There will be an all-star TV special paying tribute to Quincy Jones, but the network that will televise the show is still in question. Deadline has reported that CBS was interested in airing the special, but opted not to move forward with the deal. According to Variety, longtime Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich will direct the special, which will include the participation of Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Eddie Murphy as celebrities paying tribute to Jones. Winfrey and Smith also appear in the Quincy Jones documentary film "Quincy," which premieres on Netflix on Sept. 21.
CBS and the Recording Academy, which have teamed up for "Grammy Salute" tribute specials for Elton John and The Beatles, issued this joint statement: “We were very excited about the opportunity to honor Quincy Jones with a dedicated music special. He’s an incredible and beloved artist who has contributed so much to music and entertainment. Although our collective passion and will for the project was there, due to scheduling issues, the stars weren’t aligned to bring the project to fruition.”
Meanwhile, the first official trailer for "Quincy" has been released, and it gives viewers an up-close-and-personal look at the extraordinary life of the Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician. "Quincy"—directed by Rashida Jones (one of Jones' daughters) and Alan Hicks—will have its world premiere Sept. 9 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Paula DuPré Pesmen is the film's producer. Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Adam Fell are executive producers of the film.
The documentary includes appearances by numerous celebrities, including Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Bono, Peggy Lipton, Michael Caine and Paul McCartney. As expected, there is plenty of archival footage and glimpses into Quincy's childhood and early career. The movie's trailer also includes footage of him in the hospital and visited by daughter Rashida. In 2015, Quincy was briefly hospitalized after suffering shortness of breath and chest pains. "I'm a survivor. My whole life has been like that," Quincy says in a voiceover.
The trailer does not include any mention of the artist who is Quincy Jones' most famous collaboration: Michael Jackson, who worked with Quincy Jones on Jackson's blockbuster albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. There have been ongoing debates on how much credit Quincy Jones deserves for his work with Jackson. In April, Quincy Jones made a public apology for making controversial statements about Jackson's songwriting, and he has been in legal battles with Jackson's estate and Sony Music, most notably in 2017 when Jones won a lawsuit for unpaid royalties and was awarded $9.4 million. Jackson and Quincy Jones had a falling out in the late 1980s, but before Jackson's death in 2009, Jones claims that there was a possibility that the two would work together again. "He wanted us to get back together," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2017. "But we were close, man. Always close. You can't do those kinds of records without love, trust and respect."