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John Legend “All of Me”
Writer(s): John Stephens/ Toby Gad (see lyrics here)
Released: 8/12/2013, First charted: 9/21/2013
Peak: 13 US, 110 AC, 14 AA, 13 RB, 2 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.2 UK, 10.8 world (includes US and UK)
Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): 333.45
Review: Legend co-wrote this piano-driven ballad with songwriter Toby Gad (Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”). She suggested to Legend that he write a song as a dedication to model Chrissy Teigen, his then-fiancee and later wife, in the vein of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman.” SF As he told BBC News about Teigen, “She’s definitely affected my songwriting.” SF The two met in 2007 on the set of his video for “Stereo” and married in 2013 in September 14. The black-and-white video, shot just days before the couple’s wedding in Italy, features the two making love and finishes with footage from their actual wedding. Legend sang the song to her during the wedding.
Legend premiered the song in June 2013 on Oprah Winfrey’s prime-time television show Oprah’s Next Chapter. It was the third single from his Love in the Future album. Previous singles “Who Do We Think We Are” and “Made to Love” had failed to chart. In fact, Legend’s last song to hit the pop charts had been in 2008 with “Green Light,” one of only two Legend songs to hit the top 40. The other was “Ordinary People” in 2005. In fact, in a ten-year career, Legend had only hit the Hot 100 four times, leading to the suspicion that he’d be a respected name in the music industry, but one who never had a major hit.
The song took 30 weeks to hit the top of the pop charts, the third-longest climb to the top. A major factor was Legend’s performance of the song at the Grammys in January 2014. As Legend told Billboard, “By all rights, I shouldn’t have gotten that slot to perform by myself…but producer Ken Ehrlich believed in the song and thought it was special enough to deserve its own slot.” SF
“All of Me” proved to be a massive commercial breakthrough, sending him not only to #1 in the U.S., but in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Rolling Stone’s Jon Dolan called the song a “mountainous piano crusher” WK and Exclaim!’s Ryan Patrick praised what he called “Legend’s current commercially friendly, sentimental sound.” WK
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