John Legend faced “a lot of rejection” as a young musician.
The Grammy-winning star is one of the best-selling artists in the world — but John admits his journey to stardom hasn’t been a straight one.
He explained: “There was a lot of rejection. But if I had got a record deal at 18, I would have screwed it up.
“I had no idea what it took to be a successful solo artist. I just thought, ‘Oh, I can sing and I’m writing some great songs,’ but there’s more to it than that.”
John, 43, is starring in the US version of ‘The Voice’ and that experience has prompted him to reflect on his early days in the music business.
He told the BBC: “I coach ‘The Voice’ right now and that’s what I always think of when I give advice to artists.
“They’re all really good singers – some of them are better singers than me – but the only way for them to make it is by being interesting and specific and having a personal approach.
“Music is not just a virtuoso contest.”
John actually spent three years working as a management consultant as he struggled to get his music career off the ground.
However, that experience taught him some important life lessons.
He said: “It’s a demanding job, they expect you to work good hours, but I was living a double life, writing at night, laughing at night.
“People always ask me if I’m tired now and I’m like, ‘I get more rest than I used to!
Meanwhile, John recently revealed that he is “forever grateful” to Kanye West.
The singer just released his debut album, “Get Lifted,” on Kanye’s Good Music record label, and he’ll always appreciate what the rap star has done for him.
John reflected: “I can’t imagine my career without Kanye’s influence. He gave me a platform because of my success as an artist and producer.
“I don’t know if any of this would have happened without us meeting and helping each other. I am eternally grateful to them.”