Music industry icon Quincy Jones is set to continue his 85th birthday celebrations with a special concert at London’s O2 Arena on 27 June where he’s set to be joined by a host of very special guests.
Backed by a full symphony orchestra, Quincy Jones - A Life In Song will celebrate the life and music of the acclaimed producer, songwriter, composer, and all-round hitmaker.
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So far confirmed for this exclusive one-off show are Caro Emerald, Jess Glynne, Lalah Hathaway, Mick Hucknall, Beverley Knight, Jonah Nilsson, Mark Ronson, Jack Savoretti and Andreas Varady - with many more to be announced.
The concert will also pay tribute to Rod Temperton, who worked with Jones on Michael Jackson’s planet shagging 1982 album, Thriller. Jones also worked with Jackson on Off The Wall and Bad.
Speaking of the gig, Quincy Jones said: “I know this show is going to be an emotional one for me because we’ll be doing a tribute to my brother Rod Temperton, on his home turf. I love and miss him with all of my heart and soul, but I’m definitely looking forward to sharing such a special moment with his home country.”
Not only is Jones a major figure in music, he’s not been shy of voicing his opinions of late. And why not? After a lifetime in the music industry as one of its most innovative figures, you know he’s going to have something interesting to say.
Recently pondering Taylor Swift, Jones was damning in his verdict of the singer’s songwriting abilities.
"We need more songs, man. Fucking songs, not hooks,” he said dismissively.
Not that he turned his ire just on contemporary stars. Having rubbished Paul McCartney as “the worst bass player I ever heard”, he set his sights on Macca’s fellow Beatle Ringo Starr.
“I remember once we were in the studio with George Martin, and Ringo had taken three hours for a four-bar thing he was trying to fix on a song. He couldn’t get it,” he recalled.
“We said, ‘Mate, why don’t you get some lager and lime, some shepherd’s pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.’”
“So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up. Ringo comes back and says, ‘George, can you play it back for me one more time?’ So George did, and Ringo says, ‘That didn’t sound so bad.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, motherfucker because it ain’t you.’
“Great guy, though.”
Tickets for Quincy Jones - A Life In Song are on sale now.