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Who did John Legend play piano for?

John Legend, born as John Roger Stephens, is a multi-faceted musical genius known for his soulful voice, inspired lyrics, and virtuoso piano playing. Long before he became one of the world’s most popular contemporary recording artists, Legend was known around the globe as an incredibly talented pianist who had worked with several top musical acts.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating journey of this musical prodigy and take a closer look at the artists he has worked with throughout his career.

Early Days

John Legend’s musical journey started at a young age. Growing up in Springfield, Ohio, Legend was brought up in a family of musicians. His mother was a seamstress while his father was a factory worker-slash-drummer. At the tender age of just four, Legend had already fallen in love with playing the piano and was soon taught how to play gospel hymns by his grandmother.

Legend was a quick study and demonstrated an immense aptitude for the piano. By the time he was seven, he had already won his first talent competition, and at age 12, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English with a focus on African American literature while also honing his music skills.

The Lauryn Hill Connection

Not yet out of his teens, Legend was tapped to play piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything” in 1998. This was his first break in the music industry, and it proved to be the stepping stone that launched him toward his musical career. He went on to collaborate with Hill on several other projects, including her 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Collaborations with Kanye West

Despite his early success, John Legend remained relatively under the radar until he was discovered by the Grammy Award-winning rapper and producer Kanye West. After hearing Legend’s demo tape, West was immediately impressed and signed him to his label, G.O.O.D Music.

The collaboration between West and Legend sparked a musical partnership that would change both their lives in incredible ways. At the time, Legend was working on his debut album, Get Lifted, which was released in 2004. The album was an immediate hit, and it’s singles “Ordinary People” and “Used to Love U” became chart-toppers.

Working with Other Top Artists

In addition to his collaborations with Hill and West, John Legend has played the piano on albums by many other top musical acts. He has worked with artists such as Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, and Will Smith, to name a few. He has also performed a range of duets with other famous performers, such as Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, and Ariana Grande.


John Legend’s career is an incredible story of a musical prodigy’s rise to worldwide fame. Despite starting at a young age, he never lost his passion for music and continued to hone his craft throughout the years. He collaborated with some of the music industry’s biggest names, such as Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, and many others, which proved to be an invaluable experience that helped him establish himself as one of the most successful contemporary musical artists of all time.