If there’s any musician who can make sense of the tectonic upheaval in the industry, it’s John Legend. Before teaming with Kanye West and Snoop Dogg on his major-label debut, Get Lifted, the ultrasmooth R&B singer-songwriter worked as an associate consultant for the Boston Consulting Group (under his given name, John Stephens). When the recording sold north of 3 million copies worldwide–and snagged a trio of 2006 Grammys, including best new artist–John Stephens the consultant had some cautionary words for John Legend the musician: Protect your brand. It was some of the best advice he’d ever gotten. advertisement advertisement Legend, who’s 28, knew people would be lining up to take a piece of every dollar he could pull down, and that if he went the traditional route, there wasn’t much he could do to stop them. After all, it was the label, retailers, and ticket companies in the sweet spot at the center of every transaction with his fans. “I can’t let someone else have more control over the relationship people have with my music than I do,” he says. So Legend took control in a way that would have been unthinkable for a new artist just 10 years ago…. Read full this story
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