April 15, 2011

John Legend


By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Acclaimed recording artist, concert performer and philanthropist John Legend, who has won nine Grammy awards and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, will speak and perform at Bucknell University on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Legend will give a presentation on creativity and his work, followed by a question-and-answer session and an hour-long concert as part of the ongoing Bucknell Forum series, "Creativity: Beyond the Box."

This is a ticketed event. All tickets have been allotted through a random lottery process. Ticketed seats must be occupied by 7:15 p.m. or they will be forfeited to others waiting in line on a first-come, first-served basis. (See "ticketing policy" for more information).

Overflow seating will be available for the John Legend event in Trout Auditorium (in the Vaughan Literature Building). The auditorium will open at 6:45 p.m. No tickets required.

Legend, who launched his career as a session player and vocalist, contributed to best-selling recordings by Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West before recording his own chain of Top 10 albums: "Get Lifted" (2004), "Once Again" (2006) and "Evolver" (2008), each of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts.

"Get Lifted"
Legend, who launched his career as a session player and vocalist, contributed to best-selling recordings by Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West before recording his own chain of Top 10 albums: "Get Lifted" (2004), "Once Again" (2006) and "Evolver" (2008), each of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts.

"Get Lifted" sold more than 3 million copies, garnered eight Grammy nominations and won Best New Artist, Best R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the song "Ordinary People." "Once Again" sold more than a million copies and received a Grammy award for the song "Heaven," for which Legend also won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Legend and the band The Roots released "Wake Up!" (2010), a compilation of music from the 1960s and '70s all with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and social consciousness, which won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. The album is highlighted with tracks like "Little Ghetto Boy" by Donny Hathaway and Baby Huey and the Babysitters' "Hard Times."

Producer Quincy Jones has called Legend's performances "genius," saying, "For all that he has already achieved in his career, it is going to be fun watching where he goes from here."

Philanthropy
In addition to his music, Legend has dedicated himself to philanthropy. In 2007, he launched the Show Me Campaign, an initiative that uses education to break the cycle of poverty. Legend was awarded the 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year award, and in 2009 received the CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change and the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award by Africare.

He sits on several boards, including The Education Equality Project, Teach for America, Stand for Children, and the Harlem Village Academies, and co-chairs the Harlem Village Academies' National Leadership Board with Rupert Murdoch. Legend is the national spokesperson for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that assists the next generation of minority business leaders.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of PopTech, a unique innovation network with a mission to accelerate the positive impact of world changing people, projects and ideas. In response to devastation surrounding Hurricane Katrina, Legend partnered with Tide laundry detergent to address the needs of families in hard-hit areas. He works with Product (RED), which benefits the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Legend's original composition "Shine" won a Grammy award for Best R&B Song and is the theme song for "Waiting for Superman," Oscar award winner Davis Guggenheim's critically acclaimed documentary about domestic education reform. He also starred in "The People Speak," a film about social change in the United States and has appeared as himself in television shows including "Sesame Street" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The Bucknell Forum
The "Creativity: Beyond the Box" Bucknell Forum series began in fall 2009 and continues through spring 2012. Guests so far have included famed choreographer Twyla Tharp; Neri Oxman, the award-winning MIT architect and designer; Dan Roam, the innovative visual communicator and bestselling author; civil-rights activist, singer and "songtalker" Bernice Johnson Reagon; renowned Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat; and puppeteer Kevin Clash.

The "Creativity: Beyond the Box" series task force comprises faculty members Carmen Gillespie, Beth Capaldi Evans, Paula Davis, Joe Tranquillo, Margot Vigeant and Zhiqun Zhu; students Michael Davis, Class of '13, and Lindsay Machen, Class of '11; and administrators Kari Conrad, Rob Springall and Pete Mackey, chair.

Since 2007, the Bucknell Forum speakers series has featured nationally renowned leaders, scholars and commentators who have examined various issues from multi-disciplinary perspectives and a diversity of viewpoints. || Previous series events

Contact: Division of Communications

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