People often ask how do you define success. I answer with two words:
Here’s why: No one knows his last name, yet everyone knows him. Fame and fortune by saxophone. How many other solo musicians since Beethoven can you name? And if you can name one, I bet they don’t use a pseudonym .
Here is just a small sample of the original sexy sax man’s success. He has the
number one selling instrumental album of all time with over 15 million copies sold. (The same number of TOTAL albums sold by Justin Bieber by May 2012. What now J Biebs?) His global sales top 75 million records. In 1997 he played the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone: 45 minutes and 47 seconds. No joke. He’s played at the White House, is popular in China, has his own saxophone line, and has a +0.6 handicap in golf. I don’t know what that means, but I hear it’s really impressive.
Kenny G has enjoyed a lifetime of success with complete privacy. He’s never dealt with tabloids or the paparazzi. He’s just Kenny G, the guy with the saxophone and long curly mane.
That doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his run in mainstream pop culture. He’s got music videos of him playing to beautiful women. He’s played with Babyface, Toni Braxton, and Michael Bolton. And still, 30 plus years into his career he’s in Katy Perry music videos, SNL skits, and Audi and Snickers commercials.
I want to publicly tip my hat to the guy with an initial for his last name. I don’t know how he did it, but he did.
And full disclosure I love his music.
Here’s to you Kenneth Bruce Gorelick.