Rooted In Music

The Influence of Quincy Jones

An Analysis of Every Wikipedia Page on which Quincy Jones is Mentioned

Quincy Jones is one of the most prolific musicians of the 20th century. His career spans several decades. His work is present in so many different genres – everything from bossa nova to hip hop.

One way to identify his present-day impact on music: examine every Wikipedia page that links to Quincy Jones’ page. By visualizing the results, we can better understand the number of musicians with whom he’s collaborated, genres that cite him as core to its history, and the breadth of musicians who he is inspiring.

The Wikipedia Pages on Which Quincy Jones Is Mentioned

All Pages

Circle Size: Among Pages on Which Quincy Appears...

Page is mentioned less frequently

Page is mentioned more frequently

In the above chart, each bubble represents one of the 2,005 pages on which Quincy Jones is mentioned. Bigger bubbles indicate pages that appear more frequency in this dataset. For example, “Thriller” is central to Quincy Jones’ presence on Wikipedia and a common thread among all the places he’s mentioned.

Let’s look at the overall breakdown of the 2,005 pages on which he’s mentioned. About 677 pages pertain to people (roughly a third of the total), which speaks to his legacy as a frequent collaborator and producer for other musicians. This also includes indirect connections, such as when Amy Winehouse contributed a cover of “It’s My Party” to a tribute album or when Alicia Keys cited him as an influence.

About 750 pages are recordings, which includes albums, songs, and concerts (about 30% of the total). Among these pages, we find Quincy Jones’ discography as well as things he influenced, such as recordings that use samples of his work (e.g., on Watch the Throne, Ready to Die).

The remaining pages include everything from appearances on the Whoopi Goldberg Show to a list of people who endorsed Barack Obama in 2012 – the exhaust of his celebrity.

One glaring trend is the diversity in types of music. For example, Quincy Jones’ fingerprints are on so many of the recordings of Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra – two artists who spanned completely different generations and genres. And since Quincy’s roots are in jazz, he appears on countless topics related to the genre, such as Miles Davis, The Monterey Jazz Festival, and Jazz Rap. Among all 20th century musicians, there’s a strong case that his legacy has had an effect on the most facets of western music.

For more context on Quincy’s influences and roots in music, check out this interview with his son, where he discusses everything from hip hop samples to his brush with Kendrick Lamar: