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John Legend admits he had to make deal with porn producer to change his name

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

John Legend admits he had to make deal with porn producer to change his name

John Legend has explained the deal that he once had to make with an adult film producer in order to keep his famous name.

No, his name isn’t really John Legend, although that would be cool, right?

His actual name is much more mundane than that, which is possibly why he decided that if he was going to make it big in the world of music and film he’d need something with a bit more – let’s say – pizazz.

It’s certainly worked out for him, but not before he had to reach an agreement with a porn producer who also had a very similar working name.

Legend hasn't always been John Legend. Credit: Shutterstock
Legend hasn't always been John Legend. Credit: Shutterstock

Discussing the situation on this Saturday's episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, Legend said that he was given the name by a friend, but it really stuck when he was included on a record by Kanye West under the name.

Kanye has a way of blowing things up like that – for better or worse.

Anyway, speaking with Wossy, the 44-year-old star explained: “I was born John Stephens.


“A friend of mine started calling me John Legend.

“Kanye kind of blew it up when he put it on one of his recordings.

“When I was deciding whether to go out as John Legend or John Stephens (I thought, Legend) it’ll make a statement before I even show up.

“Then I found out someone is called Johnny Legend – he was also a porn producer.”



Imagine finding the perfect alter-ego and then realising that someone else already has it, especially someone in the porn industry.

Not that there’s anything wrong with working in that world, but – you know – if you want to win Grammys and sell millions of records, it’s best to reduce the chance of confusion.

Anyway, Legend went on: “I’ve never met him before.


“My manager, we had to clear the trademark.

“He reached out and negotiated a deal.

“I would always be John Legend and he’d always be Johnny Legend and we’d never cross.”

Legend was born John Stephens. Credit: Shutterstock
Legend was born John Stephens. Credit: Shutterstock

That seems fair enough.

Hopefully everyone is happy with the arrangement that came out.

Now, Legend is a huge success for his music, as well as celebrating his 10th anniversary with model and cookery writer Chrissy Teigen this year too.

In honour of that occasion, the pair are travelling back to where it all began, at a beautiful spot in Italy.

“We’re going to go back to where it all started, Lake Como,” he said.

These days, it might not be quite as peaceful for the pair, as they’ve now got three children together, having welcomed another daughter into their family this year.

You can catch the full interview with Legend on The Jonathan Ross Show, which airs on Saturday at 9.50pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: US News, Celebrity, TV and Film, Music, John Legend, Weird

Tom Wood
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