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John Legend Goes Back to the Beginning for Live Album

John Legend‘s new live album, ‘Live From Philadelphia,’ which debuted at No. 7 on the charts, has added significance for the singer-songwriter, who credits the city for giving him a shot early on.

“I went to college there and a lot of my early writing and recording I did there, so I definitely have a special connection to Philly,” Legend tells PopEater. “I remember when I put my band together I was playing in some of the clubs in Philly early on.”

The album, which is available exclusively at Target, was recorded at the Tower Theater, a place the singer used to frequent. “It’s a theater where I’ve actually seen shows as a fan when I was in school, so that was kind of a full-circle moment knowing that I had seen Lauryn Hill play there when I was in college, knowing that I had seen Chris Rock do stand up, or that I had seen Beck there,” he recalls. “It was cool going back to that venue and being the headliner after going to see people I really liked in the past.”

The album also finds Legend delving into his fandom with covers of songs from the likes of the Beatles and Sly Stone. As to what he was looking for in his songs selected, Legend says, “We did a medley with ‘I Can Change’ into a Beatles song called ‘I Want You.’ So we did a few things like that. For me the goal was to introduce a fresh element into the show and have a few surprises.”

The five-time Grammy winner plans on adding a new element to the usual, humdrum experience of flying when he treats 50-60 lucky sweepstakes winners to a 30-minute performance during a Grammys-bound flight set to depart from New York to Los Angeles on February 7.

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