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John Legend Uses His Fame to Make the World a Little Better


Image Courtesy ABC/ Lorenzo BevilaquaOn Friday in Washington, D.C., John Legend will take part in a special panel discussion on the modern day civil rights movement hosted by political news website Politico.  “An Evening with John Legend,” which will feature a performance by the singer, takes place on the night before the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, when journalists, politicians and celebrities of all stripes come together.  It’s a high profile gig for John, but he’s long been an entertainer who’s used his celebrity to support social causes.

“I’m just trying to make great music and then hopefully make an impact, not just with the music, but with what I do with my fame,” says Legend, who is spearheading a new multi-year campaign, Free America, focused on ending mass incarceration and changing the criminal justice system. 

The singer says it’s important to him to use his high profile to do more than just entertain. “When we do social campaigns and political campaigns, it’s because I’ve been given a platform as an artist and I try to use that platform to make the world a little bit better,” he says.

Aside from his philanthropic projects, the crooner is busy with his TV and film production company, Get Lifted Film Co., whose projects include a new reality series Sing It On and an upcoming movie musical.  After picking up an Oscar for “Glory,” the song he co-wrote for the movie Selma, he says he’s eager to get more of his songs into films.

“The thing is, I write so many songs for my albums that I can’t use on my albums, so I end up putting some of them on movies,” he says. “And then some I actually write specifically for the movie, like for Selma I did that,” he says. “But I enjoy having my music in film. I have a production company that produces film as well and we try to find ways to integrate good music with good film.”

“An Evening with John Legend” will take place at Washington, D.C.’s Longview Gallery.  It’s invite-only, but it will be streamed live on Politico beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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