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John Legend’s Parents Are Rarely Seen in Public - 5 Facts about Them

Akhona Zungu
Aug 11, 2022
07:20 A.M.
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John Legend had a less than ideal upbringing due to his mother's drug addiction, which the singer recalls having initially torn his family apart.

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John Legend is a music mogul and genius born into the family of Phyllis Elaine and Ronald Lamar Stephens.

He has opened up about his trying relationship with his mother and father throughout his upbringing as a teenager. Let's take a closer look at his parents.

John Legend poses with his mother Phyllis Elaine Stephens at the Jazz In The Gardens 2010 show in Miami Gardens | Getty Images

John Legend poses with his mother Phyllis Elaine Stephens at the Jazz In The Gardens 2010 show in Miami Gardens | Getty Images

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LEGEND HAD A STRAINED RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOTHER GROWING UP

In an essay on Time, Legend shared how difficult it was growing up in Ohio for him, where he watched his mother sink deeper into drug abuse for over a decade.

Consequently, this left little to no room for a relationship to grow between himself and Phyllis. The "All of Me" singer recalls feeling devastated as he watched his family fall apart due to his mother's drug use.

Phyllis Elaine Stephens photographed at the "Waiting For 'Superman'" premiere at Alice Tully Hall | Source: Getty Images

Phyllis Elaine Stephens photographed at the "Waiting For 'Superman'" premiere at Alice Tully Hall | Source: Getty Images

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JOHN SEEMED TO IMPROVE HIS BOND WITH HIS MOTHER OVER THE YEARS

The Sun reported that Legend is in "a really good place" with his mom. He shared that she often spends time with his children and visits him when he's working on the American singing competition, "The Voice."

The "So High" singer added that part of the reason why his relationship with his mother had been on the mend is her relationship with his children. He recognized the necessity of forgiveness of the past at some point in one's adulthood.

Phyllis Elaine Stephens and John Legend photographed at the 2010 "Waiting For 'Superman'" premiere at Alice Tully Hall | Source: Getty Images

Phyllis Elaine Stephens and John Legend photographed at the 2010 "Waiting For 'Superman'" premiere at Alice Tully Hall | Source: Getty Images

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JOHN LEGEND'S FATHER IS MAKING HATS

According to Page Six, Ronald Lamar Stephens has tried his hand at different forms of artistic creation. The outlet reported that Stephens had been designing and sewing his own clothes well before taking an interest in his own hat line.

In an interview with the publication, the "Pops Topz" owner narrates how inspiration struck when he was doing some spring cleaning and was about to throw away a "gambler" hat that he had once owned.

John Legend and his father Ronald Stephens are pictured at the AXE Senior Orientation Ohio | Source: Getty Images

John Legend and his father Ronald Stephens are pictured at the AXE Senior Orientation Ohio | Source: Getty Images

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When his brother complemented the gambler hat, he thought of ways to improve its look; and he did. After parading in his new creation in his community, he was encouraged to create his own line of hats, and that's how his current profession came about.

Today he owns a brand of hats called Popz Topz. Although John may have taken Ronald's impeccable sense of style, gracing red carpets and stages as he makes his appearances, he simply isn't a hat person, as his father shares.

 John Legend performs at the Somerset House Summer Series at Somerset House | Source: Getty Images

John Legend performs at the Somerset House Summer Series at Somerset House | Source: Getty Images

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Stephens says that John seldom wears hats. The singer only wears them either "strictly for business" or when he is with his father. Ronald shared that:

"He's not really a hat person, and I think the person who best represents Popz Topz is a person who likes hats."

PHYLLIS AND RONALD WERE SINGING GOSPELS

Legend recalls that his mother, Phyllis, has always been his biggest fan since he first displayed his musical talent. According to USA Today 30, the Stephens family was full of avid churchgoers, where Phyllis was a singer and choir director.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend help Luna Stephens throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners before a game | Source: Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend help Luna Stephens throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners before a game | Source: Getty Images

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Legend's parents' musical talents and commitments must have made a lasting impression on the music mogul growing up. Ronald was a drummer, and he advised his son as he began embarking on what would become his booming music career.

LEGEND'S PARENTS ARE NO LONGER TOGETHER

In a 2004 MTV interview, John Legend shared that his parents were divorced for 12 years, after which they rekindled their romance.

John Legend on stage at Teatro Ariston Concert in San Remo, Italy | Source: Getty Images

John Legend on stage at Teatro Ariston Concert in San Remo, Italy | Source: Getty Images

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That predicament inspired Legend to write his song "Ordinary People". The "When I Used To Love You" singer explained:

"It's the quintessential relationship song, [...] the song shows that there are ups and downs in any relationship."

However, the former couple split once again. Although, it is unknown if Ronald and Phyllis are still married.

Legend's "Ordinary Songs" is indeed a testament for his parents' relationship. His father Ronald has snaps of himself and a woman named Diedre Hamlar on his Instagram, and it is believed that the two are in a romantic relationship.

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