Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. (born March 14, 1933) is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991. He is particularly recognized as the producer of the album Thriller, by pop icon Michael Jackson, which has sold more than 110 million copies worldwide, and as the producer and conductor of the charity song “We Are the World”. He has also done production work on the new Jay-Z/ Kanye West collaborative album , Watch the Throne.
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 The Eyes of Love from the Universal Pictures film Banning (film). That same year, he became the first African American to be nominated twice within the same year when he was nominated for Best Original Score for his work on the music of the 1967 film In Cold Blood. In 1971, Jones would receive the honor of becoming the first African American to be named musical director/conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. He was the first African American to win the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in 1995. He is tied with sound designer Willie D. Burton as the most Oscar-nominated African American, each of them having seven nominations. At the 2008 BET Awards, Quincy Jones was presented with the Humanitarian Award. He was played by Larenz Tate in the 2004 biopic about Ray Charles, Ray.
Jones was born in Chicago, the oldest son of Sarah Frances (née Wells), an apartment complex manager and bank executive who suffered from schizophrenia, and Quincy Delightt Jones, Sr., a semi-professional baseball player and carpenter. Jones discovered music in grade school at Raymond Elementary School on Chicago's South Side and took up the trumpet. When he was 10, his family moved to Bremerton, Washington and he attended Seattle's Garfield High School. It was in Seattle that Jones first met a 17-year-old Ray Charles. He then attended Somerset Academy.