Today we celebrate the birthday of the legend, Quincy Jones! The musical icon turns 89 today and we’re looking back at some of the amazing work he has done in his 70+ career span.
About Quincy Jones
Before we get into the amazing work Jones has done, let’s go over some background of the musician. Born in 1933, Jones created an empire for himself in the music industry. He is a producer, musician, songwriter, composer, and arranger as well as a film and television producer. 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys, and a Grammy Legend Award decorated his 70+ year career.
Jones first got on the music scene in the 1950s as a jazz arranger and conductor. He then began his smooth transition into pop music and film scores. He produced pop hit like It’s My Party by Lesley Gore. Jones also served as an arranger and conductor for several collaborations between jazz artists Frank Sinatra and Count Basie.
Due to his phenomenal work, Quincy Jones made history in 1968 by becoming the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Additionally, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on the 1967 film In Cold Blood. This made him the first African American to be nominated twice in the same year.
As his career progressed, he worked with more iconic artists, including Michael Jackson. Jones produced three of the most successful albums by the pop star. Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad were all products of Quincy Jones’ work.
Jones continued to grow his musical expertise throughout the remainder of his career. His induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame took place in 2013. Additionally, Time Magazine named him as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.
Let’s take a look back at some of his work.
Quincy Jones’ Work
I’ll Be Good To You- The Brothers Johnson
Jones was the producer for the single by The Brothers Johnson. It peaked as the No. 1 song on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1976. It rose to the No. 1 spot once again 13 years after its release. With Chaka Khan and Ray Charles on the lead vocals, Quincy Jones put the song on his Back on the Block album.
The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)
This 1990 hit was another chart-topper for the music extraordinaire. The song features R&B singers Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge, and Barry White. It was one of several singles from Jones’ Back on the Block album.
We Are The World- Various Artists
1985 single, We Are The World, was a charity record for USA for Africa, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Quincy Jones co-produced this song with Michael Omartian. It features 45 singers and sold an excess of 20 million copies. This made it the eighth-bestselling physical single of all time.