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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Friday's Connector – John Legend

October 25th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

John Legend’s path to success is one most musicians can only dream of.

John Legend is your Connector of the Day.
John Legend is your Connector of the Day.

The artist started his career as a college student at the University of Pennsylvania where he was tapped to collaborate with Lauryn Hill on her current album at the time.

Shortly after graduation he was introduced to Kanye West who eventually helped him sign a deal with Columbia Records.

His first album “Get Lifted” earned Legend 6 Grammy awards including Best New Artist. It went on to sell 3 million copies worldwide and debuted in the top ten of the Billboard 200.

His next two albums came out in quick succession and were greeted with equal acclaim. And in 2007 Legend was awarded the Starlight award from the Songwriters hall of fame.

And this year he’s released a collaborative album with The Roots entitled “Wake up” featuring a range of guest artists.

This is your chance to ask the musical “Legend” you’re questions. Need some tips on the Industry? Want to know his song-writing secrets?

Please leave your questions for him below and be sure to tell us where you're writing from.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello John Legend(John Stephens) and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from John Legend on the following questions:

    – How do you, who contributed a share of the proceeds of some Madison Square Gard Concert tickets to a Global Fund, Improve the world to be AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Free?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011?

    I am awaiting John Legend’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  2. Marmalade

    Are you Single?????????

    October 26, 2010 at 11:29 am | Reply
  3. Greg V

    To John Legend:

    It's an honor to be able to ask a few questions to such an innovative (and emotionally stirring) musician!

    -One of your greatest talents is in collaboration with other legendary artists (no pun intended). If you could make music with anybody, living or dead, who would it be?

    -Throughout your career, you've masterfully transcended genres, covering everything from Soul to Hip Hop to Reggae and more. What type of music would you like to tackle next?

    Keep making inspiring music!
    Greg V
    Chicago, IL, USA (written from Amman, Jordan)

    October 26, 2010 at 11:35 am | Reply
  4. Shonta

    Your "Show Me" campaign made a huge impact on the parents here in Chicago via Etoy Ridgnal (Stand for Children), and I want to extend a HUGE thanks to you for this philanthropic gesture! You truly remembered the "Ordinary People".

    We love you, John, and may God continue to bless you in the almighty name Jesus.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:57 am | Reply
  5. K Groomes

    I am an American citizen currently living in the UAE. I was checking out the top news stories today and found your articles refreshing from the usual humdrum news stories. My son sings amazing well,He has an incredible voice. I could not get him to pursue th emusic industry. All through high school friends and acquaintances wanted to hear him sing. What is the best avenue to get him to interview with a record company. I first saw you when I surprised him with concert tickets for your show in Atlanta's Moorehouse College a few years ago. I have been in love with your flavor of music since.I am probably one of your oldest fans. Keep up the good word

    October 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  6. George

    Hi John,

    I am curious to know about the reality of the illuminati in the entertainment business; Question, what's the reality?

    God Bless you Mightily

    October 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  7. Wenko

    Hello John...Who influenced your musical style? I think you're such a unique artist, you have a style all your own, it's very appealing and distinct for me...God bless you! From Mnaila with Love, Wenko

    October 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  8. Kara

    Your music is beautiful and transcendent. Can you talk about your process as a song-writer?

    October 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  9. Thai

    I'm thinking of proposing to my girlfriend on Friday during your lecture/concert at Butler University, I don't suppose you can sneak PDA into your set list while talking about the American education system? Probably not the best venue, I'll admit, but no harm in asking.

    I'd like to also commend you in your mission to reform the education system, I'm curious what inspired you to become so involved in the education debate?

    October 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  10. Mauricio Escalante

    Hello John, what process do you take when writing songs? Do they just come up in your mind? or do you elaborate on them as you go?

    October 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  11. Daramola

    Dear legend,

    Remember the first time i heard you, that song "ordinary people" you sounded like the finest angel from heaven singing peace to the troubled earth. you're awesome!
    This is my humble question

    Do you count your voice uniqueness as product of sheer gift or the result of hard work( voice training and all those vocal gymnastics stuff people try).

    Legend you are, legend you always will be!

    Much love from Abuja, Nigeria

    October 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  12. Maxi

    Hi John,
    I wanted to know if you still get nervous performing? What do you do to calm your nerves?
    Beloit, Wisconsin

    October 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  13. Folusho Dolire

    Hullo John. How long do you rehearse before album release? What hint do you have for artiste in the offing, especially in underdevelope Africa? Lagos, Nigeria.

