Quincy Delight Jones Jr. (born March 14, 1933), also known as “Q“, is an American record producer, actor, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, and humanitarian. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry, a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, and 28 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Awardin 1991.
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Jones developed interest in music at an early age, and attended the Berklee College of Music. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a jazz arranger and conductor, before moving on to work prolifically in pop music and film scores. In 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner, Bob Russell, became the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, for “The Eyes of Love” from the Universal Pictures film Banning. That same year, Jones was the first African American to be nominated twice in the same year, as he was also nominated for his work on the 1967 film In Cold Blood for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 1971, Jones was the first African American to be the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. In 1995, he was the first African American to receive the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He is tied with sound designer Willie D. Burton as the second most Oscar-nominated African American; each has seven nominations (Denzel Washington has nine nominations).
Jones was the producer, with Michael Jackson, of Jackson’s albums Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987), as well as the producer and conductor of the 1985 charity song “We Are the World“, which raised funds for victims of destitution in Ethiopia.
In 2013, Jones was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as the winner, alongside Lou Adler, of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Jones was also named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.