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George Duke Facts

George Duke: The Musical Genius Who Redefined Jazz Fusion

Singer’s Bio

George Duke was a multi-talented American musician, producer, and composer best known for his contributions to jazz, funk, and R&B music. Born on January 12, 1946, in San Rafael, California, Duke started playing the piano at age four and discovered his love for music early in life. He went on to study music theory and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he also played in various jazz and rock bands.


George Duke passed away on August 5, 2013, at the age of 67, in Los Angeles, California, due to leukemia.


Duke was married twice in his life. His first marriage was with Corine “Cookie” Duke, with whom he had two sons, John and Rasheed. After his divorce from Cookie, he married fashion designer and model, Rhonda Scott, in 1987, and they remained married until his death in 2013.


Duke had two sons, John and Rasheed, from his first marriage with Corine “Cookie” Duke. Both of his sons followed in his footsteps and pursued music careers. John is a singer-songwriter and plays guitar, while Rasheed is a keyboard player and producer.


George Duke was 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall, making him stand out among his peers in the music industry.


After completing his studies, Duke moved to San Francisco and played with various bands in the Bay Area, including the Don Ellis Orchestra, Al Jarreau, and Frank Zappa. In 1969, Duke recorded his debut album, “Save the Country,” which featured several jazz musicians, including Alphonse Mouzon and Leon “Ndugu” Chancler.

Duke’s career took off in the 1970s when he joined the jazz fusion group, The Cannonball Adderley Quintet. He played keyboards and arranged music for the group, and his influence can be heard on their Grammy-winning album, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Live at ‘The Club’.”

In 1976, Duke signed with Epic Records and released his most successful album, “Reach for It.” The title track reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts and featured vocals from Lynn Davis. Duke continued to release a string of successful albums throughout the 1980s, including “Don’t Let Go,” “Dream On,” and “Rendezvous.”

In addition to his solo career, Duke worked with many notable musicians, including Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, and Quincy Jones. He also produced and arranged music for several other artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jeffrey Osborne, and Dianne Reeves.

Top Songs

Throughout his career, Duke released numerous hit songs that topped the charts and became fan favorites. Some of his most popular songs include:

– “Sweet Baby”
– “Reach for It”
– “Dukey Stick”
– “I Love You More”
– “Shine On”
– “No Rhyme, No Reason”
– “Brazilian Love Affair”

Net Worth

At the time of his death in 2013, George Duke’s net worth was estimated at $2 million. However, his contributions to the music industry were priceless, and his legacy continues to influence and inspire new generations of musicians.


George Duke’s musical legacy is undeniable. His contributions to jazz, funk, and R&B music continue to impact and inspire artists around the world. He was a pioneer of jazz fusion and brought a new level of sophistication and complexity to the genre.

In his book “The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music,” Victor Wooten referred to Duke as a “musical genius” and wrote, “George Duke forever changed the way we think, play, and create music. He took all the musical languages he could find and created something that was not only unique but inspiring and beautiful.”

Duke was honored posthumously in 2015 with a Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his performance on “Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1976” album. His music continues to be celebrated and revered by music lovers and performers alike, making him a true legend of the industry.


George Duke was a musical titan who redefined jazz fusion and left an indelible mark on the world of music. His immense talent, impeccable musical instincts, and creative genius continue to influence and inspire new generations of musicians. While he may be gone, his music lives on, reminding us of the magic and beauty that can be found in creating and experiencing art.

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