John Legend

2013 Honoree - Citizen-Artist Award


John Legend is a prolific recording artist and longtime social activist who was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009. He has won nine Grammy Awards, including two for Wake Up!, a compilation of R&B music with themes of awareness and social engagement, released in 2010 with the band The Roots.

In 2007, Mr. Legend created the Show Me Campaign, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty using solutions that have been proven to improve people’s lives and to give them the opportunities to survive, thrive and succeed. Believing that equal access to quality education is the civil rights issue of our time, the Show Me Campaign fights for education reform in the United States.

In February 2011, John won three Grammy Awards (one by himself and two with The Roots) at the 53rd Annual Grammy Music Awards Ceremony. Legend won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for "Shine," and he and The Roots won Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album (Wake Up!) and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "Hang On In There." In March 2011, Mr. Legend and the Roots won two NAACP Image Awards – one for Outstanding Album (Wake Up!) and one for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration.

In 2010, Mr. Legend joined the national board of Teach For America. He also sits on the boards of The Education Equality Project, the Harlem Village Academies, and Stand for Children. He serves as co-chair of the Harlem Village Academies’ National Leadership Board.

Mr. Legend has testified before Congress in support of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and is a member of Americans for the Arts’ Artist Committee. He is the recipient of the 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year award, the 2009 CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change, the 2009 Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award from Africare. In 2007, Mr. Legend received the Young Artist Award for Artistic Excellence at Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards.