Washington, DC - Entertainment industry icon Quincy Jones will receive the Celebration of Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation at the 10th annual Celebration of Service to America Gala on June 9. The Leadership Award, NABEF's highest honor, is presented to an individual who has performed extraordinary public service in bettering the lives of others.
Jones is being recognized for his humanitarian work in establishing the Listen Up Foundation and the We Are the Future Foundation, both dedicated to helping underprivileged youth. He has also served as a committed leader in preserving and promoting African-American art through the Institute for Black American Music and the Black Arts Festival.
Inspired by events from his own childhood, Jones founded the Listen Up Foundation in 1991 to connect impoverished children with education, music and culture. In 2004, Jones helped launch We Are the Future to build youth centers in poor and war-torn countries. Both projects have successfully served underprivileged children throughout the world, exposing them to new opportunities and a more positive future.
Born Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. in Chicago in 1933, Jones began his career as a trumpeter with the legendary bandleader Lionel Hampton. Among his many accolades and honors, Jones has received 27 Grammy Awards and has a record 79 Grammy Award nominations. He produced two all-time best-sellers: Michael Jackson's album entitled "Thriller," which sold 104 million copies worldwide, and "We Are the World," the all-time best-selling single, which raised money for Ethiopian famine relief.
Jones' significant achievements have earned him recognition from a variety of institutions. He was the first African-American producer to be nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Picture for The Color Purple, as well as the first to win the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In 2000, Harvard University endowed the Quincy Jones Professorship of Afro-American Music. Shortly thereafter, in 2001, Jones received the prestigious French Legion d'Honneur medal.