Friday, Nov. 04, 2011

Kenny G

Depending on whom you ask, Kenny G is either the best or the worst saxophone player around. Regardless of opinion, the curly-locked musician, whose full name is Kenneth Gorelick, has had a wildly successful 38-year career. After working for Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra while still in high school, he got a solo record deal at age 26 and went on to collaborate with music giants like Natalie Cole and Frank Sinatra. His Breathless and Miracles collections are the all-time best-selling instrumental and Christmas albums, respectively. Kenny G's popularity translates to Chinese audiences too — mass-transit systems in Tianjin and Shanghai play his songs when trains approach terminus stations. But Kenny G's successes also lie beyond the world of smooth jazz. Golf Digest named him the best golfer among musicians in 2006, he was an early investor in Starbucks, and he is a licensed aircraft pilot. All those plus his own line of saxophones and a rockin' cameo as Uncle Kenny in Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" music video ensure him a bright future even if that whole jazz-sax thing gets old.