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More than just a legend

SOUL fans are in for a treat with American soul singer John Legend soon to perform in Shanghai. Legend has been busy on his world tour but Nie Xin has been keeping tracks on him.

Six-time Grammy winner, American soul singer, songwriter and pianist John Stephens, better known by his stage name John Legend, arrives for his first concert in Shanghai soon.

Legend has been busy on his world concert tour since last month, after he finished performing at the 81st Academy Awards on February 22. Since then Legend has appeared in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. And he has been seen in Asia, in Manila, Seoul, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo.

After performing in Tokyo on April 4 and 6, Legend will land in Shanghai, ready for his first concert here.

"This will be my first time in Shanghai and my first time on Chinese mainland. I'm very excited about meeting my Chinese fans," says Legend.

Songs from all three of his albums, "Get Lifted," "Once Again" and "Evolver," will definitely be in the repertoire. Legend and his band will do a few covers, blending these together for a 90 or 100-minute show.

Legend expects his Shanghai audience will enjoy lots of energy, musicianship and soul.

"My band and I are very excited, and we will put on a very soulful, energetic concert. I think we'll have a great time. Hopefully we'll have a great crowd," he says.

Born in 1978, Legend's debut album, the multi-platinum-selling "Get Lifted," was released in late 2004. It produced two hit singles "Used to Love U" (US top 100, UK top 30) and "Ordinary People" (US and UK top 30). They featured collaborations with rapper and producer Kanye West as well as Snoop Dogg.

Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with many established artists. Notably, Legend sang the "hooks" for hits by Slum Village ("Selfish," also featuring Kanye West), Jay-Z ("Encore"), and Dilated Peoples ("This Way," also featuring Kanye West); played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything" and sang the background vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road."

As a supporter of US President Barack Obama, Legend debuted his new politically minded track, Obama-inspired song "If You're Out There" at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August 2008. The song has also been available as a free download on Obama's Website.

Legend performed a special rendition of "If You're Out There" with Juanes and a gospel choir to highlight the NBA Cares initiative during the 2009 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show in February.

Recently, he recorded "Green Light" in collaboration with Andre 3000 as the lead single for his third album "Evolver".

After his show in Shanghai, Legend will perform in Macau and Beijing.

Date: April 8, 8pm

Venue: Shanghai Yunfeng Theater, 1700 Beijing Rd W.

Tickets: 100-1,000 yuan


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