Grammy winner John Legend is a successful artist, a stylish guy, a husband to model Chrissy Teigen, and a father to daughter, Luna. We all know that. But when he isn’t writing songs, belting out ballads, or spending time with his baby girl, the 38-year-old finds time to be a mentor too.
As part AXE’s Find Your Magic initiative, Legend recently attended the senior orientation program at Centennial High School in Columbus, Ohio, where he performed alongside students and delivered an uplifting, inclusive message.
“We started with this idea of finding your magic — which is about expressing yourself, your individuality and your creativity,” Legend exclaimed. “Now we’ve extended the concept of finding your magic and expressing your creativity to kind of challenging the stereotypes of gender roles and encouraging young men, in particular, to be creative and express themselves individually without being constrained by arbitrary definitions of what being a young man is all about.”
Yahoo Lifestyle caught up with the Ohio native to talk about everything from his high school days to having more kids. Read on to learn about cliques from Legend’s teenage years and how his marriage has evolved, thanks to fatherhood.
What were you like in high school? Who was in your clique?
I moved between cliques. I was a black kid in a white school. We kind of stuck together as black kids. We sat together at the same lunch table. That was one clique. Another clique was the AP students — the nerds. I had some good friends in that clique too. Another clique was the creative community, which had a lot of overlap with the AP kids as well: kids who were in drama, kids who were in show choir, kids who were in music. My last clique was student government, because I was student body president as a senior. Those were my overlapping cliques in high school.
How did they mesh together?
I think music and creativity and performing, and putting shows together was cool, because it opened you up to people who weren’t in your clique. You connected with them creatively.
How would you describe your style in high school vs. your style now?
Obviously, I can afford better clothes now. I don’t think my style is actually that different. For me, I’m still pretty understated with some flashes of rock star. I like a lot of classic things — well-tailored, nice pieces — and occasional flashes of flamboyance.
Does Chrissy ever give you styling tips?
She knows who I am, and I know who she is, and we both like each other’s style a lot. Occasionally, it’s a specific thing — either I won’t like something she’s wearing or she won’t like what I’m wearing – we’ll say it. But it doesn’t happen that often.
You guys have been together for a very long time. From dating to being engaged to being married to being parents — what’s been the biggest change?
Being parents is the biggest difference. Going from dating to engaged to married — there’s some difference. But bringing a new life into the world and parenting together is a whole new challenge. It’s a whole new joy as well. It alters your life in a way that is very different than any other milestone. I think it’s the most strengthening that you can go through, though, because it’s a challenge and because you have to do it together and help each other, if you’re doing it right. It builds a stronger bond that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
What do you and Chrissy do for date night now? Has that changed since becoming parents?
It’s similar. We like to go to a nice dinner and have a drink. We stopped partying a long time ago. We occasionally go to parties, but mostly it’s a nice dinner, drinks, we go to the movies. We still do that.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
We live in Los Angeles now. Our favorite date night there is Via Veneto. It’s in Santa Monica, on Main St.
Would you and Chrissy renew your vows?
How’s baby Luna? What are her latest milestones?
She’s at that stage of talking but no one knows what she’s saying. It’s an ongoing monologue. I guess you could say it’s a dialogue where we indulge her and talk back, but we have no idea what she’s saying yet. She’s right there on the cusp of having a full conversation. She’s running around, dancing — very active physically. You can see the beginnings of her verbal skills.
Do you think she’ll take after you or mom career-wise?
She loves music, but who knows what her career will be. We’re trying to just let her explore and learn. She’s got plenty of time to figure out that.
Rumor has it that you and Chrissy are trying again.
Yeah, we want to have kids again soon. We want to have several kids, total. But we’ll try to do one at a time. We’ll have another one soon.
How many kids do you think you’ll have?
I would say three to four.
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