A candid discussion and intimate performance.
Based on his extensive efforts to make a difference in the lives of others, Legend will be the inaugural recipient of the Salem Advocate for Social Justice award, presented by The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice. When possible, this recognition is presented in collaboration with Salem State University at the Salem State Series. The award recognizes luminaries in their fields who use their platforms to champion social justice issues and advocate for the underrepresented populations.Recipients embrace the Salem Award Foundation’s mission to promote awareness, understanding and empathy in support of human rights and social justice.Ohio-born John Legend is a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter. His work has garnered him ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, the BET Award for Best New Artist and the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, among others. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania where he studied English and African-American literature, Legend participated in a wide range of musical activities while in college. During the same period, Legend was introduced to Lauryn Hill, who hired him to play piano on her track "Everything Is Everything," and shortly thereafter he began to play shows around the Philadelphia area, eventually expanding his audience base to New York, Boston, Atlanta and Washington D.C. After college, Legend was introduced to then up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West, who quickly signed Legend to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint and hired him to sing vocal hooks on some of his music. Legend started gaining momentum through a series of similar collaborations with established artists, adding vocals to an impressive list of chart-topping hits including West's "All of the Lights," Jay-Z's "Encore" and back-up vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song, "You Don't Know My Name." Legend’s debut album, Get Lifted, was released in December of 2004 through Columbia Records. The critically acclaimed album spawned the artist's first hit single, “Ordinary People,” and scored Legend multiple Grammy Awards in 2006, including Best R&B Album, Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The follow up was 2006’s platinum-selling Once Again, which brought Legend another Grammy, Best Male R&B Performance, for his single “Heaven,” and included collaborations with Kanye West, will.i.am and Raphael Saadiq. Legend’s next release was 2008’s Revolver, led by the hit single "Green Light" featuring Andre 3000. His 2010 collaboration with the Roots, Wake Up, won the Grammy for Best R&B Album a year later. Legend’s highly acclaimed fourth and most current studio album Love In the Future, features “All of Me,” Legend’s highest selling and charting song to date, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on both Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts.