John Legend Recalls How 'Star Search' Crushed His Dreams, Improved His Wardrobe

The R&B superstar yearned to appear on the TV talent show of his youth, and the outcome was less than legendary.

John Legend, Mr. EGOT himself, got rejected by the popular TV talent show of his youth.

Legend, a coach on “The Voice,” told his startling tale to Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Monday.

The R&B singer recalled that he “so badly” wanted to be on “Star Search,” which featured the likes of Beyoncé and Britney Spears in its original 1983-95 run with Ed McMahon as host.

Legend said a local mall near Dayton, Ohio, had a local “Star Search” competition, in which the winner’s tape would be sent to the nationally televised “Star Search.” Legend won. His tape was submitted.

“I never got a call back, so that was that,” he said. “But I did get a $500 shopping spree at the new mall, and I bought a lot of clothes so I was happy.”

His show business aspirations worked out, too. The singer, composer and producer, 42, has won at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony ― the rare EGOT ― for his talents.

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