Singer John Legend: My Mom Encouraged Me to Sing in Church

Photo courtesy of John Legend via Instagram

Singer John Legend: My Mom Encouraged Me to Sing in Church

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

Singer John Legend says his mother Phyllis Stephens encouraged him to sing in church when he was a boy.

In his interview with PEOPLE Magazine he said, “Whenever we had opportunities to sing in church or in school, my mom would suggest that I do it. She always encouraged me.”

Legend, who has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards, has spoken about his church upbringing before.

According to Relevant Magazine:

“I grew up with not only my parents being very religious, but also my grandfather was our pastor,” he explains, describing his childhood in Springfield, Ohio. And when he says that his family was “very” religious, he’s not exaggerating. Church is in John Legend’s blood.

He continues: “My grandmother was our church organist. My uncle took over for my grandfather when he passed away. I have uncles on my dad’s side who are also ministers and pastors, and one of my uncles is a bishop in Cincinnati.”

This Christian influence also affected Legend’s integrity.

The 41-year-old also shared to PEOPLE magazine about how his father, Ronald, taught him the importance of moral character.

“My father taught me about character. He taught us by example. He always conducted himself with such grace and dignity. “My parents always taught me that if you’re going to succeed in life, part of success is having humility. It’s a good way to live life, treating other people the way you want to be treated.”

Although Legend isn’t an avid churchgoer these days, the faith of his youth still plays a vital role in his career.

One of his more recent songs “Preach” appeared during the credits for the movie THE BEST OF ENEMIES.

Legend is married to former model Chrissy Teigen and together the pair have two children, Luna and Miles.


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#TeamDaddy forever

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“I’m so proud that I have a wife and two kids I’m so in love with and so connected to,” Legend said of his sweet family.

For Legend, performing, whether it was in the church of his youth or in amphitheaters today, gives him joy.

“I love writing songs and performing on stage,” he said. “I get a lot of joy from it and give a lot of joy to other people.”

Currently, Legend is a host on NBC’s THE VOICE alongside Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson.


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We had a dinner party. There was cake! Merry Christmas and happy Voice finale to all!

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