THE CREW (Amazing people John works with)


This section is dedicated to the soulful group of producers, musicans, songwriters and other artists John is lucky to work and be friends with. You will also find here some info about his bodyguard and stylist. For more news on the JL band - click here and check out this page to learn more on the Homeschool Records crew.

Kanye West
John began work with Kanye West, whom he met through his collage roommate and musical collaborator, Devo Harris (West's cousin) in 2002. Since that meeting, Legend and West have worked closely together, with West signing Legend as the first artist to join his new label, G.O.O.D. Music. Legend sang many of the melodic hooks on West's demo, which would eventually become the Grammy Award winning album The College Dropout; in turn, West provided rhythm tracks for Legend's demo, which would evolve into Get Lifted. Recently, Legend contributed to fellow G.O.O.D artist Common's LP, Be, and provided vocals for "High Road" on the album The Rising Tied by Fort Minor (Mike Shinoda). John was also a featured performer on West's School Spirit tour. (MySpace)

Devon Harris
Devon Harris, professionally known as Devo Springsteen, grew up in many different regions of the U.S. and lived in Germany for five years due to the fact that both of his parents were in the U.S. Army. He graduated high school in Kansas City and shortly after attended the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from U Penn's Wharton School of Business with a degree in Economics and Strategic Management, he moved to New York in 2000 with college roommate John Stephens (John Legend). Springsteen worked full time at a venture capital firm and part time on music assisting Kanye West with his production company, G.O.O.D. Music (then called Konman Productions). Devo Springsteen accurately recognized the benefits in linking Legend with West and successfully got John Legend signed to Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music record label in 2003. He is now a Grammy Award winning producer and songwriter. (MySpace)

Dave Tozer
Dave Tozer is a producer, songwriter and musician. He has worked with several R&B, hip-hop and rock artists including John Legend, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Natasha Bedingfield and Heather Headley. Hailing from 83 York Street Bridgeton, New Jersey, Tozer taught himself guitar, bass and keyboard. After moving to Philadelphia in the late 1990s, Tozer honed his production skills at various Philadelphia-area studios and began working as a freelance musician playing everything from hip hop to rock to R&B. Through a mutual friend, Tozer met University of Pennsylvania student John Stephens (John Legend) and began a fruitful nine-year professional relationship. In addition to developing creatively with Legend and Tozer produced his three independently released albums, John Stephens (2000), Live at Jimmy's Uptown (2001) and Live at SOB's (2003). In 2004, Tozer contributed to eight tracks on Legend's Grammy Award-winning major label debut Get Lifted and his writing skills garnered him a publishing deal with Viacom-owned Famous Music Publishing. 2005 proved to be an important year for Tozer with the massive success of Get Lifted, which earned eight Grammy nominations. Legend won three awards including Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. Tozer was a producer on Get Lifted and the track "Stay With You," which Tozer co-wrote and produced, was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. In 2006, Tozer worked as a musician on the track "Do U Wanna Ride" from Jay-Z comeback album Kingdom Come and collaborating with Grammy Award-winning artist John Mayer. Tozer also reunited with his old friend Legend and produced three songs from his acclaimed second album Once Again, including the iTunes single "On Top Of The World." (MySpace)

Tom Craskey
"He's Frank Sinatra on bass" - as New York Times described him. Tom Craskey is a producer, songwriter and musician. He worked with several R&B artists including Kanye West, Natasha Bedingfield, Estelle and John Legend, of course. He also produced "Out Of Sight" off John Legend's second album, Once Again. (MySpace)

Sa-Ra
Sa-Ra is an electronic hip-hop/R&B group based in Los Angeles, California, also known by their full name, Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Pronounced "Sah-Rah", Om'Mas Keith, Taz Arnold, and Shafiq Husayn comprise the partnership and their name translates roughly to "the children of God." They had previously been signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label, where they planned to release their debut full-length LP, reportedly entitled Black Fuzz. Sony Urban has since been dissolved by parent Sony BMG, and the group, free from restriction, signed a deal with independent label Babygrande. Their unique sound, including vintage soul, spacey electronic/euro pop, and true hip hop & jazz elements. Sa-Ra is one of John Legend's producers as well. (MySpace)

