How did you get started with music?

I think my parents nurtured me to enhance my musical talents and capabilities right from the start when I first showed interest in music. They bought the musical instruments that I wanted to play. We had an organ, piano, and clarinet at home. They would encourage me to play and my heart flutters whenever I would see the happiness in their eyes when I was performing. They supported me all throughout. I eventually studied music at the University of Pennsylvania.

You have been in the industry for five decades. To what can you attribute your longevity?

I credit my longevity in the music industry to the music itself. As they say, thank you for the music. Thank you for being an industry big enough to accommodate all the talents in the world. Thank you for having space for me. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person and to continue to do more. Thank you for the endless possibilities that happen whenever I create a tune or write a song. Thank you for all the great talents before me and after me because together, we all work hard to make sure that the music keeps playing for all the people to enjoy.

What advice can you give to the younger generation of musical artists?

I really do not believe in giving unsolicited advice but if there is one thing I want them to realize is that they should truly, madly, and deeply love music and it will love you back. Everything else will just follow – the money, fame, influence… You would not have them if you do not love music for music’s sake. Take time to improve your craft and give it your all. Not everyone is given the chance to take that stage. Show them why you are worthy.