Saxophonist Kenny G rose to fame in the mid-1980s through his signature smooth jazz sound. He is the top-selling crucial musician that the modern era.

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Who Is Kenny G?

Saxophonist Kenny G began playing professionally at period 17, when he performed through Barry White and also his Love limitless Orchestra. Kenny G released his debut album in 1982, and also rose to global fame complying with the 1986 release of Duotones. Later on albums, including Breathless and also Miracles, assisted make him one of the top-selling artists of all time. Kenny G additionally won a Grammy award in 1994, and at one suggest held the people record for the longest sustained keep in mind on a sax.

Early Years and Career

Grammy Award–winning saxophonist Kenny G was born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick ~ above June 5, 1956, in Seattle, Washington. The kid of Jewish parents, Kenny G prospered up in Seattle's Seward Park neighborhood, the center of the city's Jewish community.


He took an early interest in music and began playing the saxophone at the period of 10. He ongoing on through the instrument in his teens, while falling in love through the R&B sounds of popular groups like planet Wind & Fire.

In 1973, at simply 17 years old, Kenny G was hired by Barry White come play v his Love unlimited Orchestra in ~ the big Northwest theatre in Seattle. The gig v White and also his band was the an initial of numerous for the saxophonist, and it was about this time the he adjusted his name to Kenny G.


Following his graduation indigenous Franklin High School, Kenny G adhered to two different career tracks: the enrolled at the university of Washington to study accounting, while also continuing to pursue a job in music. In enhancement to playing with White, Kenny G videotaped with the Seattle funk tape Cold, bold & Together. Later, that hooked up v Jeff Lorber Fusion, recording an album with the group and playing with them on tour.

Commercial Success

In 1982, after ~ inking a attend to Arista Records, Kenny G released his self-titled debut album. Striking a balance between jazz and R&B, the record marked a solid begin to his solo career.


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His next two albums, G Force (1983) and Gravity (1985), continued his increase trajectory, however it to be his fourth studio album, Duotones (1986), that made the saxophonist an worldwide star. Ultimately topping 5 million sales, the silky-smooth jazz album led the means for Kenny G to occupational with various other big-name stars, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole. During his lengthy career, he's additionally performed v Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach and also Frank Sinatra.


Over the following decade Kenny G and also his smooth sound overcame the airwaves and also the document charts. His 1992 release, Breathless, sold an ext than 12 million duplicates in the United claims alone and became the top-selling instrumental album in history. In 1994, Kenny G won a Grammy award for Best important Composition because that the track "Forever in Love." that year he additionally released his an initial holiday album, Miracles, which got to No. 1 ~ above the Billboard 200.


In enhancement to his recording success, Kenny G collection a Guinness human being Record in 1997 for play the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. In ~ a power at J&R Music world in new York City, he employed a technique called circular breath to host an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. Return his note was surpassed in 2000 through Vann Burchfield, Kenny G was confident of reclaiming the record.

Despite his mammoth sales numbers, Kenny G's basic sound has actually made that the target that critics, specifically jazz purists, who dismiss the saxophonist because that what they think about his lightweight, pop-driven sound.

While shrugging off the critics, Kenny G has also made initiatives to take it on different kinds of music forms. The saxophonist has actually recorded albums that have presented his appreciation for jazz requirements (Classics in the crucial of G, 1999), tropical sounds (Paradise, 2002), and Latin win (Rhythm and Romance, 2008). In 2010 he yielded the R&B–driven album Heart and also Soul, with contribute from Robin Thicke and also Babyface, and in 2015 he returned to Latin inspirations because that Brazilian Nights.

Personal Life

In addition to his music career, Kenny G is a passionate golfer. In 2006, Golf Digest named him the music industry's No. 1 golfer.

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Following twenty years of marital relationship to Lyndie Benson-Gorelick, v whom he had sons Max and Noah, Kenny G filed because that divorce in 2012. Seemingly set to follow his dad right into the music industry, Max has actually earned acclaim because that his guitar skills.

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