Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Maybe John Legend Needs a New Producer: Latest Album, “Legend,” Has Sold Just 25K Copies in 10 Days


John Legend is having problems selling records.

His latest album, “Legend,” has sold 25,000 copies through yesterday according to Luminate. It was released September 9th to no fanfare, and no single on the radio or charts.

“Legend” was supposed to be John’s Renaissance. He left Columbia Records after 18 years and moved to Universal Music Group after the failure of his last album, “Bigger Love.” When I saw him last winter in L.A., John was very excited about the new album and change of labels.

But for some reason, nothing is working. It’s not like John Legend isn’t on TV all the time. He’s as media-exposed as he could be. But there’s something else going on here. Either he needs a new manager, or a producer who will harness his remarkable talents into something commercial.

“Legend” is a double album — 24 tracks. Some of them have been streamed a lot, like “Dope” featuring JID (should be a radio staple), and “All She Wanna Do” with Saweetie. But most of them are not getting played. It’s too bad. The second to last song on the “Second” part, “I Don’t Love You Like I Used To,” has only 300,000 streams. It should be the third track on the first part, and marketed to Adult Contemporary radio. It could be an enormous hit. It could also be remixed as a duet with a great female singer. Where is Alicia Keys when you need her?

Listen, no disrespect to Legend’s management. But something has to change here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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