What Happened to Randy Jackson After ‘American Idol’? Health Battle, Weight Loss Update
Long before he joined the judging panel of American Idol in 2002, Randy Jackson had already established himself as a producer, artist and record executive. The Journey bassist has been pretty open about his health battle while navigating a career in Hollywood over the years. Scroll for details on what happened to the TV personality and where he is now.
What Happened to Randy Jackson?
Alongside costars Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the early seasons of American Idol were a ratings phenomenon. Randy helped discover unbelievable talents like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. However, he battled several illnesses and health setbacks during his time on the series. During the show’s second season, the Louisiana native was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. His diagnosis led him to start his weight loss journey.
“It’s a curse to be saddled with a disease that’s life-threatening and that you can’t completely get rid of (though you can certainly manage it),” Randy wrote in his book, Body With Soul. “But it’s a blessing to get that huge wake-up call.”
The Name That Tune star underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003 when he weighed over 350 pounds. He lost 114 pounds and shared his secret to maintaining the weight loss years later, including sticking to a five-meal-a-day plan that included a lot of fish and fresh vegetables and fruits.
Why Did Randy Jackson Leave ‘American Idol’?
In May 2013, Randy announced he was leaving American Idol after 12 seasons as a judge.
“To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season,” he said in a statement at the time. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry.”
Despite the announcement, he did return as a mentor for season 13 to take over Jimmy Iovine‘s role. The following season, Randy confirmed he would no longer be a part of the show’s cast.
“After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol,” the musician said in a statement to Deadline in November 2014. “I’m proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever. A true original, Idol started it all. Onto what’s next.”
Where Is Randy Jackson Now?
In the years following his American Idol exit, Randy joined the cast of the Name That Tune revival, serving as the bandleader. The guitarist has also opened up about how he has been able to maintain his weight loss and focus on eating healthier.
“If I really feel like I need to have a piece of candy, I have a small piece so that in my mind, I’m not saying, ‘No, no, no,'” he shared during a May 2022 interview with People. “The more you deny yourself, the more you’re going to go on a bender and have 18 candy bars without stopping at some point.”
The TV personality is also a family man. Randy is a dad to daughter Taylor from his marriage to his first wife, Elizabeth Jackson, and kids Zoe and Jordan from his marriage to his second wife, Erika Riker. And although his time on American Idol ended nearly a decade ago, he still keeps in touch with his former costars.
“Simon, Paula and I are all still very close. We’ll have dinner, we’ll chat on the phone,” Randy told Closer in April 2020. “We’ve been plotting [project] ideas for a couple years now. Maybe one of these years we’ll put something together. I talked to [Ryan] Seacrest a bit ago. If the four of us came back to Idol or a show like that, that would be interesting. We had some great chemistry.”