The record producer gained fame as one of the original judges on American Idol and had a knack for discovering amazing talent. But that success didn’t come without a price, as he suffered from some serious health issues over the years. His health journey started with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes back in 2002, which gave him a wake-up call and led to his decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery that same year. Since then, he has been an advocate for the chronic illness and regularly shares his weight loss secrets to help others.
Jackson is also a health-conscious actor, appearing in a handful of movies and even producing one in 2020 called Jena Six, which revolved around the controversial case of six black teenagers accused of beating a white classmate at Jena High School in Louisiana. He has also worked to promote healthy living with his company, Unify Health Labs, which focuses on creating dietary supplements that can aid in the fight against disease.
As a musician, Jackson continues to produce and play bass. His funky but workmanlike style has appeared on albums by the likes of Nick Cannon, Aretha Frankllin, Carrie Underwood, and Mariah Carey.
Although he won’t be returning to the judge’s chair for the next season of American Idol, he is still very much involved in the show. He serves as the bandleader for Fox’s Name That Tune Celebrity Edition and recently filmed a guest appearance alongside co-judge Simon Cowell.