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The Daily Tar Heel

Carolina Athletic Association ocials should be commended for their success in booking singer John Legend for the Homecoming concert.


ith the clock ticking away, though the Carolina Athletic Association is still smarting from bungled negotiations with Sister Hazel, the organization has turned UNC's Homecoming concert from a ho-hum show into an event to anticipate.

Goodbye, one-hit wonder rock band Sister Hazel. Hello, in-demand session player and up-and-coming neo-soul crooner John Legend.

CAA deserves kudos for getting its act together and bringing in an artist with an enormous amount of potential.

Legend's song "Used to Love U" has been making radio waves. He has contributed his talents to a number of high-profile projects, including tracks by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. And he has worked closely with Kanye West, one of the most acclaimed hip-hop producers and performers of the new millennium.

Ever since his big break - in 1998, when he played piano on Lauryn Hill's hit, "Everything is Everything" - Legend has been climbing the R&B ladder.

The music press has been on his trail. "John Legend is an extraordinary singer/keyboardist," The Chicago Tribune stated.

Philadelphia Weekly has predicted a particularly bright future for him: "There's a good chance John is going to blow up real soon. ... Next thing you know, he'll be touring the world."

Though Legend might be thinking about London and Paris, he now has a Chapel Hill date to consider.

Going after Sister Hazel turned out to be a mistake for the CAA. The band's asking price of $20,000 far exceeded its value, and estimated concert costs were hitting the roof.

Legend, on the other hand, has yet to reach the peak of his success. His artist's fee of $5,000 is much closer to earth. If students are lucky, he will give them a performance to remember at the Oct. 24 concert, because he likely will be excited about his debut album hitting stores two days later.

By getting written and verbal confirmation from Legend, the CAA has made a nice recovery from the Sister Hazel fumble.

Practically all the greats started out on small stages. Who knows - in about two weeks, students might see a true legend in the making.

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