Singer and songwriter John Legend works to break the cycle of poverty through the Show Me Campaign, dedicated to education for all.

Why you should listen

Known for his signature vocals and songwriting style, John Legend has released a string of platinum-selling albums, including Get Lifted (2004), Once Again (2006), and Evolver (2008). In 2010, Legend and the legendary hip-hop band The Roots released Wake Up! (2010), a compilation of music from the '60s and '70s with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and social consciousness -- with tracks like "Little Ghetto Boy" by Donny Hathaway and Baby Huey and the Babysitters' "Hard Times." Wake Up! also includes John’s original composition "Shine," featured in Waiting for ‘Superman.’ His most recent album, Love in the Future, was released in 2013.

Throughout his career, Legend has worked to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2007, he launched the Show Me Campaign, an organization that works to break the cycle of poverty through education. He sits on the boards of Teach for America, Stand for Children and the Harlem Village Academies. He serves on the Advisory Council for Turnaround and is an “IRC Voice” for the International Rescue Committee. John is also the national spokesperson for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that assists the next generation of minority business leaders. Before his musical career, Legend was himself a management consultant at BCG. 

What others say

“#tedtalksed so inspiring. John Legend singing "True Colors" made me a little misty eyed.” — @akaJalex on Twitter

John Legend’s TED talk

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Get ready for TED Talks Education, airing May 7 at 10pm

April 23, 2013

TED is coming to a TV screen near you. On Tuesday, May 7, our first-ever television special will air on PBS at 10pm. Called TED Talks Education, the special is a deep dive on ideas to make our education system stronger – with talks from teachers, learning experts, education researchers and more. The speaker roster […]

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