John Legend reveals he ‘negotiated a deal’ with porn producer over use of his stage name

John Legend has revealed he had to negotiate with a porn producer over the use of his stage name.

The Grammy-winning singer’s real name is John Stephens, having adopted the sobriquet early in his career.

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday (8 April), Legend, explained: “I was born John Stephens. A friend of mine started calling me John Legend. Kanye [West] kind of blew it up when he put it on one of his recordings.

“When I was deciding whether to go out as John Legend or John Stephens, I thought, ‘Legend – it’ll make a statement before I even show up’.”

He then learned that there was another showbiz figure who already went by the name Johnny Legend – a porn producer.

“I’ve never met him before,” he continued. “My manager, we had to clear the trademark. He reached out and negotiated a deal.

“I would always be John Legend and he’d always be Johnny Legend and we’d never cross.”

Elsewhere during the episode, Legend discussed the 10th anniversary of his hit song “All of Me”, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of his wedding to wife Chrissy Teigen.

John Legend pictured in March 2023 (Getty Images for LOVED01)
John Legend pictured in March 2023 (Getty Images for LOVED01)

“The first time I sang ‘All of Me’ live was at our wedding,” he recalled. “I haven’t sung at a lot of weddings. Occasionally… I’m kind of expensive. It’s been played at a lot of weddings.”

He also dicsussed the recent birth of his third child, describing the reaction of his other children.

“They seemed kind of jealous while mummy was pregnant,” he said, “but since she’s come out, they’ve been so good, competing to see who will be the best older sibling.”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday at 9.50pm on ITV1 and ITVX.