George Benson

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About George Benson

Jazz legend George Benson started playing ukulele at age 7 because his hands were too small for a guitar. ∙ At age 10, Benson cut two singles for RCA’s R&B label, Groove Records, but his mother took away his guitar when show business started interfering with schoolwork. ∙ Miles Davis sought him out for his 1968 album, Miles in the Sky. Benson later said, “I was knocked out that he even called me, let alone asked me to record with him.” ∙ With the 1976 album Breezin’, he almost single-handedly defined the smooth-jazz genre and went on to sell more than 3 million records. ∙ His cover of the classic “On Broadway”—used in the Academy Award-winning film All That Jazz—won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance. ∙ He’s been nominated for 25 Grammy Awards and won 10, including Record of the Year for “This Masquerade.” ∙ In 2009, Benson was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment of the Arts, the nation’s highest honor for a jazz musician.

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
March 22, 1943
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