Quincy Jones at 80: The music legend's 20 most memorable moments

african kings

Legendary producer and musician Quincy Jones was born 80 years ago today. Jones, known as “The Dude” or sometimes simply as “Q,” is an American music impresario. He brought black music to the forefront of popular culture through his long career as a conductor, producer, arranger, composer and performer.

Jones’ career began in 1956, when he toured as a trumpeter for the Dizzy Gillespie Band. For years, he dedicated his energies to performing jazz. His work as a film composer began in 1964, when he scored his first of 33 motion pictures. He would go on to compose scores for films like The Color Purple, The Wiz and In the Heat of the Night.

His work has spanned media platforms as the composer of TV themes like Sanford and Son, producer of shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the founder of VIBE magazine. Jones has won an astonishing 27 Grammy Awards in his career and shows no signs of slowing down.

Follow Donovan X. Ramsey on Twitter at @idxr