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John Legend

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Oct 23, 2013

Wed 8:00 PM

1776 D Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

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Performers:

  • John Legend
  • Tamar Braxton

More Info

Performer Info

John Legend: Not only has nine time Grammy Award-winner John Legend achieved astounding solo success, he's also responsible for hits by some of the biggest names in rap, hip hop, and R&B. He is known for his old school approach to R&B, which showcases his velvety vocals and melodic beats. John Legend's tour dates have become popular amongst jazz and R&B fans, and also attract a wider audience of music lovers.

While attending the University of Pennsylvania, John Legend was the president of a co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group called Counterparts, which began to cultivate John's personal sound. Also while attending college, he was introduced to Lauryn Hill who asked him to play piano on a song from her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, titled "Everything is Everything".

In 2001, John Legend was introduced to a record producer that was trying to become a solo artist by the name of Kanye West, and John began singing backup vocals for him. He was eventually signed to West's GOOD Music label in 2003 and began singing backup for artists like Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, in the studio and on tour dates. It was at this time that John Stephens adopted the stage name "Legend," born from a reference to John's classic style by poet J. Ivy. John Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, was released in late 2004 and was instantly a success. It debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 and the single "Ordinary People" shot to #1 on the singles charts.

John Legend's follow-up album, Once Again, was released in 2006 with some production assistance from Kanye West and Will.I.Am. The album nearly achieved the same success as his previous one, reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts, eventually going platinum. Bolstered by the success of the previous two albums, Legend attempted to experiment with the range of styles without straying too far from his signature style. The result was the 2008 album, Evolver, which has become one of the most popular among John Legend's fans. In 2010, John conceived another musical undertaking when he recorded a collaboration album, Wake Up!, with The Roots, who shared Legend's interest in a classic R&B style.

Tamar Braxton: ..Hey everyone it's the one and only princess Tamar bka Mz. Braxton if ur nasty! Lolz j/p .. Well i was born in Severn, Maryland in 1987 to my wonderful parents Michael and Evelyn Braxton!.. Im the Youngest out of 6 children! .. I Started singing eva since i could talk! .. I use to annoy everyone with my singing... but my mother loved it because she was also a singer! .. eventually i was enter in their church choir, where My father was pastor... Since i was lil i was in the Group the Braxtons (With my two beauitful and talented sisters).. I was Brought up in a strict Christian household, .. I remember when i was lil i would sneak around my parents when my parents werent home to watch soultrain so i could sing along with it! and i knew one day i would be on that stage!.. Well incase u havnt figured it out Toni Braxton is my older sister! .. I sang background for Toni's album More Than A Woman (released 2001),.. I also sang background in her new album Libra relesed on Sept.27/2005!! So go get the album!.. My New album should be out Summer 2006!! ..

