How Did Kenny G Get Famous

By Tiara

People love to listen to music, from old school hip hop to current EDM tunes. Many people have heard of artists like Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande who sing about more serious topics, but there are also musicians with lighter songs that still manage to get some attention.

One such musician is called Kenny G! He has sang for over two decades and has had several successful singles and albums. His most famous song is probably “Love To Love You” which he originally wrote for his son.

Many people know this song, but how did he become well known? In this article, we will discuss 10 fun ways to learn more about him as a person and artist.

Record contract

how did kenny g get famous

After leaving Florida State University, where he played saxophone, music was his career as it has been for many others. While studying business administration at Seminole State College, Kenny picked up the guitar and started playing by himself. He then got some drumsticks and began banging away on those to create rhythm while singing along to songs he loved.

His vocals soon received more attention than his instrument so he put together a band with some of his close friends and made his first performance opening for The O’Jays in Orlando, Florida.

He continued performing throughout central Florida and landed several gigs outside of state lines before getting an offer he couldn’t refuse. An agent contacted him about working out of Chicago as part of the Rhythm Nation Tour. It was during this tour that Kenny met Robin Elwood, who would eventually become his wife and mother of their two sons.

After returning home from the Rhythm Nation Tour, Kenny took time off work to focus on his family. When he did return to performing however, things quickly took off. His recording debut came when R&B singer Raphael Saadiq invited him to join his group at Westlake Recording Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

They recorded three tracks which were later released as an EP titled Just Like A Train. Since its release in September 2004, the album has reached number one on both the Billboard Jazz Chart and Contemporary Albums Chart.

Popularized songs

In 2001, music fanatics all over heard his new song “Diva”! It was catchy and infectious, making it very popular with listeners. Many people also noticed that he sang some of the lyrics in Klingon — an ancient language from the sci-fi genre.

Many people assumed that he actually learned Klingon before recording the album because it is a complex language which takes time to learn. Some even said that it sounded good when spoken quickly!

However, what most people don’t know is that he only recently started learning the language.

Successful albums

how did kenny g get famous

Many people know him not just for his smooth saxophone playing, but also for his singing career as well. He is best known for his collaborations with other artists in music groups or solo projects. These songs usually feature only his vocals and sometimes additional guitar.

His most famous collaboration was probably “Baby I’m-A Want You” with R&B singer Alicia Keys. The song won both of them their first Grammy Award for Best Collaboration in 2009. Since then it has received many more awards and acclaim.

He also sang the theme to popular TV shows such as Friends and Everybody Hates Chris! His album A Moment With You features several tracks including this theme music.

Commercial success

how did kenny g get famous

Many people know him for his instrumental music, but not too many know about his singing career. He has had several hit songs including two that reached number one in the Billboard charts.

His first big solo song was “Baby I’m-A Love You Hype” which he released in 1997. The song received moderate radio play but managed to reach the top position of the Dance Music Chart. It stayed at the summit for three weeks before being knocked off by another song!

Two years later, he sang an upbeat love ballad titled ‘Love Is A Lonely Thing’. This song spent five nonconsecutive days as the most played song in the country. It even made it onto the Mainstream Rock chart where it remained for nine more consecutive weeks.

Commercial success

how did kenny g get famous

While many musicians have to work hard to get famous, not everyone is a successful musician. Some people are just naturally talented and able to express themselves through music, which helps them gain recognition.

Kenny Garrett is one of these artists. He is very well-known for his bass playing and has received several awards for it.

He played bass in Grammy Award winning bands such as Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and The New Power Generation. As a member of the latter band, he had some pretty popular songs like their first single “The Miracle (I Do! I Do!)” and second single “What Happened To Our Dream?”

His solo career kicked off in 1995 with the album Keep Your Eye On Heaven. Since then, he has recorded over 15 albums and five live DVDs! His most recent studio album is titled Love Is All You Need.

Commercial success

how did kenny g get famous

After leaving Columbia University with his bachelor’s degree in music, he took some time to find his voice as an artist. He spent several years performing around New York City while also developing his songwriting skills.

In 1998, however, things started picking up for him. That year he was chosen as one of five finalists (out of more than 5,000 applicants) in NBC’s competition show The Voice. His coach was none other than Adam Levine, who would go onto become his close friend and business partner.

Since then, he has recorded over 15 albums that have yielded many hit songs. Some of his biggest include What You See is What You Get, Only A Fool Would Say That, Love Is Like Oxygen and Never Let Me Go.

He is also known for incorporating jazz into his music. Many people believe his saxophone playing to be what made him famous.

Commercial success

how did kenny g get famous

After leaving Florida State University, where he majored in music education with a minor in piano performance, Kenny G entered the music industry as an artist. He was surrounded by supportive people his whole life, so it made sense to keep that momentum going while starting his career as a musician.

He launched his recording career in 1988 with his self-titled album, which featured the hit song “You Are My Music (Song I Can’t Stop Listening To).” The track peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won him several awards including Best New Artist from both the Grammy Awards and the R&R Awards.

Since then, he has sold over 30 million albums worldwide!

Kenny is known for his smooth vocals and audience engagement songs like “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Never Knew Love Like This Before.” He also boasts many award nominations and wins for his writing and producing skills.

Commercial success

how did kenny g get famous

He is perhaps best known for his singles such as “Baby I’m-A Want You,” which was featured in the 2001 movie The Fast & The Furious. That song reached number one on the Billboard Dance Chart.

He also had two other top 10 songs off of an album titled Romance (2003). One of those songs was "The Best Is Yet to Come."

His most recent hit is the Grammy winning track "This What Love Told Me," featuring Andra Day. This song won him the Song of the Year at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards!

Running time: 4 minutes and 38 seconds
Key lyrics: "I've been thinking about this moment all day / All night"
Songwriter(s): Marcus Lomax, Rodney Jerkins
Producer(s): Roderick Romano, Marcus Lomax, Rodney Jerkins
Record label(s): Sony Music Entertainment


Kenny has spent much of his career writing and producing music that people can relate to. His catchy melodies and sweet vocals have made it easy to sing along and feel good after listening to his music.

It is his desire to inspire and motivate others through his music that makes him special.