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Kenny G Biography


Home > Music > K > Kenny G > Biography


Birth Name: Kenneth Bruce Gorelick
Born: 1956/06/05
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Years Active: 1973–1982 (group), 1982–present (solo)
Genres: Smooth Jazz, Adult Contemporary


Kenneth Bruce Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), better known by his stage name Kenny G, is a Grammy winning American, adult contemporary and smooth jazz saxophonist. Kenny G is the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era, with global sales totaling more than 75 million albums.

Kenny G's career started with a job as a sideman for Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973 while 17 and still in high school. He continued to play professionally while studying for a major in accounting at the University of Washington.

Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist in 1982, after label president Clive Davis heard his rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen". He has released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Toni Braxton, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller (which marked the only time he appeared on a rock and roll album), Dudley Moore, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin.

He received success quite early on, with both “G Force” and “Gravity,” his second and third studio albums respectively, achieving platinum status in the United States. These sales were topped by his fourth studio album, “Duotones,” which sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

His sixth studio album, “Breathless,” became the number one best selling instrumental album ever, with over 15 million copies sold, of which 12 million were in the U.S. He broke another record when his first holiday album, “Miracles,” sold over 13 million copies, making it the most successful Christmas album to date.

In 1997, Kenny G earned a place in the “Guinness Book of World Records” for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. Using circular breathing, Kenny G held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City. Kenny G has recorded some Chinese songs, such as "Jasmine Flower" (茉莉花) or "The Moon Represents My Heart" (月亮代表我的心).

As of 2003, Kenny G was named the 25th-highest selling artist in America by the RIAA, with 48 million albums sold in the USA as of July 31, 2006. In 1994, Kenny G won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for “Forever in Love.”

In October 2009, Kenny G appeared with the band Weezer in an AOL promotion of their album Raditude by soloing during "I'm Your Daddy".

“Heart and Soul” his thirteenth studio album was released on June 29, 2010. The album was commercially successful, and debuted and peaked at number one in the Billboard Jazz Albums chart on July 17, 2010. It debuted and peaked at number thirty-three in the Billboard 200 on July 17, 2010. The singles released from this album were quite successful in Billboard Jazz Songs chart in 2010. "Fall Again" peaked on number six, while "Heart and Soul" debuted at number twenty-three, and peaked at number one.