Randall Darius “Randy” Jackson born June 23, 1956 is an American bassist, singer, record producer, entrepreneur 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. His first marriage, to Elizabeth Jackson, was dissolved in 1990 they had one daughter named Taylor. In 1995, Jackson married Erika Riker, with whom he has two children, a 14-year-old daughter named Zoe and a 12-year-old son named Jordan. In 2003, Jackson lost 114 pounds following gastric bypass surgery. He stated in a February 2008 television commercial that he has type 2 diabetes.
Randy Jackson has become a famous television personality from his work as a judge on the popular singing competition American Idol. He first started playing bass guitar at the age of 13. The youngest of three children, Jackson used to slip out of his family’s home at night to play at local clubs.Jackson went to nearby Southern University to study music. Graduating in 1979, he pursued his dream of being a professional musician, playing with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Bob Dylan. He was even a temporary member of the 80s rock band Journey in 1983 and 1986. Jackson also recorded and toured with such well-known artists as Jerry Garcia, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. Working behind the scenes, Jackson spent years as as a record producer and an executive with Columbia Records and MCA Records. H became one of the judges on the hit FOX talent search series American Idol in 2002, along with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
Highly regarded within the music industry, Jackson quickly became respected among contestants and fans for his constructive criticism. Sharing his secrets of success, Jackson wrote the 2004 book What’s Up Dawg? How to Become a Superstar in the Music Business.For MTV, Jackson helped develop and produce America’s Best Dance Crew, which premiered in February 2008. “It’s very much more street than whatever you’ve seen .. It’s really kind of raw and has a lot of great imagery,” he explained to People magazine. The following month, Jackson released a compilation album, which featured performances from his American Idol cohort Paula Abdul, as well as musicians Joss Stone, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, and Mariah Carey among others. “It’s kind of a Quincy Jones record with all sorts-country, pop, hip-hop, R&B and jazz songs,” Jackson told Entertainment Weekly.
In March 2012, Jackson launched a syndicated radio program, Randy Jackson’s Hit List, for Westwood One. In May 2013, Jackson by this time the last original judge on American Idol—announced that he was leaving the popular singing-competition show after season 12. Jackson addressed his decision to leave the program in a statement, saying, “Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season.”
A supporter of many charitable organizations, Jackson has served as the spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s “Heart of Diabetes” campaign. He also established the Randy Jackson Childhood Obesity Foundation.