'Name That Tune': Meet Randy Jackson, the bandleader of the iconic musical game show being revived by Fox

Jackson has recorded, produced and toured with many well-known artists and bands, ranging from Mariah Carey to 'N Sync and Whitney Houston


                            'Name That Tune': Meet Randy Jackson, the bandleader of the iconic musical game show being revived by Fox
Randy Jackson (Getty Images)

Bassist, singer and record producer Randall Darius Jackson began his career in the 1980s as a session musician playing bass guitar for an array of jazz, pop, rock and R&B performers.

In 1985, Keith Richards was asked to provide music for the Whoopi Goldberg comedy vehicle ‘Jumpin' Jack Flash’. Richards assembled an all-star band which included Aretha Franklin on piano and lead vocals and Jackson on bass guitar. This song was the fourth track on Aretha's 1986 album titled ‘Aretha’. Jackson can be seen in the song's video.
 
Jackson was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and graduated from Southern University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in music. Jackson has recorded, produced and toured with many well-known artists and bands, ranging from Mariah Carey (he has worked with her throughout her career, been her musical director for a number of her tours; he has formed part of her band during numerous performances including Live 8 in London in 2005) to 'N Sync and Whitney Houston. He produced Dionne Farris' critically acclaimed debut CD, ‘Wild-Seed Wild-Flower’, Céline Dion, Fergie, Stryper and Madonna.

On March 11, 2008, Jackson released an album produced entirely by himself, titled ‘Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1’. The album's release was preceded by the single ‘Dance Like There's No Tomorrow’ sung by Paula Abdul. 

Season 1 judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell speak onstage during FOX's 'American Idol' Finale For The Farewell Season at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016, in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

Starting in 2002, Jackson was one of the panel judges on the Fox Network reality television series ‘American Idol’, along with Paula Abdul (2002–2009), Simon Cowell (2002–2010), Kara DioGuardi (2009–2010), Ellen DeGeneres (2010), Jennifer Lopez (2011–2012), Steven Tyler (2011–2012), Nicki Minaj (2013), Mariah Carey (2013) and Keith Urban (2013). As a result of Cowell's departure, Jackson was left as the sole original judge on ‘American Idol’. His role was originally going to be reduced to that of a mentor, so the 2013 season would have all new judges, but it was later decided that he would remain as a judge for Season 12.

On May 9, 2013, Jackson announced that he would be leaving ‘American Idol’ after 12 seasons due to him wanting to focus on other business ventures. On September 3, 2013, it was announced that Jackson would replace Jimmy Lovine as the in-house mentor on ‘American Idol’. He departed the series for good in November 2014. Jackson produced ‘America's Best Dance Crew’, an American group dance competition and reality television show, which premiered on February 7, 2008, on MTV and was canceled in 2010 due to declining ratings.

Jackson's 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 daughter named Zoe and a son named Jordan. Jackson and Erika split in 2019 after she filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.

Jackson is all set to appear on the 2021 version of ‘Name That Tune’, a reboot of the vintage musical game show. It first premiered on NBC Radio in 1952. The show is produced by Fox Alternative Entertainment, Prestige Entertainment and Eureka Productions. Actress and singer Jane Krakowski will serve as host of the show which tests contestants’ music knowledge as they battle it out in an assortment of challenging musical games for cash and prizes.

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