When American Idol aired its first season in 2002, Randy Jackson and fellow judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul became an instant hit with the audience. By season 2, the Journey bassist was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery leading to a dramatic weight loss transformation.
Before his 2003 gastric bypass surgery, Randy weighed over 350 pounds. He shared more about his weight loss journey during a January 2021 interview on Today.
“I started on this health regimen many years ago while I was on Idol. I think [it was the] second season,” the Name That Tune star said. “Lost a ton of weight, started gaining it back, then went on my own journey to try and discover, ‘How do I keep it off? What do I do?'”
After the surgery, the record producer lost over 100 pounds and started an exercise regimen of Pilates and spinning.
“It’s a great jump starter. You lose a bunch of weight really fast, but maintaining’s another thing because you get there and your mind tells you, ‘OK, phew. I’m here now. I can start to party and bring out the cheesecakes,'” he told People during a May 2022 interview.
Randy later founded the company Unify Health Labs, a holistic health brand focused on improving gut health. The Louisiana native hoped to help “other people in their journey to get healthy — while sparing them the long confusing search I went through.”
The America’s Best Dance Crew producer went on to say that he is not a fan of diet culture and instead advises everyone to do what works best for them.
“I hate the word diet. I don’t use that anymore. Anybody that’s lost weight, you lose it and then you start eating and drinking more and it all starts coming back. That’s what started happening to me,” he said at the time. “I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to spend my life going through this.'”
In February 2021, Randy revealed during an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he had undergone back surgery. Simon, his longtime pal, had also undergone back surgery after falling off his electric bike in the courtyard of his Malibu home in August 2020.
“I also had spine surgery a year and a half or so ago, so it’s funny both he and I are having all these back pains,” Randy reflected at the time. “But he’s doing great. He’s really doing great.”
He and Simon have since made a full recovery. The musician made his return to American Idol in April 2022 for a special reunion episode with Paula. Randy looked dapper in a leopard print jacket and his signature thick-framed glasses during the episode.
Keep scrolling to see photos of Randy’s weight loss transformation.
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