Quincy Jones is a renowned American singer and music producer. Having spent six decades in the entertainment industry, Quincy Jones can be said to have seen it all. Q, as he is fondly called by friends and colleagues, has been nominated for the Grammys for a record 80 times, of which he went on to win 28 of those nominations. In 1992, he was honored with the Grammy Legend Award, to ice the cake for his enormous contribution to the music industry.
His long career in music has seen him work with other musical greats such as Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, The Brothers Johnson, Karina Pasian, Lesley Gore, and the list goes on.
After a long career in music, Jones was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, in 2013. He was then named by Times Magazine as the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century, in September 2014.
Quincy Jones’ Biography
Jones was born on the 14th of March, 1933 to a pro baseball player, Quincy Delight Jones Snr. and his wife, Sarah Frances, who was a bank officer and apartment manager. He was born and raised in Chicago.
Jones had a troubled childhood. His mother suffered from schizophrenic breakdown when he was still very young which eventually led to his parents splitting up. After the divorce, he stayed with his dad and they moved around a lot, first to Bremerton, Washington and then to Seattle after the war. It was in Seattle that Jones attended Garfield High School and was subsequently admitted to Seattle University on scholarship. He didn’t spend a long time there before moving to Berklee College of Music, Boston on yet another scholarship. However, in other to pursue his musical career, he abandoned his studies and accepted to go pro.
His first influence in music was his mother and their next-door neighbor, Lucy Jackson. However, he admitted that his important musical influences were Bunny Campbell and Preston Sandiford. Quincy Jones was crazy enough about music to abandon school for it. He went on tours with Lionel Hampton at 19. That gave him the exposure he needed as a musician, it also gave him a fresh perspective of racism.
He continued collaborating and going on tours with other musicians until 1960 when he decided to be the captain of his own ship. He then formed his own band “The Jones Boys”, which had 18 members. The band had a lot of following and great reviews from their tours of North America and Europe. However, the earnings weren’t enough to sustain the band. So, the band broke up. This put Jones in a very bad financial state.
The tide changed for Quincy Jones when he became the first African-American to be promoted as vice president of Mercury. That opened him up to writing songs for movies. He composed soundtracks for over 40 motion pictures which include The Pawnbroker (1964), In Cold Blood (1967), Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970), Roots (1977), The Color Purple (1985).
In his long career, he produced Michael Jackson’s album, Off the Wall, in 1979. The album went on to make Jones a very famous producer at the time, selling over 20 million copies. The duo continued their partnership that gave birth to Thriller (the highest selling album of all times, with 110 million copies sold), and Bad (selling over 45 million copies). The partnership died a natural death due to Jones’ choked up schedule.
What Is His Net Worth?
In his years as a singer, producer, composer, song arranger, and conductor, he has amassed a net worth of $400 million. He is also involved in a lot of charity and philanthropic activities. He produced and conducted the 1985 charity song, We Are the World, that raised funds for Ethiopian famine victims.
Relationships: Spouse or Wife, and Children
Quincy Jones has had his fair share of being married multiple times. He had also been involved in a couple of non-marital relationships.
He got married to his first wife, Jeri Caldwell, in 1957. The marriage lasted for just nine years and they got divorced in 1966. Shortly after the divorce, Jones got into a romantic relationship with Carol Reynolds. However, they only spent a few months together.
One year after he divorced Jeri, he walked down the aisle with a beautiful Swedish actress and model, Ulla Anderson. It took only seven years for his union with Ulla to break up.
It didn’t take long after his second divorce, he hooked up with Peggy Lipton. The marriage took the same path with the first two but lasted a bit longer.
After the third divorce, he had an affair with an actress, Nastassja Kinski. They dated for 4 years (between 1991 and 1995).
Quincy Jones has seven children from five women. Jeri gave birth to one daughter, Jolie Levine (who married the American record producer, Stewart Levine). Carol gave birth to Rachel Jones. Ulla birthed a daughter, Martina Jones, and a son, Quincy Jones III. Peggy had two daughters Kidada and Rashida Jones (both of which took after their mother as actresses). Nastassja had a daughter for Jones, Kenya Jones.