Randall Darius “Randy” Jackson is an American bassist, singer, record producer, entrepreneur and television personality. He is best known as a judge on American Idol and executive producer for MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Jackson has won a Grammy Award as a producer.
Jackson played in bands with Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia. In the early 1980s he played on three albums for Jean-Luc Ponty and with the rock band Taxxi. From 1986 to 1987 he was a session musician for the rock group Journey. Jackson played on Journey’s 1986 album Raised on Radio. He moved to Italy in the late 1980s and played on a record by Italian pop star Zucchero. The record, Zucchero and the Randy Jackson Band, was produced by Corrado Rustici who played guitar with Jackson on many albums in the early 1980s. He also played with Billy Cobham.
Starting back in 2002, Jackson is one of the panel judges on the Fox Network reality television series American Idol, along with Paula Abdul , Simon Cowell), Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. As a result of Cowell’s departure, Jackson is 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 will have all new judges, but it was later decided that he will remain as a judge for season 12.