With a long and successful career in the music biz, including a stint with one of the most beloved rock bands of all time, Randy Jackson has become top 'dawg' on reality TV. Randall Darius Jackson was born on June 23, 1956 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He started playing bass at the age of 13, and began sitting in with bands while attending Southern University, where he graduated from in 1979 with a BA in music and psychology.
Although Randy has racked up an impressive list of artists he's worked with as a session musician, including Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton and Bob Dylan, Randy got his big break when he joined the band Journey in 1985, playing bass and singing background vocals for their 1986 album Raised on Radio. He has performed on more than 1,000 gold and platinum albums and has performed and toured with such artists as Mariah Carey, *NSYNC, Whitney Houston and Madonna.
In the 1990s, he worked as a record executive at both Columbia and MCA Records. In 2002, Randy was invited to be one of the judges for the reality competition American Idol, along with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. In addition to helping music hopefuls with an instructional bass guitar video, Randy also wrote the how-to guide What's Up Dawg?:How to Become a Superstar in the Music Business in 2003. That same year, he underwent gastric bypass surgery, losing over 100 pounds prior to Idol's 2004 season. Randy's extracurricular activities include a syndicated radio show, Randy Jackson's Hit List and the MTV show America's Best Dance Crew. In March of 2008 he released an album produced entirely by himself, titled Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1, which featured the single 'Dance Like There's No Tomorrow,' performed by Paula Abdul. Randy Jackson's 'dawg'-gie style guarantees that he'll be in the forefront of the industry long after the curtain falls on Idol.
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