    November 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  14. Frank

    He is something else but only HUMAN....cudos Amigo

    November 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  15. kenechi okenyi from enugu nigeria

    Hello john,please can you tell us how you right your lyrics and the steps you take?I also want to know about this illuminatic presence in the music industry cos it worry so much that artiste i love like jayz are rumoured to be down with illuminati.I just want to here that it is not true.Kenechi okenyi from enugu nigeria

    November 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  16. stanley whorl ogburie

    Hi Mr. John,
    is just so nice to no i can send you a message.I must say your songs are very powerful.I think we share same kind of voice so most times,i keep rehearsing with "Everybody knows n Refuge".So my question is"Have you lookd into helpin new artistes?"If you have,i'll be honoured to work with you.I need to make a future for myself coz my dad doesn't really believe in the music thing.thankyou n much love...
    Am Stanley from Owerri,Nigeria.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  17. Willyin

    u r bomb keep it up just wanna how u rehearse each day willyin 4rm kaduna nigeria

    November 5, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  18. iwinosa destiny

    good work, i love your music, my question, how do intend to help some of the upcoming artist, you know when it comes to music it is not easy, try and help us

    November 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  19. Obi favour

    Hey,John legend i must say am still in luv with your tracks titled(Green light)
    Ques.-how can someone become a music star.

    November 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  20. Paul Cletus

    Hi, John Legend, i love you and your songs, wishing you good luck, because inspirational words and wisdom is better than money, when you have it, it make you live better and also have peaceful money, not live or die trying to get money means, Thanks.
    From Paul Cletus, Lagos, Nigeria.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  21. iwinosa destiny

    i love your music alot, how do plan to help people with it, i mean the upcoming stars, for alot of people are out there looking for supporters. Destiny from nigeria

    November 6, 2010 at 5:05 am | Reply
  22. Henry

    Hi JOHN LEGEND n the CNN CREW,i would like to know what inspires u towards music?,n how was it when you were growing into music? Henry from Nigeria.

    November 6, 2010 at 6:28 am | Reply
  23. sayo victor 4rm ondo,nigeria

    hi John
    i see dis as an opportunity and tank God 4 CNN, is there any other ways ur fans can meet or chat with u?

    November 6, 2010 at 6:33 am | Reply
  24. henry swish

    john were do you get ur inspiration n lyrics from. Pls can u tel me d title of the song u sang alongside pink and two old men?

    November 6, 2010 at 8:07 am | Reply
  25. samuel chiauzor

    hi john can i know your secret of becoming a musician

    November 6, 2010 at 8:32 am | Reply
  26. Dennis

    John, what (or who) was the inspiration for the song Ordinary People?

    November 6, 2010 at 11:04 am | Reply
  27. Lucky Okereke

    Hi J-Legend, pls how possible is it for a Nigerian artiste to gain entry into the US music industry & what are the procedures required. (Lucky from Nigeria)

    November 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  28. Adejoro Shola

    Am Shola from Nigeria,I want to ask you what is the force that has been driving you in your career?

    November 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  29. Adebanke ibrahim

    Hi Legend, what a talent God bestow to you, cos you're so motivating & articulating in your melodeous song, i hardly get myself out of the tune whenever i perceive the lyrics, & the rythm's. You are my man JL...(Ibrahim 4rm 9ja)

    November 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  30. Abdul hakeem

    Cute lookin guy,honestly i caught cold feet when i read thru ur profile & d fast sellin rcords.wht's ur drivin force? 4rm alaba int,lagos,nigeria

    November 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  31. Kehinde adebote

    Hi john legend,throughly u are a legend to be,your music is a mind touching,soul healing and a such a music everyone must listen to.i love u for such great job.kenny from nigeria

    November 7, 2010 at 8:52 am | Reply
  32. Onuohajonah

    I want to know how you started and can you tell how your end is going to be

    November 7, 2010 at 9:33 am | Reply
  33. jameela

    hi john!!! i love soul....so i love your music all of your songs!!!! i will love to sing some day!!! how do u do it!!! am your number one fan!!! xoxo

    November 8, 2010 at 3:00 am | Reply
  34. Reubykay

    I want to know how to compose a nice song please

    November 8, 2010 at 7:04 am | Reply
  35. uyi

    john,u r simply d best.ur album get lifted was wow,i mean what is d force dat drives u when composing ur lyrics...they re good. Uyi

    November 8, 2010 at 8:32 am | Reply
  36. Tony Foli

    Hi John. You've been a source of inspiration to many artist in the Gambia, most especially NOVA Who sang WHY NOT GAMBIAN. None of this guys have a record label. What advice do u have for them.

    November 8, 2010 at 8:32 am | Reply
  37. solostar

    Hi John, please i want to know the reality of the illuminati wealth / fame in Nigerian music industry and how to become a member............

    December 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  38. John

    John Legend signs to makes pianticolis be aware that the people matter. All they do are for the good of their constituents. Tax cuts should not provide problems for the people.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply

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