Will.I.Am
William James Adams Jr., better known as will.i.am, is an American hip hop musician and founding member and frontman of Black Eyed Peas. Legend's lead single off his second album, "Save Room," was produced by Will.I.Am and harkens back to the doo-wop era with its melodic vocals. JL said the track was one of the first he recorded for Once Again and also one of the more natural songs to appear on the project. Also, the song "Ordinary People" was originally for The Black Eyed Peas. John and Will.i.am were in the studio and John heard the track, and it was uptempo, and he came up with the hook "We're just ordinary people, we don't know which way to go...", but the song wasn't The Black Eyed Peas style, so John asked to keep the song for himself, Will.i.am agreed as long as he allows Will.i.am. to produce it, so John went and recorded the song in totality with his piano and took it to Will.i.am. for him to add to it, but Will.i.am. told him that the demo was great and didn't need anything added to it, so the version that you hear on the radio and on the album was meant to be the demo, and it was done in one take; they left it raw, and eventually it has become a hit. (MySpace)

J. Ivy
His words are to inspire and admire; his delivery is strong and unfettered; and his boyish good looks are innocent yet downright sexy. Metaphorically speaking, spoken-word impresario J. Ivy is the fork in the road where traditionally poetry meets hip-hop, blurring genres with his infectious mix of word play and musicality that have transfixed audiences across the country. He is known from his native Chicago to Los Angeles, from Nashville to Philly, from New York to Miami, from Jamaica to Toronto, and other national/international hot beds. Performing and sharing stages with artist like Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bo Diddley, legends Patti Labelle, El Debarge, Roy Ayers, The Last Poets, and Bob Dylan, and new schoolers, like Erykah Badu, Carl Thomas, Jill Scott, Mos Def, The Roots, John Legend, Tarrey Torae, and many more. John was given the name of Legend by J. Ivy, who considered him sounded so much like an old school artist. (MySpace)

Raphael Saadiq
Legend assembled an A-list crew of producers to work on "Once Again," including Raphael Saadiq. Saadiq says the pressures of recording a follow-up to a Grammy-winning album can be extraordinary. "You always put the pressure on yourself. That's how bad (songs) happen." Legend spent about six months working on "Once Again," during which time he amassed 30 songs. "It was one of the most productive periods of my life. I was focused only on music. For the first time I didn't have to worry about school or a job." (MySpace)



Hassan Smith (John's personal security)
"Nobody wants to be in an altercation," says Hassan Smith, who works for John Legend. "But sometimes it gets to the point where, 'Alright now, I can't let that much disrespect stand." Smith, a smooth giant swathed in Gucci and Ermenegildo Zegna, bears an impressive skull scar from his days working with Ja Rule at the height of his fame. They were in a Las Vegas club in 2002 when some jerk swiped a bottle of champagne from Ja Rule's table. ''So I approached him like, 'You're being disrespectful now.' But he's popping, he's not bowing down. So I punch him in his face, and I jump on him and I'm beating his ass." The jerk's buddy blindsided Smith with a bottle to the back of his head. "They got the ass-whipping of their lives." But Hassan is not like that all the time, lol "He's the biggest and the sweetest man I've ever met" - majority of Legend's fans thinks highly of Hassan who always seems to be utterly likable and friendly towards people. James Burnett, the Saturday's Herald reporter, describes Hassan as a big-hearted and gracious guy: "Legend's publicist had pre-determined who could interview him. No print media outlets are on the list. I tell the very, very large bodyguard that the print-less interview list is foul and that we scribes should be given equal access for a number of reasons. To his credit, Legend's bodyguard thinks about my reasons for a moment, approaches the boss, whispers something to him, listens to a response, and then comes back to me and says Legend will speak with me." (MySpace)

Jeff Christie (John's manager)
Nearly 20 years in the entertainment business as a record company executive, talent manager, tour manager, road manager, production manager, stage manager, light director and security director. Have worked for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Ashanti, Tyrese, Foxy Brown, TQ, Nas, Heavy D, Monifa, Salt n' Pepa, on major rap and R&B tours headlined by his clients, as well as Eminem, Dr. Dre, R. Kelly, Blackstreet featuring Teddy Riley, Keith Sweat and Guy. 11/ 04 - pres John Legend Road manager/ Afterparties/ Show / Production. (MySpace)

Lisa Sellers (John's stylist)
John doesn't have a regular make-up artist, but the person responsible for Legend's styling is Lisa Sellers. She also does most of John's styling when it comes to clothing. Doesn't she do a great job? :-)



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