A Golden Touch—A Golden Heart. Reading the biographies of icon Quincy Jones— musician, composer, producer, arranger, conductor—it would seem that everything Quincy Jones touches turns into gold (or at least platinum).
Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Quincy has received 25 Grammy Awards and was nominated 79 times (the all-time most nominated Grammy artist). For three famously productive years he was Frank Sinatra’s conductor and arranger producing, amongst others, the arrangement Fly Me to The Moon —the first music played on the moon in 1969 by astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Quincy went on to produce Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum solo albums Off the Wall, Bad, and Thriller (the best selling album of all time). He won an Emmy Award for the musical score in Roots. He wrote 33 major motion picture scores, garnering 7 Oscar Nominations. Then for his film debut, he co-produced Alice Walker’s The Color Purple which received 11 Oscar nominations and introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences. He helped launch and executive produced NBC’s TV hit series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. While receiving the most prestigious awards around the world he wrote “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones”. The book immediately hit the Best-Seller lists of The New York Times, LA Times and The Wall Street Journal.
All the while Quincy was always giving back. His humanitarian work began in the 1960s. In 1985 he pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness for a cause with the historic “We Are The World” recording (the best-selling single of all time) that he produced and conducted. That recording raised $63 million for Ethiopian famine relief. He worked tirelessly with Bono and Bob Geldof to raise billions to end third world debt. He also has deep compassion for children, especially disadvantaged children. In 2007 he wrote the award winning musical score for the Closing Ceremony of the Special Olympics held in Shanghai, touching millions of children with developmental disabilities. His concern for the disadvantaged is also epitomized in his Project Q, a Harvard School of Public Health collaboration, and his work with the global Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is proud to establish the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award in honor of Quincy’s leadership and life-changing humanitarian work that has helped the disadvantaged, including the developmentally disabled. We are humbled and thrilled that Quincy is in Denver tonight to receive the inaugural Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award.