Full name: Randall Darius Jackson
Nickname(s): Randy, The Dawg, The Emperor
Date of birth: June 23, 1956
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Currently resides in: Los Angeles, California
Wife: Erika Riker Jackson
Children: Taylor (daugher, born 1990) with his first wife, Elizabeth Jackson; Zoe (daughter, born 1996) and Jordan (son, born 1998) with his current wife
Resume highlights: Bassist, singer, music producer, American Idol judge, America's Best Dance Crew executive producer
Bet you didn't know... Randy is the cousin of actor Samuel L. Jackson, but he is not related to the late, great Michael.
Before American Idol:
If Randy Jackson seems excited when a singer from Louisiana auditions for the show, it's probably because he's from Louisiana himself. When Randy was just a little "dawg" growing up in Baton Rouge, he discovered he had a passion for music — in fact, he started playing the bass guitar when he was only 13 years old!
It's a good thing Randy started strumming as a kid. His skills on the bass led to his big break in the 1980s, when he joined the popular rock band Journey. But guitar wasn't Randy’s only talent. As a top-notch record producer, he has worked with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and other mega-artists. To cement his place in Hollywood as a music mogul, Randy served as vice president of A&R at Columbia Records and senior vice president of A&R at MCA Records.
Ryan Seacrest isn't the only American Idol star busy hosting radio shows and producing reality TV these days. Outside of his responsibilities for FOX, Randy hosts Randy Jackson's Hit List, a syndicated Top 40 music countdown show, and produces America's Best Dance Crew, a reality dance competition on MTV.