.

John Legend Gets Lifted

R&B singer makes debut on Kanye's label

December 28, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Ohio-born soul singer and pianist John Legend's solo debut, Get Lifted, hits stores today, on Kanye West's Sony-affiliated label, Getting Out Our Dreams (GOOD).

While still in his teens, Legend (then John Stephens) played on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything," before moving to New York to develop his own material. Legend has played on and written for records by Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson and Twista, and put in a guest appearance on Talib Kweli's recent album, The Beautiful Struggle. He sang the hooks on Jay-Z's "Encore" and, notably, West's "Jesus Walks."

West returned the favor, co-writing Get Lifted's first single, "Used to Love U," and Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am produced the second single, "Ordinary People."

The result is a brand of soul that's mannered, even elegant. And Legend's got range: Two luscious odes to infidelity -- "She Don't Have to Know" and "Number One" -- are followed by an equally convincing promise to not stray, "I Can Change." Best of all, "Used to Love U" bears West's self-doubting stamp: "Maybe, baby/Puffy, Jay-Z would all be better for you/'Cause all I could do is love you."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com