Randy Jackson Biography
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Randall Darius Jackson
Born in: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US
Famous as: Bassist, Record Producer, Television Personality.
Spouse/Ex-: Elizabeth Jackson (m. ?–1990), Erika Riker (m. 1995)
father: Herman Jackson
children: Jordan, Taylor, Zoe
City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
U.S. State: Louisiana
Famous as a judge on the reality television show, ‘American Idol’, Randy Jackson is a former record company executive, a bassist, singer and a well-known record producer. From a very young age, he was drawn to music and often escaped from his house to listen to R&B and also started playing bass for different bands. Very early in his career, Jackson bagged good work with a variety of artists performing in jazz, R&B and soul music genres. He even had famous stints with violinist, Jean-Luc Ponty and drummer, Billy Cobham. Jackson’s most famous and high-profile gig was with the band, ‘Journey’. The rock band gave him the opportunity to perform as a musician and he toured and recorded with them for three years. This was a big break for Jackson and since then he has performed, recorded and produced music with several famous artists like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton and Madonna. Apart from being a successful musician, Jackson has been involved in the business end of the music industry and has held high positions in A&R at Columbia Records and MCA Records. After appearing on American Idol, Jackson’s fame catapulted and he has since been involved in several other music ventures.
- Randy Jackson was born on 23 June 1956 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Julian and Herman Jackson. His father was a plant foreman and his mother was a homemaker.
- He completed his education from Southern University earning his degree in music in 1979.
- As a teenager, Jackson would sneak out of his house to listen to live R&B music. He also took time off college to work with jazz drummer, Billy Cobham’s band, learning to play record.
- With a good record playing experience, Jackson played in bands with the likes of Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia. In early 1980s, Jackson landed a bigger break by playing on three albums for Jean-Luc Ponty and with the rock band, ‘Taxxi’.
- In the 1980s, Jackson took up an opportunity to travel to Italy and moved there temporarily. Here, he associated himself with the Italian pop star Zucchero. Corrado Rustici who had worked with Jackson on many albums, produced the record, ‘Zucchero and the Randy Jackson Band’.
- In 1986, Jackson worked with the rock group, ‘Journey’, playing in their album ‘Raised on Radio’. He remained a session musician with the band for another year. The same year, Jackson was seen in the music video of the album ‘Aretha’ working with Aretha Franklin and Keith Richards.
- After working in the first solo album of guitarist, Steve Lukather, he worked on five songs on the album ‘Silky Soul’ by Maze, in 1989. During this time, he also worked on the albums of ‘Kenny G’.
- In 1991, Jackson was bass guitarist for Divinyl’s self-titled album. The following year, he featured in many tracks of the album ‘Matters of the Heart’ such as, “Bang Bang Bang” and “Open Arms”. He also played bass on Bruce Springsteen's song "Human Touch."
- In 2002, Jackson grabbed spotlight when he became one of the judges of Fox Network’s reality television series, ‘American Idol’. Jackson remained on the show and worked with many other judges like Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, and Nicki Minaj etc.
- In 2008, he released the album titled 'Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1'. The album was entirely produced by him.
- The same year, Jackson produced the reality television show, ‘American Best Dance Crew’. The show was aired on MTV but was scrapped in 2010 after poor ratings.
- In 2009, he worked on the production of the 4th album of Kimberley Locke, a finalist on American Idol. The following year, the lead single, ‘Strobe Light’ was released.
- He was the vice president of artists and repertoire (A&R) at Columbia Records for eight years and also headed A&R at MCA Records for four years.
- After working with several famous artists, Jackson is now the manager of the band, ‘Paper Tongues’ which hails from Charlotte.
- In November, 2014 Jackson left ‘American Idol’ to focus on his other business ventures.
- Being associated with the ‘American Idol’ is one of the major turning of Jackson’s career. The show catapulted him into limelight.
- In 2001, Jackson won a Grammy Award as a co-producer of the album ‘At last’ by Gladys Knight.
- Jackson has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for five years in a row from 2003–2007.
- He got married to Elizabeth and the couple had a daughter, Taylor. However, they separated after a divorce in 1990.
- Jackson’s second wife was Erika Riker whom he married in 1995. The couple has a daughter, Zoe and a son, Jordan.
- This American musician and producer is famous for frequently saying ‘dawg’ and ‘pitchy’.
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