HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

John Legend at the Fox Theatre, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018

» See more SOUND CHECK

It's fair to say John Legend's been building quite a story since the release of his debut album in 2004.

But it feels like it's grown exponentially this year.

For starters, the multi-faceted artist became the first black male EGOT winner -- snaring an Emmy Award for NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" to go with his Grammy, Oscar and Tony prizes. Then he became a Santa of song with his guest-filled album, "A Legendary Christmas" and an accompanying tour, as well as an NBC special with wife Chrissy Teigen. And not to be overshadowed, their second child, son Miles, was born on May 15.

Not surprisingly, Legend's holiday list has lot more nice than naughty on it, and plenty of gratitude for continued good fortune...

Legend, 39, says the Christmas album is "something I've wanted to do for a long time, and everyone around me was like, 'Yeah, that'd be great.' I just never got around to it before, and I had enough time this year and I was focused and excited enough about it to really dedicate a lot of energy to it, and I did. I called Raphael Saadiq early in the process and said I wanted him to produce the whole thing and we just started thinking about what songs we wanted to do, and he put together a kick-ass band and we started making the record."

Legend also wound up writing six original songs for the album, though he acknowledges that, "it's hard to break a new song into the kind of canon of Christmas songs. But I'm a writer as much as I'm a performer, and it's hard for me to make an album without writing a song for it. At the end of the day it's got to be really listenable, so we wanted all the tracks to just feel really good and feel like something people would want to listen to every year."

The Legendary Christmas Tour show takes is lead from the tone of the album, according to Legend. "With the entire album there's a kind of nostalgic feel, from the songs we chose to the way we chose to arrange them, the photo shoot, the video shoot -- with everything we've been embracing the legacy of great Christmas music that I grew up listening to -- Motown, Nat King Cole, just a lot of the classics. So since we've been embracing that classic vibe with the music, we wanted to embrace it visually, too. You see that in the show with the production, with the wardrobe choice. Everything's got a classic, nostalgic vibe."

Legend says that becoming an EGOT this year "was pretty amazing. It's something I never thought about several years ago; Only when it got closer to being a possibility did it cross my mind. Once we had the G (Grammy) and the O (Oscar) and the T (Tony), it was in my mind that all I was missing was the Emmy. I don't pick projects because of that, but this project with 'Jesus Christ Superstar' came along -- but even while we were making it I wasn't thinking about the possibility we could get Emmy nominations. But once it was so well received and acclaimed and loved by the fans and all that stuff, we started getting a lot of questions about the EGOT, and it became clear to me it was a possibility, and I was excited for it to happen.

Legend has started working on his next album but has little concrete to report about it yet. "I've already written some songs for it, but I've been focused on Christmas for the last six months. It'll be nice to get back to the normal thing, but I'm doing to enjoy this Christmas vibe for the rest of the year."

John Legend performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets start at $49.50. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration