HBO documentary explores why Kenny G is hated and loved

Written by By Natalia Veselova, CNN

American musician Kenny G has been opening arenas and stadiums around the world for nearly two decades. His impressive vocal range and falsetto have earned him the nickname “The Human iPod.”

But it’s a reputation that has led to numerous accusations of racism, misogyny and homophobia from fans, music industry insiders and journalists alike.

In a new HBO documentary, “Kenny G: The White Savior,” which aired on Thursday, the singer opens up about the backlash that’s fueled his success.

“I’m a role model, I’m someone who’s basically telling young kids out there that you know, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m going to come back from whatever is hurting me and become a million times better than I am, and you know, win all these awards because I’m just one of millions of things that a lot of other kids are going through,'” he says in the documentary.

“I really don’t get it. Why is it necessary to destroy people when I’m actually doing something good?”

The “You’ve Changed” singer has championed progressive causes such as the LGBTQ movement and gender non-conforming figures in the entertainment industry, alongside R&B star Robin Thicke . Kenny G, who goes by his birth name, Walter James George, was trained as a chemist and rose to fame as a producer for REM and Daft Punk , among others.

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