John Legend Was a Spelling Bee Champ at 10 — Guess What Word Won Him the Title

John Legend has won many awards through the years — multiple Grammys, an Oscar, and most recently a Tony. However, his winning ways started way back when John was a young boy.

Legend, aka John Stephens, was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. He and his siblings were homeschooled by his mother, Phyllis. In 1989, Legend went on to win the Springfield District Spelling Bee with the help of his mom. Legend’s hometown paper, the Springfield News-Sun, recently dug up the original story from its archives for our enjoyment.  

Clearly, Legend always had a fashion sense for big events. The article opened with a description of his ensemble: “The suit and tie, the steady gaze, the crisp enunciation — John Stephens came the win the Springfield District Spelling Bee Thursday, and win he did.”

Legend correctly spelled “prejudice” to take home the big prize. Years later and John is still proud of his win. He posted this TBT photo on Instagram in 2014.


And don’t think we forgot about this humblebrag on Twitter in 2016.


It’s a wonder it took the media so long to realize the singer’s impressive past. But, hey, once a Legend always a Legend.

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