John Legend: Singer, songwriter, spelling bee champ

FILE - In this May 21, 2017 photo, John Legend arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Legend’s work has won Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony, but years before achieving global fame, the Legend-to-be took home another prize: spelling bee champ. A 1989 story in The Springfield News-Sun proclaimed, “Product of home teaching wins bee.” The newspaper said the 10-year-old Legend took a no-nonsense approach, not cracking a smile during the competition until his tutor cried out in joy when he correctly spelled the winning word: prejudice. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — John Legend’s work has won Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony, but years before achieving global fame, the Legend-to-be took home another prize: Spelling bee champ.

A 1989 story in The Springfield News-Sun (http://bit.ly/2sQ6VSD ) proclaimed, “Product of home teaching wins bee.” The newspaper noted the future R&B singer’s sharp attire, his steady gaze and crisp enunciation, saying the 10-year-old Legend “came to win … and win he did.”

Legend, born John Roger Stephens in Springfield in 1978, credited his mother, Phyllis Stephens, and a tutor with helping him study for the contest. He and his siblings were home schooled.

The newspaper says he took a no-nonsense approach, not cracking a smile during the competition until his tutor cried out with joy when he correctly spelled the winning word: “prejudice.”