How Chrissy Teigen Attracted John Legend Will Surprise You

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are known as an amazing couple, but they are also a case of opposites attracting. Legend told PEOPLE in 2017: “We were always different…. I was always a little bit more buttoned up, and she was always more brash and free.”

But, he admitted, their differences helped him grow as a person: “I think she’s brought me out of my shell a bit and made me enjoy life a little bit more.”

Despite, or possibly because of, their differences, together as a couple they have a strong bond and family. And what initially attracted John Legend to the model is surprising and yet not surprising at all.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s upbringing

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend at the 2019 Brandweek Brand Genius Awards Gala.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend | David Crotty/Getty Images

Legend’s birth name was John Stephens, and he grew up in a religious Pentecostal family in Springfield, Ohio. He started piano lessons when he was four and was soon writing and singing his own songs.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Legend worked for Boston Consulting Group. His college roommate was Kanye West’s cousin and gave Legend the connection of a lifetime.

West agreed to produce for Legend. Legend’s debut album, which came out in 2006, was Get Lifted. It won three Grammys. 

Born in Utah, Teigen grew up in Washington state, where her parents ran a tavern called Porky’s, but the family also lived in Idaho and Hawaii. Her parents met in Thailand before she was born.

When Teigen was a teen, her mother began returning to Thailand to care for her own parents, eventually staying there for years. Teigen moved with her father to Huntington Beach, California. She got two jobs, one in a surf shop. A client at the surf shop was a cameraman, who shot some professional photos of her. These photos led to the start of Teigen’s modeling career.

How John Legend met Chrissy Teigen

The cameraman who had shot Teigen was hired to direct the video for Legend’s single “Stereo,” and he showed Teigen’s photo to Legend. She was soon chosen to be the girl in the video, and they met in 2006.

Teigen went to his dressing room, wanting to meet Legend. The first thing she said to him was, “You do your own ironing?” He was ironing his underwear.

The 21-year-old model and 27-year-old singer were soon casually dating, and Teigen read a lot of gossip coverage about Legend. Some of it suggested he was either in the closet or loved models.

At that time, Teigen worked part of the year in Miami. She shared an apartment with six other models, and the girls did small modeling jobs for South American clients. She had no money, no bank account, and no credit cards. Occasionally, Legend would wire her money.

Legend told Vanity Fair that their relationship “got serious pretty quickly.” He loved that she was funny and was drawn to her. He said: “She just entertained the hell out of me, texting me. What people respond to in her tweets today was the same energy in those texts. I didn’t know that I wanted someone funny until I was actually with someone funny.”

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s marriage

Legend proposed in December 2011, and they had a big wedding at Lake Como, Italy, in September 2013. They now have two children: daughter Luna is three and son Miles is one. Teigen’s mother, Pepper, lives with them as well. Also in their household are their nanny and three bulldogs.

Today, John Legend, 40, is an EGOT winner. He is both the youngest of the 15 people who have won all four awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) and the first black man to do so. He’s also a criminal-justice reform activist.

Teigen, 33, is a former model and a social media influencer. She also includes TV hostess, actress, and cookbook author on her resume.