Fun Fact: John Legend Was A Spelling Bee Champion

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.
The man, the myth, John Legend, has his fair share of awards. In fact, he has so many awards and nominations that they have their own Wikipedia page. The list includes ten Grammys, one Oscar, and one Tony. Perhaps the most wholesome award he's ever won, however, is his 3rd grade district spelling bee prize.
It probably comes as no shocker that Legend was a precocious little kid. That's p-r-e-c-o-c-i-o-u-s. "Precocious." The R&B singer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in English. He also has two honorary degrees; one from his Ivy League alma mater and one from Howard University.
As a child, Legend, along with all of his siblings, was actually homeschooled by his mother, Phyllis. In this adorable photo of John as a third grader, you can see the two of them hitting the books.

Did you know that @johnlegend, homeschooled by his mom, won the 1989 District Spelling Bee? [Link in bio]

A post shared by Springfield News Sun (@springfieldnewssun) on

Photo: Via @springfieldnewssun.
His hometown newspaper, the Springfield News Sun, recently went through their archives and found an article written about Legend before he was a legend (Literally — his original last name was Stephens). It notes that he was the only contestant wearing a suit and tie and that he "strode to the microphone, looked pronouncer Dwayne Frank in the eye and correctly spelled 'prejudice'," for the win.
Though the singer has hung up his old spelling shoes, Legend is still adamant about fighting prejudice in the United States. His "Unlocked Futures" initiative gives grants and jobs to formerly incarcerated individuals. Recently, the singer has been vocal on Twitter about the new healthcare bill.
Meanwhile, Legend is busy being a dad to 1 year old Luna, husband to model Chrissy Teigen, and R&B superstar to the rest of us. Legend is currently on his Darkness and Light tour for his album of the same name, with Teigen and Luna along for the ride.
Read these stories next:

More from Entertainment


R29 Original Series