In 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner Bob Russell became the first African-Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, their "The Eyes of Love" for the Universal Pictures film Banning. That same year, he became the first African-American to be nominated twice within the same year for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, as he was also nominated for his work on the film In Cold Blood (1967). In 1971, Jones was the first African-American to be named as the musical director/conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. In 1995 he was the first African-American to receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He is tied with sound designer Willie D. Burton as the African-American who has been nominated for the most Oscars; each has received seven nominations.
Jones was the producer, with Michael Jackson, of Jackson's albums Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987), as well as being the producer and conductor of the charity song "We Are the World".
He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as the winner, alongside Lou Adler, of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Among his awards he was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.
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