He graduated as the salutatorian of North High School and was accepted into several Ivy League schools. He was the president and music director for Counterparts, an a capella group at the University of Pennsylvania.
He has won 10 Grammy Awards. His song "Glory" with rapper Common received an Academy Award for Best Original Song after being featured in the film Selma.
He sang backing vocals on the song "You Don't Know My Name" by Alicia Keys.