Belfast Telegraph

LL Cool J honours Quincy Jones

LL Cool J has said Quincy Jones was an important role model in his life as he paid tribute to him at Ebony magazine's annual Power 100 gala.

The record producer was guest of honour at the gala, where he received a lifetime achievement award, and rapper-actor LL Cool J was among the stars who paid tribute to him.

"You just really taught me to be a man," LL Cool J said in a heartfelt introduction of his mentor and friend.

The lifetime achievement award recognises black Americans who are wielding considerable power, such as TV producer Shonda Rhimes, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Little League star Mo'Ne Davis.

LL Cool J said Jones is like a father to him and called him "the greatest producer in the history of music." Fittingly, the 81-year-old producer, composer and philanthropist was celebrated in song.

Chaka Khan also said Jones feels like family. He's "like an uncle, even a father," she said as she dedicated her performance of Sweet Thing to him.

James Ingram sang two hits that Jones produced: Just Once and One Hundred Ways. Ingram also shared a duet with Patti Austin.

Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick got attendees dancing and singing with their original 1980s hits The Show and La Di Da Di. Savion Glover performed a dance of his own.

Jones was recognised for his philanthropic efforts and six-decade career. He's worked with the greats, from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. He's scored feature films - 38 of them - and earned seven Academy Award nominations. He brought Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith to broader audiences.

"We're not, any of us, above being a groupie when it comes to Quincy Jones," Colin Powell said in a video about the honoree.

Jones said he was especially humbled by the Ebony award because he considered the magazine's founder a mentor.

"Ebony and Jet were part of the glue that bonded us together as a people," he said. "Black men and women in this country saw for the very first time that they were not alone in a vast wilderness; that their loves, dreams and sorrows were shared by people who looked just like them all over this country."

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