2 d Newsdesk
John Legend was inspired to sing by family outings to church.
The ‘All of Me’ hitmaker was immersed in Christian worship from a young age and the early exposure to music made him want to pursue it as a career.
Asked where he realised he had songs inside him, he told Sorted magazine: “I realised it in the church, of course.
“I grew up in a Pentecostal church in Springfield, Ohio.
“My grandfather was our pastor and my grandmother was our church organist.
“My mother was the choir director and my dad played the drums for the choir and sang in the choir sometimes as well.
“And I just grew up around a family full of folks who loved to sing and loved to sing about Jesus, and we were together all the time.
“We were at choir rehearsal together. We were at multiple services during the week and on Sundays, of course.
“And that was my first extensive exposure to music of any sort during that time, and it was what inspired me to want to sing, because I was around all this singing and I wanted to be part of it.”
John appears in and has executive produced ‘The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song’ – a two-part series exploring the 400-year history of the institution – and it was a “no-brainer” for him to be involved because the church has always been so important to him.
He said: “I was first approached by Professor Gates to do an interview.
“So before I was even involved as an executive producer, I was asked to be a participant.
“And, as I have told you, the church has been so important to who I am as an artist and as a human being, I felt like it was a no-brainer for me to say yes, especially because it is Professor Gates asking.
“So I knew I would be in good hands and he would tell the story in a way that was really honouring the history of the black church in our country. I knew I would be part of something special.”