Like it or not, Kenny G is one of the most popular musicians in the world. He's sold over 75 million albums worldwide, and for reasons absolutely no one understands, one of his biggest hits has become so ingrained within Chinese culture that it's inexplicably used by tons of businesses and at the end of news broadcasts as an audio cue to tell people that they need to get the hell out.
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"GET THE f**k OUT."
In 1989, Kenny G released his first live album, Kenny G Live. It went triple platinum, and its opening track, "Going Home," became a huge hit in waiting rooms everywhere. But in China, the song was more than just a hit; it became an essential and ubiquitous part of life. No one knows when it began, but to this day, "Going Home" is played in libraries, gyms, and shopping malls to let people know that they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here. The day's done. Get out. It's a really relaxing security guard ushering you out the door at your own smooth jazz pace.
I could make a joke about how it's such a terrible song that of course people would flee from it if it were played on a loop for up to an hour and a half at closing time -- which is exactly what happens in some places in China -- but the truth is, people don't seem to mind it. It just is. It's a part of the fabric of a nation. And Kenny G is fully aware of it all. When he tours China, "Going Home" is his closer because, in his own words, "I don't want everyone going home early."
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"B-but ... I haven't even played 'Going Home' yet."