Bio

Biography of American Idol judge – Randy Jackson

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Image: Funlava

Randy Jackson wasn’t born a rock star, but he quickly became one of the most successful people in the music industry. Born in 1956 in Louisiana, Jackson worked with various R&B, jazz and soul artists, including Billy Cobham, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana and Jean-Luc Ponty. However, when he joined the rock band ‘Journey’ in 1986 to 1987 and recorded the band’s 1986 album ‘Raised on Radio’, Randy Jackson became a household name.

In the late 1980s, Jackson moved to Italy, played with the Italian pop star, Zucchero and recorded, “Zucchero and the Randy Jackson Band.” By early 1990s, Jackson worked on the self-titled Divinyls album, Tracy Chapan’s 1992 album “Matters of the Heart” and Bruce Springsteen’s top-charting single, “Human Touch.” Since then, he performed, recorded and produced albums with various artists, such as Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Fergie, Madonna and Michael Bolton, among others. As a session musician, Jackson has played with Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Aretha Franklin, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx and many more.

Randy Jackson became an icon in the San Francisco Bay Area, making him an in-demand producer and songwriter in the mid-1990s. Jackson has also worked behind the music scenes, acting as Vice President of A&R at the Columbia Records for 8 years, which lead him a job as the Senior Vice President of A&R at MCA Records for 4 years.

Since 2002, Randy Jackson became one of three panel judges, along with performer Paula Abdul and record producer Simon Cowell, on the FOX reality TV series, American Idol. The show was an overnight success, which continues to be watched by millions of viewers until today. On American Idol, Randy has a habit of calling the contestants “dawg”, which later became his trademark. Unlike Simon Cowell who can easily say the brutal truth about the contestants’ performance and Paula Abdul who finds it hard to provide negative comments, Randy Jackson serves as the diplomat on the show.

While fulfilling his judging duties on Idol, Randy Jackson also hosts a syndicated radio show called ‘Randy Jackson’s Hit List.’ In 2008, Jackson released a solo album, “Randy Jackson’s Music Club Vol. 1,” featuring songs from various artists, including fellow-judge Paula Abdul. Jackson, although busy with his on-screen role in American Idol, continues recording, producing and managing artists. He is the manager for the band, Papertongues. Jackson’s latest TV project is a group dance contest, “America’s Best Dance Crew,” which was first aired on February 2008.

He had a plan for launching a new perfume for men:

“He said he’s leaning toward a combination of musk and spice. He’s also brainstorming for a cool name that fits the image he’s trying to create.”

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