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Top 10 John Legend Songs

John Legend songs are just that: songs of legend.

By WatchMojoPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

Prepare the tissues because things are about to get emotional. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 John Legend Songs." For this list, we’re looking at John Legend's most moving and memorable tracks. While the soulful singer has written for and collaborated with an array of accomplished artists, only songs which feature Legend's vocals will be considered.

Romance and John Legend are synonymous with each other, but the fourth single from the musician's fourth album speaks to a far wider audience than just one couple. An R&B track with smooth vocals and an uplifting hook, "You & I (Nobody in the World)'s" lyrics feel like a love letter to Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, but the accompanying music video injects a powerful theme of female empowerment and acceptance. Used to promote the #OperationGirl Charity event, "You & I (Nobody in the World)" serves as a prime example of the earnest songwriting that defines Legend's discography.

The American singer may be chiefly known for heartbreaking piano ballads, but not every John Legend song seeks to reduce its audience to a waterfall of tears. Backed by a bouncy beat and a simple but infectious chorus, "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)" stands for "public display of affection" and the title perfectly captures the track's blissful spirit. Featured on Legend's second album and bolstered by a fun music video shot in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, this tune highlights another side of the highly acclaimed musician's many talents.

Published more than a decade after the singer's debut album, it is safe to assume John Legend had perfected the art of love songs by 2016. From the dreamy piano intro to the sincere lyrics and near-perfect vocals, "Love Me Now" is, more or less, a quintessential Legend track; however, the fifth album's lead single seems to take a page or two from EDM. Unlike other R&B artists, Legend's reserved musical style rarely crosses over into the mainstream dance charts, but "Love Me Now" would not feel too out of place in a club.

As the lead single from 2008's Evolver, critics and fans must have been shocked to hear the typically subdued performer return with an uptempo, contemporary club banger. Featuring a guest appearance by André 3000, which is always a positive, "Green Light" finds John Legend flirting with a poppier sound and the result is a match made in heaven. Considering the music video launches with a frustrated Legend closing a piano's keyboard cover before an electro-funk beat kicks in, "Green Light" was clearly designed to show the musician could deliver more than just melodic ballads. Suffice it to say, mission accomplished!

While far from the prolific singer's biggest hit, this hip-hop ballad introduced the world to John Legend. Produced by Kanye West, who had previously featured Legend on a couple of tracks, "Used to Love U's" brilliant gospelesque intro and old-school instrumental instantly distinguished the eloquent musician from the crowd. "Get Lifted" is a nearly flawless album from top to bottom, and "Used to Love U" has everything one could ask for in a John Legend track. Even after all these years, few Legend tracks outshine his debut single.

Before they became Academy Award winners for "Best Original Song," John Legend and Common joined forces to craft a potent and important theme song for 2014's Selma. Even though the film is set during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, "Glory" concentrates more on the continuing struggle against discrimination, and draws many parallels between Martin Luther King, Jr.'s movement and the present day. Common's verses are eye-opening and honest, while Legend injects an incredible amount of passion and emotion into the hook. Not convinced? The duo's performance at the 87th Academy Awards might change your mind.

At the height of his powers, John Legend's songs manage to find that right balance between personal and relatable. Nominated for a Grammy Award, "Save Room" is a cheery love song with crisp production and deals with the singer's attempts to inspire a couple of different women to live in the moment. Largely due to Legend's remarkable vocal chops, the sentiment held by the lyrics genuinely comes across as sincere, but the verses are vague enough to allow for pretty much any romantic to slip into the musician's shoes.

This track is probably the closest John Legend ever gets to bragging. Included in the soundtrack for 2012's "Think Like a Man," “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” is the living embodiment of sensual and suggestive. Rather than serenading listeners with lyrics centering around the power of love, Legend is solely preoccupied with moving the party to the bedroom, and we cannot think of a more appropriate track to set the mood. If John Legend's confident performance was not already more than enough, Ludacris drops a strong verse to seal the deal.

Stripped down to only a piano and vocals, "Ordinary People" established the sound that would later define John Legend's brand. At the time, the singer was a relatively unknown quantity, but the second single from Legend's debut album guaranteed that was no longer the case. Tackling themes like compromise and uncertainty, "Ordinary People" examines the challenges commonly faced by relationships, but maintains a hopeful enough tone to suggest reconciliation is possible. Besides earning a Grammy for "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance," "Ordinary People" helped Legend land "Best New Artist" and "Best R&B Album."

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

  • “Penthouse Floor” feat. Chance the Rapper, Darkness and Light (2016)
  • “Everybody Knows” Evolver (2009)

This is it: The ultimate John Legend song. A tribute to the singer's better half, "All of Me" compares favorably with pretty much any ballad out there, and even reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, which was a first for Legend. Sugary sweet and intimate, this touching love song pushes Legend's voice to the forefront, while the superb piano progression compliments the verses and soaring chorus. Released in 2013, "All of Me" did not really explore new territory, but marked the point when Legend perfected his formula.


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    WatchMojoWritten by WatchMojo

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