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John Legend Gives Surprise Performance at Philly Church

John Legend took a break from his stint on the Sade tour to surprise parishioners at Calvary Baptist Church in Pennsylvania’s West Philadelphia. The singer has a special connection with Philly, having gone to college there, and was excited to perform his rendition of Aretha Franklin‘s ‘How I Got Over,’ off her ‘Amazing Grace’ album, released in 1972.

“I haven’t performed in church in a while I would love to have that experience it again,” Legend said in a video released on his website.

Before the Grammy winner was gracing stages all over the world, he started out in church, singing in the choir at the age of seven. “I thought it’d be cool to go back and do something…explore my roots a little bit,” he explained.

The 32-year-old got his big break playing piano for Lauryn Hill’s ‘Everything is Everything,’ off her classic album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.’ He went on to release his double-platinum debut ‘Get Lifted,’ in 2004, under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.

Legend was announced as the opening act for the North American leg of Sade’s world tour, their first in over a decade. The tour opened to a sold-out crowd last Thursday (June 16) at Baltimore’s Mariner Arena, and wraps up September 11 in Norfolk, Va.

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