Fame Bites - John Legend
July 13th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

Are you ready to go (eat) right now? Consider this is your "green light."

John Legend, the nine-time Grammy Award-winning crooner and poverty activist, recently set aside a few minutes from his tour with Sade to talk about his crusade against sugary drinks and the secret to finger lickin' good fried chicken.

Most artists and celebrities choose to get paid for their endorsements. You’ve decided to invest money in HINT water – why did you make that decision?
"I thought it was a good business decision - a smart way to get involved is not just to be on their endorsement for a fee basis, but to really have some ownership and a stake in where the company goes so you can really maximize the value you get out of it and have some incentive to be a part of a company that you believe is going to grow.

It’s fine to just get a check to just endorse the product, but it's more interesting and exciting to take an ownership stake in the company, and really see the true benefit of a company that does really well. [There are] larger rewards in the long-term if you are willing to invest."

Much of your advocacy work surrounds childhood obesity and education.
"I love that you can drink something without all the sugar. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on sugar, but when we talk to educators and schools and principals - especially with high school kids - obesity is a huge issue within all the other issues they have.

It is important to make sure they have the right kind of diet – a lot of the weight gain and obesity is driven by the amount of sugar, as there are not many viable sugarless options."

Let’s talk about your passion for food. Even your girlfriend, model Christine Teigen, has a food blog.
"She cooks a lot and follows the food shows on television – and I love food as well, but I cook only a little bit, a few dishes. I make soul food which isn’t so healthy but we splurge."

What is your signature dish to make?
"Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese – and I know this goes against my healthy food message. You definitely have to have garlic salt and paprika on the fried chicken."

What do you eat before you perform on stage?
"Roasted chicken and vegetables."

Is there one thing you can't go a day without eating or drinking?
"I try to eat a lot of fruit everyday, some grapes, an apple, maybe a pear – and I usually have some form of chicken every day."

Who is your dream dinner date?
"I would love to sit with the Obamas and have a frank conversation because I’ve spoken with them plenty of times and been around them quite a bit, but you never get an hour, hour and a half – it’d be interesting three years into office, without cameras and without press. I’d be curious to hear what their candid thoughts are."

For a good party, what's your must-have item?
"A good drink is always good - that warms things up a little bit. I like vodka drinks, I like the clean taste and usually do a vodka gimlet or a vodka soda. I don’t like them too sweet, but that's not for health reasons."

Devna Shukla is an Associate Producer for CNN's AC360°.

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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Fame Bites

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Grace

    educators and schools and *principals*

    July 14, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  2. ArtInChicago

    I saw the John Legend / Sade concert. Absolutely amazing. John Legend is an incredible talent and I do hope eats whatever he needs to nourish his body and soul.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  3. BLUKA

    John legend is a "g"

    July 14, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  4. Robert L McSasquatoon

    Real humble fellow... changing his name to "Legend" and all...

    July 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • BJohnson

      People always have something silly to say. His real name isn't John Legend, its John Stephens. He is an R&B singer

      July 14, 2011 at 8:27 am |
      • SB

        That doesn't seem very silly to me. If he wasn't just a little bit full of himself he'd be billing himself as John Stephens rather than John Legend.

        July 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  5. mjh

    im beaming you should see me

    July 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  6. mjh

    garlic and paprika i love the idea of that flavor on fried chicken and a cold VODKA drink for a cottail

    July 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  7. mjh

    love the garlic and paprika

    July 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
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