Kenny G is an award-winning jazz saxophonist. He is one of the best-selling instrumental artists in the United States and one of the best-selling artists of all-time. But you knew that already. Here are some things you may not have known about him.
Kenny G was born as Kenneth Bruce Gorelick.
His love for the saxophone started early in life. He first heard the instrument on a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and started playing it himself at the age of 10.
At the start of high school, Kenny tried out for the jazz band but didn’t make it in. He tried again the following year and earned first chair.
He graduated magna cum laude in accounting from the University of Washington.
His first holiday album sold more than 13 million copies, and it is currently the most successful Christmas album ever.
In 1997, Kenny entered the Guinness Book of World Records for playing the longest saxophone note ever. By using circular breathing, a technique used by instrumentalists to produce a continuous tone by breathing in through their nose while pushing air out through their mouth, Kenny held an E-flat key for 45 minutes and 47 seconds.
In 2003, the instrumentalist was named the 25th highest selling artist in America.
He made an appearance in Katy Perry's music video for “Last Friday Night (T.G.IF.)”
He has golfed since he was a kid and is pretty good at it.
Besides golf, Kenny considers flying another one of his hobbies and he has his pilot’s license.
Bill Clinton has stated that Kenny is his favorite artist, and the saxophonist actually jammed onstage with the former president.
He has been known to interact with his audience. Fellow saxophonist, Eric Marienthal once said, “One thing I thought Kenny G had going for him was that he had a great way of communicating with his audience. … Kenny’s a master at that. He was able to get that real convection that a lot of musicians aren't as successful at doing.”
He's hard-working and grateful. He was once quoted saying, “I take my music and playing very seriously. I think it's a great position to be in. I remember the time when I didn't have a gig. It's a dream. I waiting for the dream to end, and I hope it doesn't.”