Kirk Whalum (born July 11, 1958) is an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured with Whitney Houston for more than seven years and soloed in her single "I Will Always Love You", the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. He was also featured on many Luther Vandross albums, most often playing on the singer's covers of older pop and R&B standards like "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "I (Who Have Nothing)" and "Love Won't Let Me Wait".
Whalum has recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. Kirk’s musical accomplishments have brought him a total of 12 Grammy nominations. He won his first Grammy award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”, featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside lifelong friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters.