"You get a shot at bat when you win American Idol. You've won the competition. You've got the prize. Now you've got to make a great record. That's the hardest thing for all of them, because I don't think all of them have made great records." Randy Jackson.
Record producer and legendary bass player Randy Jackson is widely recognized as one of the three judges on Fox’s hit talent search contest “American Idol” (2002-Present). During the early until the mid 1980s, he was the bass player for arena rock band Journey. He was also a top A&R (Artist & Repertoire) Records executive for Columbia and MCA records, where he has arranged music for such pop superstars as Madonna, Janet Jackson and Celine Dion. In 2003, he published a how-to guide book, “What's Up Dawg?: How to Become a Superstar in the Music Business.”
Childhood and Family:
On June 23, 1956, Randall Darius Jackson was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Herman (worked for Exxon) and Julia Jackson (was a homemaker). He has a sister named Sue Jackson Lewis and a brother named called Jackson Jr. His grandparents are Jules and Susana Dangerfield. Randy, nicknamed “The Dawg” or “The Emperor,” attended Robert E. Lee High School, where he also played football. In 1979, he graduated with BA in Music and Psychology from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Randy has been married twice. He was married to Elizabeth until they divorced in 1990. On December 29, 1995, he married his present wife, Erika Riker. From his marriages, Randy has one son, Jordan Jackson, and two daughters, Zoe and Taylor Jackson.
In 2003, Randy had well-publicized gastric bypass surgery and has subsequently lost over a hundred pounds. And by the beginning of “American Idol” 2004 season, he had lost more than 100 pounds.
Emperor of the Bass
At an early age, young Randy Jackson became interested and tried the saxophone and other instruments before deciding on the bass. During high school, he spent his nights playing gigs at local hot spots. At age 17, his first break arrived when he began playing with ’60s icon John Fred and his Playboys, a pop group that had a hit in 1967 with “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses),” a parody on the Beatle’s “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Afterward, at age 20, Randy was picked and wound up touring with fusion drummer Billy Cobham for the next three years.
Eventually settling in San Francisco, Randy has since been hired by such music talents as the late Louisiana and Tex-Mex American blues musician Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, over five-decade singer-songwriter/author/musician/poet Bob Dylan and soul/R&B/ gospel singer/songwriter and pianist Aretha Franklin. In 1983 and 1985, Randy landed his most prominent gig as the bass player in violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty's backing band and toured with arena rock band Journey. He also joined them for the LP recordings of Frontiers and Raised on Radio. Not long after receiving the sobriquet title “Emperor of the Bass,” Randy left Journey in 1986 to work with rocker Bruce Springsteen, Grammy and Emmy Award winning American R&B/pop singer Whitney Houston and multiple Grammy- and Academy Award-winning English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist Elton John.
Encouraged by a friend to pursue A&R (Artist & Repertoire) Records, Randy jumped up to producing in the early 1990s and became an executive for Columbia and MCA records. There, he arranged music for such pop divas as Madonna, Janet Jackson and Celine Dion. Ten years later, the top A&R executive was asked to review a tape of the hit British series “Pop Idols” (2001-2002), a talent contest to decide the best new young popular music singer based on viewer participation. The Idol series later become an international franchise and has spun off many successful shows, including “American Idol,” for which Randy was asked to be one of three judges, alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. In the immediate hit show Randy is famous for peppering his pronouncements with the slang terms like "dude," "dawg" and "dope." He is also known for taking a middle road of criticism between the supportiveness of former pop star Paula Abdul and the nastiness of acid-tongued British judge Simon Cowell. In 2006, Randy extended contract with “American Idol” for three more season. The show, which began its first series in June 2002 on Fox, is now in its 6th season, premiered on Tuesday, January 16, 2007.
Meanwhile, Randy has tried his hand in acting, appearing in the pilot episode of CBS' short-lived television drama starring Rob Lowe and Joe Pantoliano, "Dr. Vegas" (2004; now airs in Ireland on TG4 and on Challenge in the UK), and on UPN critically acclaimed but little seen law drama starring Taye Diggs, "Kevin Hill" (2005). He also hosts a radio top 40 countdown known as Randy Jackson's Hit List syndicated on hundreds of stations nationwide by Westwood One and published a how-to guide book, “What's Up Dawg?: How to Become a Superstar in the Music Business,” in 2003. Additionally, he did a TV commercial for Oreo in 2006.
"The theory is that Mariah Carey can sing anything. You hear that expression, 'She can sing the phone book.' So if you can really sing, you should be able to sing anything, so we're testing them. That's the whole competition." Randy Jackson.