Kenny G has bragging rights of being the best selling saxophone player in history. The musician rose to fame in the 1980s, and has won the devotion of millions of fans of light jazz and pop music.
Kenny G elevates the soprano sax to new heights with a smooth and fluid method to his melodies, which continue to receive heavy airplay on adult contemporary and lite radio stations across the country.
The musician's real name is Kenneth Gorelick, but was changed to Kenny G in 1976, when he began playing saxophone professionally at age 17 with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra.
He left the group behind when he began an accounting major at the University of Washington, but he kept his sax near, and recorded with the Seattle funk band Cold, Bold & Together. After graduation, he signed with the Jeff Lorber Fusion, and recorded one album with the group.
At this point, he had won the admiration of talent scouts at Arista, and he released his self-titled debut on that label in 1982.
The saxophonist towed the line between jazz and R&B, committing to neither, but somehow pulling off the dichotomy with his musical technique. He released Duotones in 1986, and quickly gained an international audience. The record sold over three million copies and led to work with superstars Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole
Since then, every album Kenny G releases has become a hit. 1992's Breathless sold over eight million copies in the United States alone.
But his enormous commercial success has been met with enormous criticism from music world watchers. Critics have called his music light-weight and worthless, and unworthy of serious consideration.
But fans still seem to enjoy his smooth, polished, pop-jazz feel, and the formula will most likely continue to bring him huge commercial success.