This Monday was a special day for our planet, as it was my mentor Quincy Jones birthday (and my other mentor, Ambassador Andrew Young, had his birthday last week).
This man just seems to get younger from year to year, and is always "present" in the moment. I have learned so much from this amazing man and humble child of God. For someone who is literally a living icon in the world of entertainment, music, entrepreneurship and global philanthropy, Q (which is what his friends call him) is one of the most humble brothers and global leaders I have ever met. A great man who has literally changed our world in his lifetime, and has played a role in the history of "others" — but you would never know by talking to him. The man never speaks about himself. In an hour-long conversation, he is speaking of others, and how we can "impact our world," at least 90% of the time. And his view is always broad and global. How inspiring.
Here is very quick summary on the amazing life of Q:
- Recent recipient of National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C.
- Conductor, record producer, musical arranger, film composer, television producer and trumpeter, Q's career spans five decades and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations.
- Recipient of 27 Grammys Awards, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.
- Producer of the album Thriller for pop icon Michael Jackson, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
- Producer of "We Are The World."
- In 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner Bob Russell became the first African-American nominated for an Academy Award for Nest Original Song.
- Essential found the amazing talents of Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith (who with great class and respect always gives Q the credit he deserves here) and Michael Jackson as a globally successful solo artists.
- Associated with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Aaliyah, Michael Jackson, Ron Temperton, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Dean Martin, Patti Austin, Tevin Campbell, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith and Tupac Shakur, amongst so many others.
- Launched his Quincy Jones Foundation and his QJ Music Consortium, led by my friends Adam Fell and Madelyn Bonnot.
- Recently released a new book on producing, an incredible new album, and his cooler than cool Q headphones from AKG. I use them, exclusively, and the sound is superior to anything I have used to date.
- And seeing as though I cannot get most of his major accomplishments in a BOOK (smile), go to his Wikipedia page here.
And last but not least, here at Operation HOPE we are honored to have him as our national co-chair for the 5MK (5 MILLION KIDS) movement, to "Make Smart Cool" again. Soon Q and I will kick-off a national 5MK "Make Smart Cool" Tour in America's inner-city schools, and a the release of our special Banking on Our Future, Quincy Jones Celebrity Edition in May, 2011.
What an incredible man, role model, father, mentor, inspiration and friend. Who could ask for anything more?
Love you man.
John Hope Bryant