When John Legend turned 40, he didn’t settle for a quiet meal out or drinks with friends to celebrate. No, instead, he commemorated the occasion with his very own James Bond-themed party. Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, was the one responsible for the lavish affair, while the couple’s two kids took supporting roles. And among the awe-inspiring décor and props, there was a licence-to-thrill photobooth – in which Legend, Teigen and their guests took some truly incredible pictures.
Teigen herself is best known as both a model and the host of Lip Sync Battle, and she has a social media following more than befitting of a individual of her status. More than 23 million people follow her on Instagram, in fact – perhaps in part because of her no-holds-barred retorts to those who choose to criticize her.
But even though Teigen is a star today, she naturally hasn’t always been in the spotlight. During her childhood, Teigen told Good Morning America in 2018, she was just a regular kid who enjoyed being “goofy.” And a picture of the model from her youth proves that she had at least one mishap during that period, as it shows her hitting the ground head first when coming off a slide at Disneyland.
Furthermore, the young Teigen loved to accompany her father on his fishing trips. That was despite her not having much in the way of natural talent for angling; according to the star herself, she was forever snapping the fishing line. Nevertheless, it was the time that father and daughter spent together that counted most.
And Teigen also enjoyed some girly grooming with her mother, as evidenced by photographs of the pair together in which they show off similar hairstyles. “My mom got a perm, so I had to get the perm too. She cut her hair, so I had to cut my hair,” Teigen revealed to Good Morning America. “I think it’s really important to stay really close with your family and take a lot of good memories with them.”
Meanwhile, in the days before Teigen joined the celebrity elite, she enjoyed having some fashion fun all on her own without the help of a stylist. When talking to Good Morning America, she revealed that she would buy items from stores such as American Apparel and Urban Outfitters; despite her regular clothes, however, she was still admired by her future husband.
And over the years, Teigen has continued her style evolution. Her hair has certainly changed over the years; the star has experimented with different colors and even bangs for a period. When it comes to fashion, meanwhile, Teigen has worn everything from mini-skirts to longer voluminous dresses; often, though, she’s seen sporting ripped jeans.
And Teigen has a good idea what Legend likes, too. “I kind of know what sets [Legend] off,” she said in a 2017 interview with E! News. “I know if we’re going on a little date, he’ll want to touch my back. So, I’ll wear something backless, or I’ll wear something leggy.”
Teigen and Legend had first encountered each other when the model starred as the musician’s love interest in the video for his 2007 hit “Stereo.” And life began to imitate art, as the pair later went back to Legend’s hotel room to enjoy more time together.
When speaking to Cosmopolitan in 2014, Teigen explained how she and Legend had first hooked up. She said, “We did the music video, [and] we were together for like, 12 hours. We spent the entire day together – me in my underwear and him in a full suit. And I went to go say goodbye to him, to his hotel, and we didn’t ever say goodbye that night.”
But although Legend seemed to be interested in the model, Teigen knew that it was important not to cramp the singer’s style. She added to Cosmopolitan, “The worst thing you can do is try to lock someone like that down early on then have them think, ‘There’s so much more out there.’ I played it cool for a long time. Never once did I ask [Legend], ‘What are we?’”
Even so, Teigen had mapped out a future with Legend early on in their relationship. When the loved-up couple traveled to Italy to film the music video for “All of Me,” you see, she admitted to herself that she wanted to marry Legend and have his children.
Teigen explained in a 2016 Instagram post that also included a photo of the couple, “Back to where it all began – Lake Como, Italy – first came here in 2007. A boat tour guide took us to a little spot on the lake and told us to make a wish. I asked for this to be the man I marry and have children with.” And that wish did indeed come to pass.
Meanwhile, Legend had always wanted to make a living as a musician even before hitting the big time. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, however, he first stuck it out at a regular office job.
“I had followed the path that the Penn graduate was supposed to take, but I didn’t fall in love,” Legend later said during a 2014 commencement speech at his alma mater. “I couldn’t shake my passion for music.” That led him to pursue another career outside of normal working hours.
And in 2016 Legend told Spin how music had gotten under his skin. He said, “I started singing in the choir at church, and that was another thing that kind of pushed me in a certain direction. The more I’ve gotten to be on stage [and] the more I got to perform for people, the more I knew that that was what I was meant to do.”
Then, after years of struggle, Legend’s career eventually took off following spells working with both Lauryn Hill and Kanye West. “I played on [Hill’s] “Everything is Everything.” That was my first big break,” he said. “Then, of course, meeting Kanye was a big break for me.”
And after the meeting with West in 2001, Legend signed up to the rapper’s label. Success swiftly followed, too, with both his debut album, Get Lifted, and 2006 follow-up, Once Again, ultimately earning the musician Grammy Awards.
Meeting Teigen has seemingly helped Legend on his way, too, as the pair’s relationship has inspired the lyrics to some of his best-known songs. “All of Me” is one of these tracks, although Legend has also dedicated “The Beginning” and “Good Morning” to his now-wife.
What’s more, the musician’s tributes to Teigen have apparently touched at least one person. Writing for website Elite Daily, Caroline Cook was driven to remark, “The list of beautiful John Legend lyrics about Chrissy Teigen is never-ending, so let’s cry into our pillows, because love is real, damn it. It’s real.”
