Why did you endorse Barack Obama?
John Legend, is an American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist. He has won six Grammy Awards. Born John Stephens, Legend was a child prodigy who grew up in Ohio, where he began singing gospel and playing piano at the tender age of five. Legend left Ohio at 16 to attend college in Philadelphia, and it was there that he first found a larger audience. Not yet out of his teens, Legend was tapped to play piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything" in 1998.
After completing college, he moved to New York, where he began to build a loyal following playing in nightclubs and releasing CDs that he would sell at shows. He also became an in-demand session musician, playing and occasionally writing for a wide array of artists, including Alicia Keys, Twista, Janet Jackson, and Kanye West.
It wasn't until West signed the young talent to his new label that he adopted the Legend name with 2004's Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory. Get Lifted, his first studio album, was released later in the year. On the strength of enduring single "Ordinary People," the album reached the Top Five of the Billboard 200. This led to three Grammy Awards: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist. Once Again, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and number one on the R&B/hip-hop Albums chart, followed in October 2006. Live from Philadelphia, sold exclusively at Target stores, was a successful stopgap release that predated October 2008's Evolver.
John Legend: The reason why I’ve endorsed him is, I think, first is a character thing. Like I said, I think if you look at the issues, everybody wants all Americans to get health insurance.
Among John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all of them, I think, feel like we made a lot of mistakes in foreign policy and want to improve our standing in the world. But all of them want to take care of our poor more effectively and our working class. And I think all those things are very important.
But I think when I look at Barack, and how he’s carried himself, I look at the things he’s written over the years, especially “Dreams of My Father”, his first major book; if I look at his biography, I look at the things he says now during his speeches, I feel like I’m seeing someone who has true integrity, has a true sense of himself, and is comfortable with himself, and I trust him. It’s that simple. I trust him. And because of that, it makes me believe that he’ll do the right thing.
Because a lot of the circumstances that are going to happen to a president are unpredictable. Like no one would have predicted that George [W.] Bush would have had to handle 9/11, for instance. And because things are unpredictable, you can’t just rely on their specific issue stances right now. You have to somewhat rely on the kind of judgment you think they have as a person, and the kind of integrity they have, and what their moral compass is. And I honestly believe when it comes to that criteria, Barack is clearly the most qualified to be president.
Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008
It's a character thing, Legend says.
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