One of the most highly regarded jazz guitarists of the 20th century, George Benson was also one of the few musicians in that field to enjoy success on the pop and R&B charts with such smooth, danceable hits as "On Broadway," "This Masquerade" and "Give Me the Night" in the 1970s and 1980s. He began his recording career in his teens before leading his own band in the mid-1960s on several popular jazz instrumental records that showcased his nimble playing and funky renditions of pop and rock standards. The 1970s saw Benson adding vocals to a soul-jazz sound that culminated in the Grammy-winning Breezin' (1976), a triple-platinum-certified record that sent him to the top of the pop, jazz and R&B charts. He continued to mine this vein throughout the 1970s and early '80s before shifting towards smooth jazz in the middle of the decade. Though Benson's tenure as a pop artist was over by the early 1990s, he continued to remain at the top of the jazz scene without suffering any of the stigma associated with ascending to or descending from the mainstream. George Benson's skills as a jazz guitarist and soul vocalist preserved his long-running status as an enduring talent with appeal among diverse audiences.