Randy Jackson. biography
Born Randy Matthew Jackson on June 23, 1956, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and best known as a judge on American Idol, Jackson first showed interest in music at the age of 13 when he discovered the bass guitar and would sneak out of his house to the local nightclubs. He further developed his musical intrigue at Southern University and decided to pursue music professionally after graduating in 1979.
Jackson's career initially started rolling in 1983 when he began playing alongside prominent musicians like Bob Dylan as well as Journey. By 1986, Jackson had collaborated and recorded with Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Garcia, Madonna and Mariah Carey and continued to find his niche as a record producer with MCA Records and Columbia Records.
In 2002, Jackson landed his big break as a judge on a new music competition show called American Idol alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. The show was a huge hit and he quickly became a well-respected voice in the music industry, even releasing his secrets to success book What's Up Dawg? How to Become a Superstar in the Music Business (2004).
Going off his new interest for reality competition shows, Jackson teamed up with MTV to produce America's Next Best Dance Crew (2008) and went on to release an album made up of a collection of American Idol contestants with the help of Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey and many others.
Aside from reality TV, Jackson became a host for his syndicated radio show Randy Jackson's Hit List and has his own line of eyewear. After battling Type 2 diabetes and undergoing bypass surgery in 2003, the well-known producer released the health-advice book Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health Ever in 2008. He has gone on to immerse himself in charitable organizations, becoming the spokesperson for the American Heart Association's "Heart of Diabetes" campaign and developing the Randy Jackson Childhood Obesity Foundation.