Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Kristi York Wooten: John Legend and Jeffrey Sachs: Philanthropy's New BFFs: "To be fair, the association between Legend, 30, and Sachs seems genuine; in an email for this story, Sachs characterized their relationship as that of 'friends and colleagues (except he sings better than I do). John is exceptionally smart, talented, and committed.' One sings about making love, the other writes about making poverty history, and together, Legend and Sachs might be one of the most potent philanthropic pairings the celebrity world has seen in a few years. Why? Aside from the fact that they're both Ivy grads with prodigious talents who both achieved major success in their respective fields at a young age, neither one has an air of insolence about him. Their differences in age and (yes, even in the Obama era) skin color are welcome juxtapositions, and the fact that Legend approached Sachs because he was so moved by his 2005 New York Times bestseller, The End of Poverty, says something about the authenticity of their pairing. And, needless to say, from a marketing standpoint, putting an internationally-renowned economist with a platinum-selling soul singer is one combination that covers plenty of demographic territory."