scored.

John and his Get Lifted production company are in the works of putting together a slave drama series with WGN America. Underground is based on a group of slaves who plan to escape their distressful Georgian plantation. Along the journey, they are helped by an abolitionist couple through the Underground Railroad.

The executive producer divulged to Deadline about his excitement with the new project.

“This series has a unique opportunity to speak to the passion and courage of those who risked it all as they raced to freedom. We are honored to bring our creative vision to this thrilling project.”

The one hour drama is being filmed in Louisiana and is slated to release some time in 2016.

 

John Legend Kicks Off ‘Free America’ Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

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Earlier this week, singer-songwriter John Legend announced his campaign to bring an end to mass incarceration, Free America. The multi-year campaign is designed to create awareness around an issue that is seriously plaguing our nation.

“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

John Legend will kick off his campaign this Thursday (April 16) by performing at a Texas correctional facility center followed by a press conference with state legislators to discuss the criminal justice system.

Head over to the Associated Press for the full article and more about this initiative.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Hire Food Trucks to Feed NYC Protesters

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Countless celebrities continue to show their support for protests and demonstrations regarding the Eric Garner and Ferguson no indictment decisions. Grammy award-winning singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen decided to show their support in a rather unique yet fitting way. The couple hired food trucks to serve food to hungry protesters in New York City at no cost. They simply wanted to make sure these protesters had the energy to keep them going.

Chrissy took to her Twitter to share the news with her followers by retweeting the following tweet:

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Shortly thereafter, Legend shared his latest project for the upcoming film Selma, which happens to closely resemble the movements of today. The track, “Glory,” was written by John Legend and Common. Take a listen.

“That’s why Rosa sat on the bus/That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up.”

Live Civil’s Top 5 R&B Albums of 2013

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In light of recent award shows naming acts such as Rihanna, in their R&B category, we took it upon ourselves to compose a list of who WE think had the best R&B albums of 2013. Nothing against the reigning Queen of Ratch, it’s just she’s sincerely a pop artist and we won’t even mention the main reason she was probably thrown into the “R&B” category. That being said, here’s my top 5 R&B albums of 2013:

5. Ariana Grande – Yours Truly
Being compared to the incomparable Mariah Carey right out the gate is a feat in itself; but with the willingness of the media to bestow unwarranted titles and accolades, sometimes you have to take a second look. While Ariana Grande is not Mariah Carey, she is in fact a very talented singer that, on her first cd, has given us some great 90’s era R&B moments. The staccato delivery of the bridge on “Honeymoon Avenue” is one of my favorite parts to sing in the shower (which we know is one of the most important factors) and this album you can definitely play top to bottom.

4. Kelly Rowland – Talk A Good Game
If Beyonce is the oven/stove of the musical kitchen, then Kelly would be the crock pot/slow-cooker. While everybody loves a hearty meal, sometimes you don’t need to go ALL THE WAY in to get some good food, sometimes it’s nice to let things take their time. That’s exactly what you have with Kelly as an artist and with this TAGG album. Kelly is always consistent with the vocals, and some would even say that her sexy moments feel a bit more genuine than…other artists. And her song “Red Wine”, flawless.

3. K. Michelle – Rebellious Soul
2. Tamar Braxton – Love and War
I have absolutely no problem admitting that I’m not the biggest fan of K. Michelle or Tamar, however, talent is talent and both of these ladies are among a VERY few with REAL vocal chops in the industry right now. Rebellious Soul is reminiscent of that first and second Keyshia Cole album that EVERYBODY loved. K’s voice powers through songs that are the perfect track to key your ex’s car to. Tamar is a little more balanced and plays like a normal relationship. You have your ups and downs but when you’re in love you enjoy the whole ride. Bravo to both of these women.

1. John Legend – Love In The Future
As the only male on the list, John holds it down with this album. A very stripped down performance, occasionally with a piano being the only accompaniment, John EMOTES throughout this entire album. The production on this album is a bit more experimental than we’re used to from John but it works so well on this project, a la the track “Asylum”. He has the requisite rapper feature with Rick Ross entitled, “Who Do We Think We Are” and he collab on the interlude “Angel” with Stacy Barthe will bless and piss you off at the same time.

Honorable Mention
Travis Garland and Sevyn Streeter both put out SOLID R&B projects this year (Sevyn’s EP debuted just this week) and while they didn’t make the cut, if you’re not familiar you should DEFINITELY add them into your rotation ASAP!