My Official Bio:.. ..After years of singing with her sisters in The Braxtons, Tamar is unfazed by the new challenge of having the spotlight all to herself. Part of her confidence comes from the knowledge that no matter what the light reveals, it’s all just her. "I’m always the same person, all the time," she attests. "There’s no difference onstage, in the studio or at home. With me, what you see is what you get. I think fans really like to see artists as themselves. They like to get as personal as they can with the artists they love, and you can’t do that if the artist is acting different from how they really are." If Tamar’s solo debut is any indication, realness, playfulness, honesty, excellence, seriousness and fun are all sides of who she really is. "There is really only one word to describe this album, and that’s ridiculous," she exclaims. "There’s so many moods, so many styles, so many flavors that went into putting this album together. And now that it’s done, it’s just totally ridiculous!" In fact, the album is titled Ridiculous (DreamWorks Records). Produced and co-written variously by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (J.T. Money, Tamia, Chanté Moore, Tyrese, Blaque); Tim & Bob (Boyz II Men, Tamia, Dave Hollister); Delight (Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson, LSG); Jermaine Dupri; Missy Elliott; and Mya, Ridiculous is the coming-of-age soundtrack to the life of an independent young ’90s woman. The songs focus on the "everyday situations" encountered by the singer-songwriter, either personally or vicariously through the experiences of friends. In contrast to her tenure with The Braxtons, this time around Tamar is singing about familiar territory. "I didn’t know nothin’ ’bout no man leaving no woman at that time, but I was singing the hell out of it - singing it like I knew what was going on," she concedes. "Now I do know." There may be quite a bit Tamar hasn’t yet realized she can do. She possesses a self-determination and independence that she exerted fiercely growing up with five older siblings in suburban Severn, Md. She recalls: "I was very outspoken. I liked all kinds of different music [her current tastes run from Jay-Z, Master P, Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott to Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson, Hole and Shania Twain], and I always tried to do things my own way." Since the Braxton children grew up in a relatively isolated setting, there actually weren’t a whole lot of things for Tamar to do "her own way." She reveals: "The six kids in that house were the only people we could play with. My parents were very strict, and they were really into the church [Tamar’s father is a pastor]. They were totally against us playing with other kids that weren’t as religious as we were. At the time, we thought they were overly strict, but we’re grateful for it now because we know how to act." And they know how to sing. "The only thing we could do was practice singing," Tamar says. "My mother encouraged us and gave us singing lessons [Mrs. Braxton had been an amateur opera singer]." Tamar vividly remembers her earliest foray into songwriting. "It’s kind of an embarrassing story," she warns, "but my earliest memory of making up a song came when I was about three. I was sitting on the commode and it was time to get up, but there was no more toilet paper. I just started singing, ’Somebody get me some toilet paper.’ Then my sisters came in and sat on the tub and we all started singing, 'Somebody get me some toilet paper.’ We made up songs for everything. My mother helped us make up the songs we sang in my father’s church." Because of their exacting religious orientation, the senior Braxtons did not allow secular music in the house for most of Tamar’s childhood. She and her siblings managed to work around this, however. Tamar recalls: "As soon as my parents would go out, Toni and my brother, Michael, would turn on the radio. I remember Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell singing ’Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.’ Toni and Michael would sing along - they’d make the rest of us kids watch them like they were on TV and we were the audience. That’s how I first heard a lot of music." Even more indicative of their growing tolerance of secular music, the Braxtons allowed their girls to record a commercial single for Arista Records when Tamar was not yet in her teens. As part of the promotion for the record, the Braxton clan even performed live in a nightclub. Still, The Braxtons’ recording debut, entitled "The Good Life," was "more CeCe and BeBe than secular," Tamar says. Tamar acknowledges that her experience with The Braxtons was one of tremendous growth, particularly in terms of the opportunities it afforded her to sing in front of an audience. "Being onstage always feels like an accomplishment," she says. "It’s like getting a trophy every time you sing. Up there is where all your hard work pays off. It makes you feel so good - it’s really an indescribable feeling. Tamar’s ongoing journey toward autonomy got a jump-start in 1998 when she began working with Tricky, whom she’d known since she was 15. He invited her to Atlanta, where he was in the studio with Xscape, to sing demos of songs he was producing as he pursued his own production deal. Her rendering of "If You Don’t Wanna" (written by Tricky and Xscape’s LaTocha Scott) amazed everyone in the studio and gave Tamar the confidence to start writing and recording on her own. Furthermore, when Tricky took the demo to DreamWorks executive Jheryl Busby, Busby seized on the vocalist performing the song as much as the music itself. Both Tricky and Tamar ended up getting deals from that demo. Her writing talents unfolded at a crucial time for Tamar. "I was tired of singing other people’s songs," she reflects. "I wanted to share my ideas. I knew what I wanted to say. I saw how they did it and figured I could do it myself. So I decided, why not write? Why not try it?" Word of Tamar’s talents has gotten out and she is now writing for other artists: "I’ve been working a lot with Tiny Cottle from Xscape - she’s written a lot for her group, and she co-wrote the TLC song ’No Scrubs.’ Our connection is just great because if she stumbles, I’ll fill it in, and if I stumble, she’ll fill it in. Our chemistry just works. We’re starting our own production company. It’s strange because at first I was very shy about this and afraid to let people hear our songs. Now, I’m giving tapes out like crazy and Tiny and I are gonna do her solo album together." ....

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