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Randall Darius "Randy" Jackson (born June 23, 1956) is an Americanmarker bassist, singer, record producer, music manager, A&R executive and television personality. He is best known as a judge on American Idol and Executive Producer for MTV's America's Best Dance Crew. Jackson has won a Grammy Award as a producer.

Personal life

Jackson was born June 23, 1956 in Baton Rougemarker, Louisianamarker, son of Julia LeGolvan, a homemaker, and Herman Jackson, a plant foreman. His first marriage, to Elizabeth Jackson, ended in divorce in 1990; they had one child, Taylor, together. Since 1995, he has been married to Erika Riker, with whom he has two children, a 14-year-old daughter named Zoe and an 12-year-old son named Jordan. In 2003, Jackson lost following gastric bypass surgery. He stated in a February 2008 television commercial that he has type 2 diabetes.

Music career

Jackson played in bands with Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia. In the early 80's he played on three albums for Jean-Luc Ponty. From 1986 to 1987 he was a member of the rock group Journey. Jackson joined Journey for their 1986 album Raised on Radio and subsequent tour. He moved to Italy in the late 1980s and played on a record by Italian pop star Zucchero. The record, Zucchero and the Randy Jackson Band, was produced by Corrado Rustici who played guitar with Jackson on many albums in the early 80's.

In 1985, Keith Richards was asked to provide music for the Whoopi Goldberg comedy vehicle Jumpin' Jack Flash. Richards assembled an all-star band which included Aretha Franklin on piano and lead vocals and Jackson on bass guitar. This song was the fourth track on Aretha's 1986 album titled "Aretha." Jackson can be seen in the song's video.

In the late 80's, Jackson was still doing sessions. He was notably on the first solo album by famed session guitarist Steve Lukather.

Jackson was the bass guitarist on the 1991 self-titled Divinyls album (which features the song "I Touch Myself") as well as featured bassist on several tracks of Tracy Chapman's 1992 release, Matters of the Heart. He performed on the singles "Bang Bang Bang", "Open Arms", and "Dreaming on a World". That same year, Jackson also played bass on Bruce Springsteen's hit "Human Touch."

Jackson has recorded, produced, or toured with many well-known artists and bands, ranging from Mariah Carey (he has worked with her throughout her career, been her musical director for a number of her tours; he has formed part of her band during numerous performances including Live 8 in London in 2005) to *NSYNC, Whitney Houston, (produced) Dionne Farris' (critically acclaimed debut CD, Wild-Seed Wild-Flower), Céline Dion, Fergie (dating back to her days in Wild Orchid), Stryper, Whitesnake (he took over when former bassist broke his arm for a couple of shows in the late 80s), and Madonna (he played some bass on her album "Like a Prayer" although not on the single of the same name).

Jackson played numerous times in Jean-Luc Ponty's backing band. His credits as a session musician range from playing with Blue Öyster Cult, Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Billy Cobham, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Ernie Isley, Billy Joel, Journey, Richard Marx, George Michael, Stevie Nicks, Imogen Heap, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters to playing at the Grand Ole Oprymarker with The Charlie Daniels Band. His production/songwriting work in the San Francisco Bay Areamarker with Narada Michael Walden and Walter Afanasieff led Jackson to be in demand as a producer as well.

On March 11, 2008, Jackson released an album produced entirely by himself, titled Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1. The album's release was preceded by the single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" sung by Paula Abdul.

Jackson is the manager for the Charlotte, North Carolina based band Paper Tongues. The band, with the help of Jackson, signed with a major label, A&M/Octone Records.

Has also worked extensively with American DJ, T.J.Roche better known as TJ the DJ.He has also worked as an executive, spending eight years as vice president of artists and repertoire (A&R) at Columbia Records and four years heading A&R at MCA Records.

Since 2002, Jackson has been one of the panel judges on the Fox Network reality television series American Idol, along with Paula Abdul (from 2002-2009), Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi (from season 8), and, beginning with season 9, Ellen DeGeneres. Jackson is under contract through the end of the ninth season of the show.

Radio program

Jackson also hosts a radio top 40 countdown known as "Randy Jackson's Hit List," which is syndicated by Westwood One. Every week Jackson counts down his top 30 Urban AC and Mainstream AC hits. He also gives behind-the-scenes information on American Idol on the internet radio station Artist Underground.

America's Best Dance Crew

America's Best Dance Crew is a group dance contest and an American television show produced by Jackson, premiered on February 7, 2008 on MTV and ended on March 27, 2008. Each week, 1 dance crew is eliminated where each dance crew demonstrate their innovative choreography and dance skills to win the title as ABDC and the cash prize. ABDC returned for Season 2 which aired on June 19, 2008 - August 21, 2008, Season 3 aired on January 17, 2009 - March 6, 2009, and Season 4 began airing on its' new night on Sunday, August 9, 2009 - September 27, 2009. ABDC will return for another season airing in 2010 on MTV.



Year Album details Chart Positions
2008 Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1
  • Released: March 11, 2008
  • Label: Dream Merchant
50 33


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2008 "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" (with Paula Abdul) 62 48 2 29 68 Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1
"Real Love" (with Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. Randy Jackson | America's Best Dance Crew (Season 4), [MTV|]]
  2. Randy Jackson Biography (1956-), FilmReference.,com
  3. Idol Nearly Half The Man, Randy Jackson Goes On The Lighter Side For A New Look - CBS News
  4. 'American Idol' judge Jackson strives for stardom, The Daily Vidette from AP, February 7, 2005
  5. Simon Cowell To Sign New 'American Idol' Contract, Gil Kaufman,, August 11, 2009.
  6. Randy Jackson's Hit List,
  7. Randy Jackson's Hit List

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