A child prodigy who grew up in Ohio, John Stephens began playing the piano and singing gospel from five years old, leaving college at 16 for college in Philadelphia. It was while still in his teens, Stephens played piano on Lauryn Hill's single Everything Is Everything in 1998. After college, he moved to New York to play nightclubs and sell his CDs at shows, becoming a popular session musician and working for artists such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys. It was Kanye West who signed Stephens to his G.O.O.D. label where he adopted the Legend name. Legend's first studio album Get Lifted was released in 2004, featuring the popular single Ordinary People, and won three Grammy Awards. In October 2006, Legend released his second album Once Again, before a third album in 2008 Evolver.