15 Years of ‘Get Lifted’

15 Years of ‘Get Lifted’

December 28, 2019, was not just a milestone anniversary for Jay-Z, it was also one for John Legend. That date marked the 15th anniversary of his debut album, Get Lifted. And for the record, it was also his 41st birthday.

After years of singing backup for everyone from Lauryn Hill to Alicia Keys to even Jay-Z, John Legend was now front and center.

Released under Kanye West’s GOOD Music imprint, Get Lifted was a traditional-yet-contemporary offering that can be played from start to finish without any real urge to skip a track. Even its weakest tracks (e.g., “Let’s Get Lifted Again”) can be enjoyed under the right circumstances.

John Legend co-wrote all 13 songs on Get Lifted, with Kanye West, Dave Tozer and will.i.am offering writing and production assistance on majority of the album’s tracks. Features include Yeezy, Snoop Dogg, Miri Ben-Ari and the Stephens Family, who showed us where John Legend (real name John Stephens) gets his pipes from on “It Don’t Have to Change.”

Get Lifted didn’t produce any major hits as far as charts are concerned — its third single, “Ordinary People,” was its highest-charting song and it only managed to reach No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, John Legend has the kind of adult contemporary appeal where big singles don’t matter. That very appeal will power the album to over three million units sold and earn John three Grammys in 2006, including Best New Artist and Best R&B Album.

For an album this good, selecting a favorite is tough, but “It Don’t Have to Change” (featuring the Stephens Family) edges the competition out by *this* much. Check it out below.

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