Awarded: April 2000
(b. March 14, 1933)
As a child, Quincy Jones studied the trumpet and began playing and arranging music professionally as a teenager when he formed a band with singer and pianist Ray Charles. At the age of 16, Jones attended the Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. He later became vice president of Mercury Records, one of the first black Americans to hold a senior executive position at an American record company. As an arranger and producer, Jones has worked with hundreds of popular performers and has composed the music for more than 30 motion pictures. He founded his own record company, Qwest Records. He produced the motion picture “The Color Purple,” directed by Steven Spielberg. He began publishing the rap magazine Vibe and a year later formed Qwest Broadcasting, a minority-owned broadcast company. Jones has won Emmy and Academy Awards for his musical scoring.