CNN Editorial Research
Here’s a look at the life of musician, music producer and philanthropist Quincy Jones.
Date of Birth: March 14, 1933
Place of birth: Chicago, Ill.
Birth name: Quincy Delight Jones Jr.
Dad: Quincy Delight Jones Sr., a carpenter.
Mother: Sarah Frances (Wells) Jones
Marriages: Peggy Lipton (1974-1990); Ulla Andersson (1967-1974); Jeri Caldwell (1957-1966)
Children: with Nastassja Kinski: Kenya; with Peggy Lipton: Rashida and Kidada; with Ulla Andersson: Quincy III and Martina; with Carol Reynolds: Rachel; with Jeri Caldwell: Pretty
Jones and his brother, Lloyd, were raised by their father and stepmother, Elvera, in Seattle and Bremerton, Washington. Their mother had been interned in Chicago when they were very young.
A car accident at age 14, where Jones saw four of his friends killed, left him so traumatized that he never drove a car.
Met Ray Charles when they were both teenagers and starting out in the music industry. Jones arranged and produced for Charles, and later Charles performed on Jones’ albums. They remained friends until Charles died in 2004.
As an arranger in the 1950s, Jones worked with music industry legends such as Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton and Frank Sinatra.
As a music producer for over 60 years, he has worked with Miles Davis, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Lesley Gore, Jennifer Holliday, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Barry White and many more.
Jones has 80 Grammy nominations and 28 wins, including a Grammy Legend Award. He has seven Oscar nominations and received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He also received four Emmy nominations, including one.
Composed the music for more than 30 films and wrote the theme for television shows, documentaries and short films.
Mid 1940s – Sings and plays the trumpet with a gospel quartet.
1951 – Jones’ trumpet playing earned him a scholarship to Boston’s prestigious Schillinger House (now Berklee College of Music). He leaves when the opportunity arises to join the Lionel Hampton Band.
1956 – Joins the Dizzy Gillespie group as trumpeter and musical director.
1957 – Moves to Paris to study and begins to work for Barclay Discs, a music publisher.
1961 – Jones was hired as music director for Mercury Records and a few months later became vice president.
1963 – Wins his first Grammy Award, best instrumental arrangement for “I Can’t Stop Loving You”.
1963 – Produced “It’s My Party” for Lesley Gore on Mercury Records, her first pop single to reach number one.
August 1974 – Suffers from a cerebral aneurysm, which forces him to stop playing the trumpet.
1977 – Won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for the motion picture “Roots.”
1982 – Produced Jackson’s album, “Thriller”.
1985 – Bandleader and producer of “We Are the World”, the song recorded to raise funds to fight the famine in Ethiopia. Music producer and composer for the film “The Color Purple”.
1991 – Receives the Grammy Legend Award.
1991-1993 – Co-produced the Montreux Jazz Festival. His association with the festival continues to the present day.
1993 – Launches “Vibe” magazine.
1994-1999 – Chairman and CEO of Qwest Broadcasting, a minority-controlled broadcasting company.
1995 – Receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
March 1996 – Executive Producer of the 68th Annual Academy Awards.
October 1, 2001 – Simon & Schuster publishes his autobiography, “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones.”
2001 – Kennedy Center Honoree.
2008 – Publishes the book “The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions.”
2008 – Establishes the non-profit Quincy Jones Foundation.
April 18, 2013 – Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
July 11, 2017 – Jones’ 2013 lawsuit against Jackson’s estate goes to trial. Jones claims he owes $30 million in unpaid royalties.
July 26, 2017 – Jones wins $9.42 million in damages in his lawsuit against Jackson’s estate.
February 7, 2018 – In an interview published in Vulture, Jones accused President Donald Trump of stoking racial tensions in the country.
September 21, 2018 – “Quincy,” a documentary about Jones’ life and legacy, debuts on Netflix. The film, directed by Alan Hicks and Jones’ daughter, Rashida Jones, won a Grammy Award in February 2019 for Best Motion Picture Musical.
May 5, 2020 – An appeals court overturns part of Jones’ 2017 lawsuit against Jackson’s estate. The court ruled that contract interpretation was a judicial function and not for the jury, which mistakenly awarded Jones $6.9 million. The $2.5 million award for costs stands.
September 20, 2020 – Jones enters a worldwide publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music. The deal covers the administration of his current and future songwriting catalog. This includes over 2,000 compositions and works by songwriters Brothers Johnson, Siedah Garrett and others under his company.
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