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Quincy Jones inducted into the MOBO Hall of Fame

LEGEND: Quincy Jones

QUINCY JONES was inducted into the Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Hall of Fame yesterday evening (Sept 28).

The legendary musician and producer, 81, whose production credits include Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and Thriller albums and George Benson’s Give Me The Night, was surprised by MOBO founder Kanya King MBE during a live Q&A session at London’s Royal College of Music.

“I’ve been invited here as a surprise this evening to induct the music giant himself into the MOBO Hall of Fame,” King said as she emerged from backstage holding the plaque.

“Now the aim of the MOBO Hall of Fame is to honour the icons of the music world, share their stories, preserve their history, promote their values and celebrate their excellence,” she said.

The MOBO Hall of Fame will officially open next year to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the annual ceremony.

“Now Mr Jones, we will unveil your story and promote your works so that every kid in every bedroom will continue to be reminded of your phenomenal accomplishments and for this we salute you,” she promised.

“Thank you Kanya. It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” an overwhelmed Jones said as he accepted plaque. “I’m really pleased to be here tonight with all this attention and all this lovely praise.”

This latest honour comes just a year after Jones was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Among his many accolades, in 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner Bob Russell became the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for The Eyes of Love from film Banning. And three years later, he became the first African American to be named as the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony.

During yesterday’s three-hour event, guests were treated to live music from the legendary AllStars Collective musicians while names including Beverley Knight, Mica Paris and Jocelyn Brown serenaded the crowd with hits from the famous Jazz and Motown era, before BBC Radio presenter Paul Gambaccinni took hold of the reigns introducing the man of the moment.

“Not only has he won Grammy awards as a producer, he as won them as an arranger, as an artist and as a talker. He won the Best Spoken Word Grammy, you can’t stop him! He produced the first song played on the moon. In 1969, Buzz Aldrin played Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra, produced by this gentleman,” Gambaccinni said.

For two hours Jones sat on stage with Gambaccinni and spoke in great depth and candidness about his illustrious career, which has spanned over 60 years and earned the star a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.

“When we made music, we felt the music,” Jones said before touching on the rise of producers sampling music from yesteryear.

“It’s important you know how to read music,” the accomplished multi-instrumentalist said. “How else can you make music? Everyone is sampling music. [In the future] what will you sample from a sample?”

Offering advice on navigating the music industry, Jones, who revealed as a young man he was mentored by Ray Charles added: “A problem is something that causes you stress, whereas a puzzle is just something to be figured out.”

Also joining Jones on stage was legendary songwriter Rod Temperton, who has collaborated with the producer on many occasions, probably most famously on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and Thriller albums, still two of the biggest selling albums of all time.

The two musical legends recounted stories from their journey in the industry together and often finished each other's sentences, further cementing proof of their long-standing friendship.

The night was brought to a close by students from Royal Docks Community School in Newham, east London who sung a flawless rendition of Michael Jackson hit, We Are The World, which was co-produced by Jones.

The students were then joined on stage by the celebrity performers throughout the night to bring the evening to a show-stopping climax.

“Thank you for everyone for taking the time out to make us feel good,” Jones said in closing.

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