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Anatomy Of A Hit: John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’

How the singer, songwriter and producer has taken the song to the top of five format airplay charts, and claimed the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 for the first time.

How has John Legend’s piano ballad (also remixed by Tiesto) “All Of Me” dominated five singular-format Billboard airplay charts (Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Rhythmic Songs, Adult Contemporary and Adult R&B Songs)? The stars and talents behind the scenes of Legend’s first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 explain.

The Voice: John Legend
“Other writers and artists I was working with at the time reacted strongly to ‘All of Me.’ I remember [singer, songwriter and former Epic Records president] Amanda Ghost cried the first time she heard it. All it took was the right exposure for it to seep into the public consciousness. I [was] like, ‘This song is for everybody. Why does it only have to be on this or that format?’ ”


The Co-writer: Toby Gad
“John knew he wanted to write a song to his then-fiancee [Chrissy Teigen], and already had the words ‘all of me.’ The writing happened really fast, maybe three hours, just the two of us bouncing lyrics back and forth. It was a very natural flow, where every word felt completely honest.”

The Co-producer: Dave Tozer
“We tweaked it and tweaked it, adding cello, guitar and some baroque instrumentation at certain points. But making a record isn¹t about how much stuff you add on. It’s, ‘Have you stripped away all you can from it to capture the song’s essence and the singer’s vocals?’ There’s so much noise going on out there in the world. So when you get a track like this, you want to zero in.”

The Exec: Joel Klaiman, Columbia Records executive vp/gm
“We knew we would ultimately get to this ballad as a single. And when we got to it, we knew we were going to take on any barriers, any format walls, so we could touch everybody. Each time he sang this song during a performance, there was a big sales reaction. Everyone saw the light as to how powerful a song it was in its simplicity and lyrics.”