How Kanye West Introduced John Legend to Chrissy Teigen

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have been happily married since 2013. Would you believe they have Kanye West to thank for introducing them? Even Legend chuckled about the connection.

Kanye West, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
L-R: John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Kanye West | Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic

Legend was a guest on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast on July 6. When Maron asked Legend how he met Teigen, Legend told the whole story.

Kanye West and John Legend collaborated early in their careers

Before Legend told Maron how he met Teigen, he spoke about the early days of his music career. That’s when he met West. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Legend moved in with his college roommate DeVon Harris in New York. West was Harris cousin, so when West moved to Newark, New Jersey to produce music, Harris introduced him to Legend.

Legend and West wrote demos together for what became the album Get Lifted. Legend was assigned to West’s production company before he produced for Jay-Z and before he became a rapper himself. When West got his production deal, he signed Legend as the first artist for GOOD Music. Through Good Music, Legend got signed by Columbia in May 2004

How Kanye West led John Legend to Chrissy Teigen

First, Legend met director Nabil Elderkin through West. 

“I met Nabil because he was squatting,” Legend told Maron. “Back in the day, people didn’t have a lot of web presence. You would become famous and you hadn’t already bought your website. Somebody owned it. His only stipulation for giving Kanye his website was just let me take pictures of you.”

West accepted the deal. While Elderkin was taking photos of West at work, Legend and he became friends.

John Legend and Kanye West
L-R: John Legend and Kanye West | Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Kerzner International

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“So Kanye gets his domain name, Nabil hangs out with us and takes lots of photos,” Legend said. “Nabil and I become friends and he’s also starting to take photos for other people, for brands. One of the brands he was taking it for was Billabong, a surfwear brand. My wife was modeling for Billabong. She meets Nabil.” 

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s worlds finally collided

Flash forward to 2006. Elderkin had a proposal for Legend.

“We actually met shooting a video for a song for my second album,” Legend said. “The second album’s called Once Again. There was a song on the album that wasn’t even a single. But, my friend Nabil Elderkin — a director, photographer, and a producer — he loved the song and he had an idea for a video idea for it. At the time he wasn’t known as a director. He was just taking photos.”

The video for “Stereo” was really just to show what Elderkin could do as a director. Legend helped, and Elderkin suggested one of his Billabong models. 

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend | Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

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“He starts showing me pictures of this woman that he had just shot,” Legend said. “He’s like, ‘Would you like her to be your love interest in the video.’ I’m like, ‘Uh, yes.’ And it’s Chrissy. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I think you’re going to like her. She’s really cool and funny and beautiful.’ We meet, we hit it off and we start dating not long after that. We got pretty serious starting like 2007/2008. Then I proposed in 2011 and we got married in 2013.”

The trio reunited once Legend and Teigen were about to get married. 

“Then ‘All of Me’ comes out and becomes this massive song,” Legend said. “We shot the video in Italy and it was shot by Nabil Elderkin, the guy who introduced us seven years prior.”