Kenny G Claims He Helped Inspire the Starbucks Frappuccino

The saxophonist and Starbucks investor says he played a role in convincing CEO Howard Schultz to bring the blended drink to Starbucks's menu.

learn more about Kate Taylor

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kenny G is more than a jazzy saxophonist. He's also apparently a coffee revolutionary.

This week, the musician said in an interview with Bloomberg that as an early investor in Starbucks, he helped convince Howard Schultz to begin serving up Frappuccinos.

"At the beginning, Starbucks didn't have anything but coffee. And there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called 'blended' that was a sweet drink, and people were lined up around the block," Kenny G says in the interview. "I would always call Howard and say, 'Howard, there's this thing that they do there that's like a milkshake or whatever.'"

Related: Starbucks Earnings Heat Up as Traffic Rebounds

G invested in Starbucks when the company was still picking up steam, on the advice of his uncle, one of the company's first investors. He reports that, while he didn't know much about coffee, he was immediately impressed by Schultz, prompting him to invest in the man behind the company.

Today, the saxophonist says that the Frappuccino is his favorite Starbucks drink. With the blended drink going from G's brainchild to a Starbucks go-to, we'll have to wait and see if the self-described "sweet guy" will warm up new blends as Starbucks builds up its gourmet coffee offerings.

Related: With New Roastery, Starbucks Wants to be the 'Willy Wonka of Coffee'

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Growing a Business

Why Organic Growth Is the Key to Success in a Competitive Market

Here's why you need to focus on organic growth in order to stand out from your competition.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Growing a Business

8 Secrets to Success in Business

Follow these secrets to success to make 2023 a standout year for your business. Remember, success is achieved in your personal life as well as your professional life. Be sure to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey along the way.

Business News

'Don't Go to Mars': Bill Gates Shades Elon Musk's Plans to Spend Money on Mars Missions

The two billionaires have had a longstanding feud after Musk accused Gates of shorting Tesla stocks last spring.