Born on December 28, 1978, is the American singer, songwriter, and producer John Legend, who has brought forth over twenty years’ worth of hit music, year after year, since 2004. Originally hailing from Springfield, Ohio, Legend started out as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group after graduating from college in the year 2000. While with the company, he wrote, recorded, produced, and released a self-titled demo in 2000 and a 2001 recording titled (Live at Jimmy’s Uptown), both of which he sold at his own shows he performed at the time. Before embarking on a musical career in the genres of pop, R&B, and soul, John Roger Stephens didn’t officially change to his stage name until after agreeing with Kanye West and Devo Springsteen to adopt the moniker they started to give him as of 2001. Now as John Legend, he would release his first studio album (Get Lifted), to the music scene in December 2004, which debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number seven as it already sold over 116,000 copies in its first week of release. From that point forward, John Legend has continually put forth one chart ranking album after another. So far, his discography resume boasts of seven studio albums, four live albums, two video albums, three extended plays (EPs), a collaborative album, two promotional singles, and thirty-nine official singles.
7. Bigger Love
The most recent album recorded and released by John Legend is (Bigger Love). Upon its release on June 19, 2020, it has since realized the seventh straight studio album that would realize charting success. With the US Billboard R&B /Hip-Hop Albums Chart, it peaked as high as thirteen, owing its success to the hit single, (Conversations in the Dark), which peaked as high as forty-two on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and on the US Billboard 200 at eighty-sixth spot. The single has also since earned Gold Certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.
6. A Legendary Christmas
The sixth album, (A Legendary Christmas), was released on October 26, 2018. While it did not chart as much around the world as the rest of Legend’s albums, it still earned a seventeenth place on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and a twenty-second place on the US Billboard 200. In 2019, (Happy Xmas) peaked in ninth place on the UK Singles Chart and found a spot on the US Billboard Top 100 at sixty-nine. John Lennon’s classic Happy Xmas has also been covered by Celine Dion and Miley Cyrus, but neither performed quite as well with the UK and the US as John Legend’s had.
5. Darkness and Light
Released on December 2, 2016, (Darkness and Light) charted worldwide as an album, except in Denmark. It peaked at its highest on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number five and it also reached number fourteen on the US Billboard 200 chart. Since its release, Darkness and Light have become certified Gold with Music Canada. The single, (Love Me Now), was a worldwide hit for Legend, which peaked at its highest on the US Smooth Jazz Songs chart at number ten. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted as high as twenty-three. The single sold enough copies to become double Platinum with Music Canada and the NVPI of Netherlands, as well as single Platinum with the RIAA, ARIA, BPI, and the Fedarazione Industria Musicale Italia (FIMI). With the Official Swiss Charts’ IFPI, Love Me Now also became Certified Gold.
On October 28, 2008, John Legend’s third studio album, (Evolver), is released. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, it peaked at number one, which the third time in a row Legend would realize this achievement. It also peaked at number four with the US Billboard 200 chart. So far, the album has since become Certified Silver with BPI and Certified Gold with the RIAA and NVPI. A total of four chart-hitting singles came from the album, which are; Green Light (featuring Andre 3000) (peaked at number four on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and earned RIAA’s Platinum Certification since its 2008 release.)
- If You’re Out There (charted at #135 on the UK Singles Chart in 2008.)
- Everybody Knows (peaked as high as tenth on the Dutch Singles Chart in 2009.)
- This Time (appeared at number forty-six on the Dutch Singles Chart in 2009.)
3. Love in the Future
The fourth of John Legend’s studio albums are (Love in the Future), which was released on September 3, 2013. It peaked as high as second on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and on the UK Official Albums Chart. It also peaked at number four with the US Billboard 200. With over a million copies of the album wold worldwide, it has since achieved Platinum Certification from BPI and from Denmark’s International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Love in the Future also earned Gold Certification with the RIAA, ARIA, and Music Canada. From the album are the following charted hits:
- Made to Love (charted at twenty-eight on the Dutch Music Charts in 2013.)
- All of Me (topped the music charts at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs, as well as internationally with Australia, Canada, Netherlands, and Switzerland. It also became multi-Platinum as a single with the RIAA, ARIA, BPI, Music Canada, and Switzerland’s IFPI. Single Platinum was earned with NVPI while Gold Certification was reached with Italy’s FIMI.)
- You & I (Nobody in the World) (peaked as high as eighteen on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart.)
2. Once Again
The second studio album recorded by John Legend is (Once Again), which was released on October 24, 2006. On the albums charts worldwide, it peaked at number one with the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and as high as second on the Dutch Top 100 Albums. On the US Billboard 200, it charted as high as third. With well over two million copies of the album sold, it has achieved Platinum Certification from the Dutch’s NVPI and from the RIAA. From Music Canada, Once Again became Certified Gold and with BPI, Certified Silver. The charted hits stemming from this album include:
- Save Room (peaked at its highest on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart at seventh in 2006.)
- Heaven (reached twenty-six on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart in 2006.)
- P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care) (peaked at number eighteen on the Dutch Charts and at #118 on the UK Singles Chart in 2007.)
- Stereo (peaked as high as sixteenth on the Dutch Charts and forty-seventh on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart in 2007.)
- Another Again (reached thirty on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart in 2007.)
1. Get Lifted
On December 28, 2004, with the production help of Kanye West, the debut album, (Get Lifted), would not simply peak at number seven upon its debuting week on the US Billboard Top 200, but peak at number one with the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It also peaked at number four with the US Billboard Top 200, at number five with the Dutch GfK Chart, and at number twelve on the UK Official Albums Chart. In addition to that impressive achievement, Get Lifted has since sold enough copies to earn double Platinum Certification with the RIAA, and Platinum with BPI. It also earned Gold Certification with ARIA, Music Canada, and NVPI. In total, this means well over six million copies of the legendary album, Get Lifted, have sold worldwide since its release. Almost instantly, John Legend became a worldwide phenomenon that has given the gifted musical artist the right to be called a legend. The hit singles that have charted from this album are:
- Used to Love U (charted as high as thirty-two on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 2004.)
- Ordinary People (charted as high as fourth in 2005 on the UK Singles Chart and has since earned RIAA Platinum and BPI Gold.)
- Number One (featuring Kanye West) (peaked at number sixty-two on the UK Singles Chart in 2005.)
- So High (featuring Lauryn Hill) (peaked at fifty-three on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart.)