And Legend’s poignant words about his partner include, “I’m so dizzy/Don’t know what hit me,” and “You’re my end and my beginning/Even when I lose, I’m winning.” Perhaps one of the most endearing, however, is “Love your curves and all your edges — all your perfect imperfections.”
Furthermore, the singer/songwriter has since supported his spouse through hard times. Teigen realized at one point that she had been drinking too much; ultimately, then, she wanted to change her relationship with alcohol for good.
And in 2017 Legend told Cosmopolitan how he had been there for the model while she had gone through this personal struggle. “We’re always honest with each other, so we discuss everything that’s on our minds,” the musician said. “When [Teigen] was thinking about how she wanted to drink less, we talked about it. I just want to support her.”
In a separate interview with Cosmopolitan, Teigen had expanded on her problem, saying, “I was point blank just drinking too much. I got used to being in hair and make-up and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show – and then a bunch at the awards show.”
And the couple, who had returned to Lake Como to get married in 2013, had also faced a battle to start their family. In the interview with Cosmopolitan, Legend revealed that he and Teigen had needed a bit of help in order to conceive their daughter, Luna.
“I wouldn’t say we can’t conceive naturally, but I would say that it’s enough of a challenge where it felt like we needed help,” Legend continued to the magazine. “We’re lucky that we’re living in an age where we can conceive in other ways.” He added, “[IVF] brought us Luna, and hopefully it will bring us a few more awesome kids, too.”
Fast-forward to January 2019, then, and Legend’s recent 40th birthday saw a chance for the couple to celebrate with their hard-earned family. The couple’s second child, son Miles, had been born the previous May, and in a Twitter post Teigen revealed that she wanted their little man to have a big part in the proceedings. Naturally, too, Luna also needed the perfect outfit.
And as it turns out, Teigen added a James Bond theme to the party. On this occasion, however, the spy’s code number, 007, was replaced by 040 in honor of her husband’s milestone birthday. The bash itself, meanwhile, took place on January 12 at the couple’s home in Beverly Hills. And the cast of this big-budget drama? The couple’s A-list pals.
There were some last-minute style concerns, though. In particular, Teigen asked Twitter whether a black or white tux would look best on baby Miles. And thanks to the public, the conundrum was swiftly put to bed, as more than two-thirds of Twitter users plumped for the white outfit.
And perhaps the most high-profile guests at the house party were Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West. Kardashian is reportedly one of Teigen’s best female friends, while Legend has been close to West since the pair teamed up to work on music projects together.
As for the soiree itself? Well, the house took on a Casino Royale flavor, with a poker table adding to the illusion. Arguably the most well-received feature on the night, however, was a photo booth; certainly, it gave Kardashian and West the chance to star in their own glitzy shots.
In one image, Kardashian, who was wearing a lace bodysuit for the occasion, is seen sitting astride the poker table and jokingly posing with wads of cash. Meanwhile, her husband, dressed in a black suit, shirt and tie, stands behind. Golden candelabras and a chandelier also complete the casino feel.
Not to be outdone, Teigen and the birthday boy also posed for the camera during the evening. Teigen was clad in a gold, figure-hugging Bond girl-style gown that was reportedly designed by Cristina Ottaviano. Legend, on the other hand, wore a white Armani suit worthy of Bond himself.
Plus, other members of the Kardashian clan brought their own unique brands of glamor to the party. Kourtney, who was there with some friends, donned slinky black pants and a matching bra top for the occasion; she posed for snaps, too, including one in which she is seen clutching a cigar.
And in another shot, Kourtney appears alongside her pal Stephanie Shepherd, who was wearing a Chinese-style blue dress. Matriarch Kris Jenner was also in attendance with her boyfriend Corey Gamble – a fitting surname, perhaps, given the casino-inspired theme.
An insider revealed to E! News, “Kris and Corey were there and hung out with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita. They all sat together on one of the couches and were chatting. Everyone had a great time playing blackjack and posing for photos with a casino table.” All guests also took their photo booth mementos home in 040-inscribed red cards.
And, thankfully, the night seemed to be a hit with Legend. Two days after the bash, he posted on Instagram, “Saturday night, my amazing wife threw me the most incredible 40th birthday party I could imagine. I had the time of my life. And the photo booth? The greatest of all time (in the Instagram era, that’s like 90% of party planning, right?)”
That post ultimately attracted in excess of a stunning 684,000 likes. And there was no shortage of comments from well-wishers, either. One Instagram user, for example, quipped, “You surely hit the jackpot with the stunning and smart Chrissy Teigen.” Another seemingly made a reference to the opulence of the party, writing, “Just need to get on the Legends’ level. No big deal.”
As for what Teigen’s doing next? Well, the star spilled the beans on Instagram in February 2019. There, she explained that she will be acting as a judge for NBC’s upcoming competition Bring the Funny – a search for comedians. Teigen added in the post, “I’m really excited to laugh my ass off all day and call it work!”
That said, Teigen isn’t short of a quip or two herself – especially on social media. When asked why she hadn’t dutifully taken her husband’s surname, she said on Twitter, “My husband didn’t even take his last name,” in a witty reference to the fact that Legend was actually born John Stephens. Perhaps, then, she should try her own routine on Bring the Funny…