Let us know if you guys agree, disagree or if we left anybody off!

John Legend For Uptown Magazine On Kanye’s Fatherhood, Life With Chrissy, and Being Affected By Divorce

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Did you know that John Legend began playing the piano at the age of 4, wrote his first song at 11, entered high school at 12 and enrolled in college at 16? Neither did we until we got a chance to read his feature in the July issue of UPTOWN Magazine. The Grammy Award winning singer and pianist, is one of our favorites having worked with everyone from Kanye West and Brandy, to the roots. However, for all of the things that we know about Mr. Legend, there is still so much to be uncovered.

Uptown Magazine sat down with John Legend and was able to get answers from him on everything from what it was like growing up in a home with divorced parents, to his thoughts on mentor Kanye West’s new parenthood, as well as what the future holds for him and fiance Chrissy Teigen. Check out some excerpts below!

On new album “Love In The Future”:

Part of [Love in the Future] is purely autobiographical. So, in the literal sense, I am beginning a new journey. I am getting married and starting a family, hopefully. It is about embracing that future with optimism and hope and knowing that it’s going to be an interesting journey.

On his relationship with model and Twitter badass Chrissy Teigen:

[Chrissy Teigen and I] got engaged in 2011 and we are getting married later this year. I am looking forward to having kids and growing old together. That’s why we are doing it, because we intend to stay together forever … She is beautiful, smart, and hilarious. She has a great heart and we have great chemistry.

On how he handles being in the spotlight and keeping his relationship out of the BS:

I am just not bothered by random gossip that keeps Twitter and the Internet going. I know why it’s done: People need stuff to post on their blogs. Let them have at it. You can’t allow those things to define you and who you are. When you’re 34 and you have been in this business for a while, you don’t allow blogs and gossip to define you.

Read more from the full interview on the Uptown Magazine site which is live right now!

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to Address Cheating Rumors on ‘Oprah’

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When the New York Post claimed that her crooner fiancé John Legend had cheated on her with a pretty brunette at a Manhattan night club, model Chrissy Teigen responded to the accusations by denying them on Twitter (of course). In a preview clip for the upcoming episode of Oprah, it looks like the couple will be asked some pretty personal questions about those claims. Leave it to Oprah to be upfront, and straight-up.

Check out the preview clip for Sunday’s episode below.

A Night To Remember: The Hip Hop Inaugural Ball II

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As we mentioned earlier, this past weekend was Russell Simmons’ Heineken sponsored event, The Hip Hop Inaugural Ball II. Hosted by Lala and Terence J, the night kicked off with MC Lyte and Doug E. Fresh both receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards for their influence on Hip-Hop culture and many of the artists we know and love today. However, being the veterans they are, of course they couldn’t leave without blessing the stage and attendees with a few bars. MC Lyte performed a few bars of “Slave 2 the Rhyme” a capella, and Doug E. Fresh followed up with a beatboxing accompaniment to funny-man Wayne Brady’s rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Going On“.

“I think hip-hop had a role in making sure we elected a black president in America because we made it so that black people were in people’s homes … through our music and through our culture,” John Legend said Sunday night at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball. ”I think it made Barack Obama and more people like him possible, so I’m really thankful for hip-hop and the role it plays in society,” he continued.

John Legend was awarded the humanitarian award while Hip-hop pioneers MC Lyte and Doug E. Fresh were both given lifetime achievement awards. 2 Chainz earned the street solider award for encouraging young voters as a spokesperson for the Hip-Hop Caucus’ “Respect My Vote!” campaign. Actress Rosario Dawson won the vanguard award for her work as chairman of the Voto Latino organization.

Scholar, Georgetown University Professor and notorious pop culture commentator, Michael Eric Dyson also commented on the importance of hip hop in American culture.

“A generation of people were seeing black men with power.” And in true Michael Eric Dyson fashion, made a crowd pleasing political/pop culture allusion with the line “Without Busta Rhymes, Barack Obama wouldn’t have been able to bust a rhyme.”

Also on hand for performance was Lil Mama, Yo Yo and Marsha Ambrosius, who performed the hit “Butterflies” which she co-wrote with Michael Jackson for his album Invincible back in ’01.

Overall, a great event, and a great event for hip hop. Heineken, whose core values include inspiring consumers to become more holistic men, was a great complement to the night’s celebrations in both it’s inventiveness, and innate ability to represent things in an upscale fashion.