Looking to Book John Legend?
After graduating from college, Legend worked as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and began producing, writing, and recording his own music. He released two albums independently: his self-titled demo (2000) and Live at Jimmy’s Uptown (2001), which he sold at his shows. He subsequently began working on his demo and began sending his work to various record labels.
In 2001, Devo Springsteen introduced Legend to Kanye West, then an up-and-coming hip-hop artist; Legend was hired to sing during the hooks of West’s music. After signing to West’s label, he chose his stage name from an idea that was given to him by poet J. Ivy, due to what he perceived as an “old-school sound”. J. Ivy stated, “I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. As a matter of fact, that’s what I’m going to call you from now on! I’m going to call you John Legend.” After J. Ivy continued to call him by the new matter of fact, that’s what I’m going to call you from now on! I’m going to call you John Legend.” After J. Ivy continued to call him by the new moniker “John Legend”, others quickly caught on, including Kanye West. Despite Stephens’ reluctance to adopt a stage name, he eventually announced his new artist name as John Legend.