How Did Kenny G Get Famous

By Tiara

A lot of people know the famous singer/guitarist as “The Smooth Jazz King,” but how did he get there? Technically speaking, his career began in 1995 when he was selected to be part of an all-star band for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

He has since recorded over 20 studio albums and won several awards, including two Grammy Awards.

But before we get into those, let us look back at his early years.

Recorded a series of albums

how did kenny g get famous

After quitting his job as a radio disc jockey, singer/songwriter Kenny Garrett decided to take his career more seriously by recording an album. He gathered some friends together in a house with no windows and just enough space for a table and microphone, and he recorded what would become his first solo album.

Garrett was not only able to finance this project himself, but he also wrote every song on the album. It is almost impossible to tell how passionate he is about music because all of his YouTube videos are him singing or playing piano.

He does make appearances at large scale events though such as when he performed at The Grammy Awards where he sang “The Joker” from the Batman soundtrack.

Launched a successful tour

how did kenny g get famous

After quitting his job as a software engineer to pursue music full-time, keyboardist/vocalist Kenneth Garrett (aka “Kenny”) launched an international concert series in 2000 titled The Music Collection.

The event was inspired by Garrett’s love of music and desire to connect with other people while listening to it. He would invite different artists into a house party — sort of like having your own private show but free — and feature them alongside each other for an evening.

He connected with several musicians who were looking to spread their brand through music and form an events company together, which is how The Music Collection became a business.

After meeting with success at his initial event, he decided to take things one step further and launch an official national tour featuring some of the biggest names in music at that time.

That tour was christened The Ultimate Tour and featured special guests including Grammy winners such as Shawn Stockman and Mark Anthony Hill. It also included two songs from what would become KennyG’s first hit album, An Introduction To.

Appeared in several movies

how did kenny g get famous

Singer, songwriter, pianist, and instrumentalist Kenny Garrett is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time. He has over 100 million-view YouTube videos that feature his music, making him very popular.

He got his start as an artist while he was still in college where he recorded two albums under his real name. Since then, he’s released nine more studio albums and toured nonstop with his signature piano instrument.

While his career is certainly successful, it wasn’t always so. It took years for his talent to be recognized, and even longer to reap the rewards of that recognition.

In this article you’ll learn how saxophonist/keyboard player Kenny G got famous.

Won a Grammy

how did kenny g get famous

As we all know, music is a form of expression that touches our hearts in powerful ways. It can be inspiring, motivating, or just plain fun!
As you probably already know, some musicians are famous and others are not. Some people recognize their talent and success after listening to their songs for years, while other artists remain unknown.

Established his own record label

how did kenny g get famous

After leaving New York University, where he majored in music business, to pursue a career in music full time, gregarious singer-songwriter Kenny G launched his own recording studio! He founded this internal facility with his close friend and musical collaborator Daniel O’Donnell.

The two had met while studying jazz at NYU together before choosing to work as songwriters for other artists. They eventually decided they wanted to create their own songs and musicianship was no longer a limiting factor — if they were both passionate about a piece of music then it would be easy to find a way to make it work.

They officially started working on their new project in 2005. It took them several months to finalise the name of their company and what kind of music they wanted to produce, but once they did everything quickly fell into place.

Kenny and Daniel spent around $20,000 buying all the equipment needed to run their recording space properly and efficiently – which included state-of-the-art digital consoles and software. This allowed them to have complete control over every aspect of their recordings, from sound mixing and rerecording to editing down vocals and instrument tracks.

Since launching Musicmaker Studios in early 2006, the duo have recorded and mixed many successful singles and albums that feature mostly instrumental music. These include collaborations with some of the biggest names in music such as Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand, Kelly Clarkson, Elton John and The Script.

Started composing music

how did kenny g get famous

As a child, musician Kenny G was very passionate about music. He would play the piano for hours every day and loved to learn new songs. When he was ten years old, his parents got him a guitar as a gift, which he immediately learned how to play.

He later picked up the bass guitar and drums at an early age. His talent really started showing when he was in high school where he competed in musical festivals across America.

His first big break came when he won The Grammy Award For Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with his song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in 1997. Since then, he has gone on to win many more awards including five Grammys!

These days, you can find kenny g performing around the world. He still loves to compose and record new music. He also teaches other people how to write their own music or arrange music for others to make it sound great.

Became a billionaire

how did kenny g get famous

As mentioned earlier, his career as an international music superstar has been spectacular! He is credited with helping to popularize what some have called “ethnic” or “world music.” This genre of music features singing in languages other than English, often with lyrics that emphasize cultural identity and heritage.

Kenny G made his musical debut at the age of 17 when he performed at the American Music Awards alongside special guest Whitney Houston. Since then, he has released over 15 studio albums and two live album/DVD sets.

He has won several awards for his work including three Grammy Awards, five Billboard Music Award, and nine World Music Album Awards. His most recent award was given last year for Best Ethnic Collaboration for his song What Makes You Beautiful with British musician Dua Lipa.

His best-selling album is The Greatest Love Of All which includes the hit singles Yours My Heart Songs and Why Don’t We Just Dance? I Can't Stop Singing About You.

Went on a spending spree

how did kenny g get famous

After leaving New York, Gary Landrum worked as an accountant in California before he decided to pursue his dreams of music success. He had spent most of his life growing up listening to music, so he wanted to make it into a career.

In 2001, he bought all 50 songs and five albums by one artist- pianist/vocalist Kenny G.

He listened to this material repeatedly and practiced writing song lyrics while immersed in the music. Over time, his ear improved, and he was able to create his own style.

Landrum eventually released his own album with the help of producer Mike Elizondo. The duo received some attention for their work together, and they connected over their shared passion for music.

Elizondo suggested that Landrum try singing more like Kenny G. This helped him find his voice as a singer, and since then he has been recording and performing as himself.