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Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G rose to fame in the mid-1980s with his signature smooth jazz sound. He is the most successful instrumental musician of all time.
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At a performance at J&R Music World in New York City, he employed a method called circular breathing to hold an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds.
Despite his mammoth sales numbers, Kenny G's easy sound has made him the target of critics, especially jazz purists, who dismiss the saxophonist for what they consider his lightweight, pop-driven sound.
While shrugging off the critics, Kenny G has also made efforts to take on different kinds of musical forms. In recent years,
the saxophonist has recorded albums that have showed his appreciation for jazz standards (Classics in the Key of G, 1998), tropical sounds (Paradise, 2002), and Latin beats (Rhythm and Romance, 2008). In 2010, Kenny G teamed up with Robin Thicke and Babyface for the R&B–driven album Heart and Soul.
In addition to his music career, Kenny G is a passionate golfer and in 2006 was named by Golf Digest as the music industry's No. 1 golfer.
Kenny G has been married and divorced twice. He has two sons, Max and Noah, with his second wife, Lyndie Benson-Gorelick, whom he divorced in 2012 after 20 years of marriage.
Kenny G lives in Los Angeles.
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Saxophonists have been an integral part of the American jazz scene, with the timbres of their chosen instrument often at the center of layered compositions. Coleman Hawkins was the first American jazz saxophonist to become famous during the 1920s-30s. Jimmy Dorsey and Johnny Hodges also had major success with big bands during jazz's heyday as a popular music juggernaut, while Lester Young popularized the West Coast, cool style. Later, soprano and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane created pioneering works that ranged from "sheets of sound" bebop to unbound, rhythmically complex free jazz. And Branford Marsalis has taken his sax to great heights in non-jazz arenas; he's toured with rock artist Sting and served as musical director for The Tonight Show.
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The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959, after Walk of Fame recording executives compiled a list of industry leaders who they realized would never get a star on Hollywood Boulevard, but deserved recognition. The group helped found the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and named their award the "Grammy" as a nod to Edison's gramophone. Since then, hundreds of music industry members have received Grammys for their notable accomplishments in the field of music and recording. Here are the many winners of this now-prestigious award.
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