Kenneth Gorelick must really like traveling and playing music.  He sure doesn’t have to come to Battle Creek, Michigan.   Kenneth, who is better known to the world as Kenny G, has sold 75 million albums, the most ever by any instrumentalist.   But as much as half of his net worth, rumored to be somewhere north of $100 million, comes from stock trading.

When Kenny G hits the stage at FireKeeper’s Casino Hotel near Battle Creek on December 9th for a holiday show, most fans will have no idea that this was a kid who played with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, played a funky tenor sax with Jeff Lorber Fusion and then was one of the first investors with a little coffee company in his hometown of Seattle. That’s all before his first big album in 1986, Duotones.

Kenny attended the University of Washington, where he majored in accounting, which would probably make any mom and dad of sax player happy.  Always have a backup plan, right?

In his mid-20’s, he started playing tenor sax with Jeff Lorber Fusion and started putting a few bucks aside.   That’s about the time that his uncle suggested an investment.

The story goes that the uncle knew a guy in Seattle who was looking for initial investors for his coffee company.  Howard Schultz was the guy, and Kenny and his uncle were among the earliest backers of Starbucks.   And after listening to the smooth, relaxing sounds on his albums, it’s probably no surprise that he doesn’t even drink coffee.  But coffee has been very good for him, just the same.

According to the Celebrity Net-worth website:

“It is impossible to know what Kenny G's investment in Starbucks is worth, but if you had invested $1,000 in 1992 when Starbucks had its IPO, your investment would be worth more than $300,000 today. Starbucks shares are up more than 12,000 percent since beginning public trade.”

In 2015, he told CNBC that he has stakes in Apple, Microsoft, and United Airlines.

“He spends his mornings at his computer trading blocks of shares of the roughly 30 he has in his portfolio. He claims that over the past decade he's earned as much money from trading stock as from music.”

When he’s not doing that, he’s playing golf or piloting his plane.  So, when you know all that, it’s nice to know that the guy coming to our area this December is doing it because he likes it.   He sure doesn’t need to.

Kenny G brings “The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour” to FireKeeper’s Casino Hotel on Thursday, December 9th.  Tickets go on sale on Saturday, September 18th.

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