Steven Randall Jackson (born October 29, 1961) of The World Famous Jackson Family, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and dancer. Jackson is best known as a member of his family band, The Jacksons. Jackson is the second youngest of the nine performing Jackson siblings, after older brother Michael Jackson and before younger sister Janet Jackson.
Randy was born in Gary, Indiana to Joseph Jackson and Katherine Jackson. Nicknamed "Little Randy", Jackson was only three years old when the Jackson 5 was formed. While his brothers toured, Jackson honed his skills as a musician, mastering piano and percussion.
Although Randy performed in countless concerts, appearances and recordings with his brothers, Randy was not an original member of The Jackson 5. He first officially appeared live with his brothers at the end of 1971. The event was a Christmas show the Jackson 5 held for blind children. Although he was on every Jackson 5 tour from 1972 forward mainly playing the congas among other instruments, Randy did not officially join the family band until 1975 when they left Motown Records for Epic Records and older brother Jermaine chose to stay with Motown, prompting Randy to replace him. The Jackson 5 officially changed their name to The Jacksons when they signed with Epic due in part to the fact Motown owned the name The Jackson 5. Randy quickly became an integral part of the group with his wide range of musical talents in songwriting as well as being accomplished in many instruments. After leaving Motown, The Jacksons began writing and producing themselves and on the first 3 albums with Epic, Randy wrote and produced 15 songs.
Randy’s genuine love for music drove him to write many of their biggest hits. At the age of 16, already a prolific songwriter, Randy co-wrote The Jacksons' most successful single on Epic, "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" with his brother Michael. To this day, this song is one of the top 5 biggest selling singles in music history. In addition to singing and playing on the Jacksons' recordings, he worked closely with Michael in the writing and producing of his Off the Wall album.
With The Jacksons, Randy participated and performed on all of their projects and World Tours, including the Destiny World Tour in 1979, the Triumph Tour in 1981 and in 1984, the Jacksons toured the United States and Canada with ‘The Victory Tour.’ Beginning July 6 and ending on December 9, the Victory Tour included 100 concerts to an audience of approximately 2 million. The tour reportedly grossed $175 million and set a new record for the then-largest grossing tour. To this day, the tour still holds the record for the highest total attendance, which included 9 sold-out performances at the 60,000 seat Los Angeles venue, Dodger Stadium.
In 2001, all 6 brothers performed together at Madison Square Garden for 2 nights. A general estimate is that the group has sold close to a billion recordings.
As the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, the two-time Grammy Award-nominated Jacksons were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences causing the billboard charts to integrate for the first time and paving the way for the success of countless African American artists and leaders, to this day.
In 1979, Randy was seriously injured in a car crash and removed from his mutilated car with the ‘jaws of life’. His legs and feet were completely crushed. Doctors told him he would never walk again, let alone dance... a verdict Randy firmly refused to accept. In June 1980, Jackson appeared on the cover of the weekly African-American newsmagazine Jet. The cover headline read: "Randy Jackson Walks Again: Talks About His Future." By 1981, true to character, with unwavering perseverance and determination, Randy was able to participate fully, and even dance, in the Jacksons' ‘Triumph Tour’.
Solo Career - Randy & The Gypsys
After recording the 2300 Jackson Street album, the Jackson brothers focused on their individual projects. Randy formed his band, Randy & the Gypsys. and released his own critically-acclaimed album, as well as a fan favorite, titled, ‘Randy & The Gypsys’. In addition to singing and playing, Jackson either wrote or coproduced each of the nine songs on ‘Randy & the Gypsys’. Billboard reviewed this album in late 1989, and said it was a shame that it was on the same label (A&M) as Janet, because they knew this album was going to get buried and not promoted with Janet’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ coming out around the same time. Also at that time, A&M records was being sold to Universal and the ‘Randy & the Gypsys’ album was never promoted during the transition. Randy has had three charted titles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard Songs chart (one as a solo artist and two as part of ‘Randy & The Gypsys’). Of those three, 1990’s “Love You Honey” scored the highest at No. 16.
Total Multimedia, Inc.
In 1990, Randy Jackson and Philip Taylor Kramer (of the band ‘Iron Butterfly’) founded Total Multimedia, Inc. (Now TMMI) to develop powerful multimedia technologies and tools. Randy’s goal and vision was to use this technology to improve education as well as for entertainment. Together they held the exclusive worldwide license for fractal video compression and decompression for CD-ROM optical media from Iterated Systems Inc. of Atlanta. At the time, this technology was revolutionary and ground-breaking. In 1992, many years before the emergence of DVD’s, TMM was the first to develop video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM. They successfully put the first full-length feature film on a disc, “Star Wars: The Next Generation.” Ultimately the company was taken public and within five years, had a value of over 900 million. It was subsequently sold to MCI.
