February 26, 2013

John Legend Will Take Stage at Bailey Hall

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Although he is best-known as a R&B musician,  nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend will give a lecture about education reform in the United States at Bailey Hall on March 29. The presentation will be followed by a concert, according to Peter Schwartz ’14, executive director of the Cornell Concert Commission.

The event, called “An Evening with John Legend,” will also include a question-and-answer session, Schwartz said.

“The concert will just be him and the piano, and he’ll be performing six to seven of his hit songs after the talk,” Schwartz said. “This event will give students a way to get a more personal connection with an artist that a lot of people look up to, so we’re all excited.”

During Legend’s performance — which is jointly sponsored by the Cornell Concert Commission, the Cornell University Program Board and the Multicultural Funding Advisory Board — the singer-songwriter will discuss his role serving on the national board for Teach for America, according to Richmond Wong ’14, executive chairperson of CUPB.

Schwartz said he hopes the concert will be as popular as singer Billy Joel’s visit to campus in December 2011, which also featured a question-and-answer session followed by a concert.

“[Joel’s] event was wildly successful last year, so we hope that this will be something that’s just as fun for students,” Schwartz said.

According to Schwartz, Legend’s agent approached CCC about the possibility of Legend performing at Cornell.

“His agent contacted us and said that he has done this sort of performance before,” Schwartz said. “He had some down time [after] his album release and he likes doing this sort of thing for students, so we were able to bring him.”

Cornell students said they are looking forward to Legend’s performance at Bailey Hall.

“I think he’s a fantastically talented musician and I’m extremely excited to welcome him to Cornell,” said Kevin Lin ’13.

Some also said they are excited to see a famous performer with connections to the Ivy League perform on campus.

“There was a rumor that [Legend] might come and I was really hoping he would. He has a great voice, especially when he is singing R&B,” said Hannah Sawyer ’15. “He went to [the] University of Pennsylvania, so it is awesome that we are having an Ivy League alumnus come. It is amazing that the program boards and organizations are bringing such talented people to Cornell.”

Tickets will go on sale for Cornell students on March 5 and for the general public on March 6.

Original Author: Lauren Avery