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It featured production by Kanye West, Dave Tozer, and will.i.am, and debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200, selling 116,000 copies in its first week.
Critically acclaimed, it won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and earned Legend another two nominal awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
During this period, he began to hold a number of shows around Philadelphia, eventually expanding his audience base to New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D. He graduated from college in 1999, and thereafter began producing, writing, and recording his own music.
He released two albums independently; his self-titled demo (2000) and Live at Jimmy's Uptown (2001), which he sold at his shows.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Legend began working as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
In 2001, Devo Springsteen introduced Legend to then up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West; Legend was hired to sing during the hooks of West's music.
After signing to West's label, he chose his stage name from an idea that was given to him by poet J.
Prior to the release of Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, (2004) he had collaborated with already established artists and signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music.
Altogether, the album produced four singles, including debut single "Used to Love U", which entered the top 30 of the New Zealand and UK Singles Chart, and Grammy Award-winning "Ordinary People" which peaked at 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
John Legend also co-wrote Janet Jackson's "I Want You", which was certified platinum and received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.
While in college, Legend was introduced to Lauryn Hill by a friend.
Hill hired him to play piano on "Everything Is Everything", a song from her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.