In March of 1993, Randy Jackson, 31, was briefly taken hostage by South American leftist guerrillas. U.S. officials in Washington have confirmed that, while visiting a friend in the interior of Colombia, Jackson was captured at a roadblock by the ELN rebel army, which frequently kidnaps and holds foreigners for ransom to raise funds. When the guerrillas did not recognize him, Jackson convinced them that he was a poor Jamaican evangelist. Released after eight hours, Jackson reported the incident to the U.S. Embassy, then fled the country. ELN leaders were reportedly chagrined later when they learned how big a fish they let escape and put a hit out on his life.
In 1997, Randy Jackson became president of his own record label, Modern Records. Modern Records’ artists included, among others, Stevie Nicks and Tiffany, as well as, The Jacksons. Randy held the position as CEO until 1999 when, ultimately, a difference in creative vision among board members led him to leave the label. The company was eventually dissolved.
Randy & Michael - Trial in Santa Maria, CA
In 2003 to mid-2005, Randy Jackson took over the management of his brother, Michael Jackson’s business affairs and legal issues and orchestrated his victory in his highly publicized trial in Santa Maria, California. Following his thorough analysis of the situation, Randy boldly removed the majority of Michael’s existing legal team and business management. He built a solid team of new people around his brother, including attorney Tom Mesereau, to work with him in order to unravel the chaotic and convoluted case that the prosecution, and others, had prepared to destroy Michael. On June 13, 2005, with Randy by his side, Michael was declared innocent of all charges. With his mission complete and his brother free, Randy relinquished the management of Michael’s business, by personal choice, in order spend time with his family and to focus on his own endeavors.
Disputed Will - The Estate of Michael Jackson
Following the tragic passing of his brother, Michael Jackson, in June 2009 and amidst the onslaught of media, lawyers and mass public attention, Randy and his family were presented with a will that initially, did not include a signature page. Later, when the signature page was produced, it created even more questions. As the family grieved and sought to make sense of Michael’s suspicious passing, the executors - as stated in this will - John Branca and John McClain with their attorney, Howard Weitzman, quickly moved forward to have this will accepted by the court and to proceed with executing the will and managing the Estate of Michael Jackson.
When talking to Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s Politics Nation, in 2012, Randy alleged that Michael's will is fake, questioning the date it was signed. “Michael was in New York with Sharpton on the date the will was allegedly signed. He cannot be in two places at one time. He did not sign that will." Randy said. “The siblings have questions about the will that are not being answered. This is not about money for us, this is not about being left out of the will. The will is a fake. They are trying to turn family members against family members." (LA Times, July 24, 2012)
Randy, his parents and many of his siblings have continually maintained that the will is fake and that the Executors and their Attorney have sought to divide the Jackson family, control them financially and professionally and eliminate them from any decisions regarding their brother for the executors’ own personal financial gain.
Randy & Janet
Randy and his sister, Janet Jackson, have always been very close and supportive siblings, a brother and sister team on stage since they were kids performing in Las Vegas and on TV shows such as ‘The Carol Burnett show’. In 2016, at Janet’s request, Randy came alongside her to consult on her career and business management as well as to support her through a difficult time in her personal life throughout her pregnancy and birth of her son and then subsequent separation from her husband.
In October 2017, Randy and Janet paid a visit to their childhood home in Gary, Indiana at 2300 Jackson Street. Randy and Janet spent time at the home and greeted fans and supporters before heading to the neighborhood high school their siblings attended, Roosevelt High, to give a pep-talk to students. They encouraged them to focus on their dreams and be active in pursuing them. When it came to the topic of following dreams, Janet advised students to “Stay focused and keep your dream”, while Randy added, “Be the best you can be, work hard and keep God in it.”
Randy and Janet continue to combine their talents working on various projects together and supporting each other through the many challenges of life, including the loss of their father, Joseph Jackson on June 27th, 2018.
The RanJack Group
In 2006, Randy founded THE RANJACK GROUP, headquartered in Los Angeles. President and CEO, Randy Jackson created the company to engage in a wide range of business related to entertainment, education and philanthropic endeavors. Randy is also in demand as a Strategic Business Advisor and Consultant to companies and celebrities. Never far from his musical roots, Randy continues to produce and record music.
Rhythm Nation Records
In 2018, Randy and his sister, Janet Jackson formed the independent label Rhythm Nation Records. On August 16, 2018, Randy and Janet announced that Rhythm Nation Records was partnering with independent music publisher, distributor and label Cinq Music. On August 17th, 2018, they released their first song on their label, "Made for Now." Randy Jackson is also a songwriter on the hit song.