||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2008)|
|Birth name||John Charles Barrett|
October 28, 1953 |
|Genres||Pop rock, adult contemporary, heavy metal, disco, latin pop|
|Associated acts||Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Kiss|
For nearly three decades, songwriter/producer Desmond Child has reigned as one of music's most successful creative forces. His list of accolades includes Grammy awards, 70 Top 40 singles, and songs that have sold over 300 million albums worldwide. His collaborations include Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler, Michael Bolton, Selena, Aerosmith, Sakis Rouvas, Scorpions, Ricky Martin, KISS, Kelly Clarkson, Bonfire, Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Kane Roberts, Ratt, SouthGang, Cher, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Roxette, Tina Turner and Alice Cooper. "Desmond's a chameleon", Aerosmith's Steven Tyler told Rolling Stone. "The first time we met, we wrote "Angel" in about an hour and 45 minutes - and I'm not bullshitting. The guy's a fucking genius."
Desmond Child was born in Gainesville, Florida, and raised in Miami and Ponce, Puerto Rico where his Cuban songwriter mother, Elena Casals, taught him to play the piano at an early age. In high school, Child formed his first band. It was an acoustic collaboration with a high school friend. Child went on to attend Miami-Dade College. It was in Miami, that he formed the group 'Desmond Child and Rouge' in 1973 with singers Maria Vidal and Diana Grasselli. Soon after, he moved the group to New York City to pursue their musical dreams, where they recruited another singer, Myriam Valle. "My band Desmond Child and Rouge recorded two albums for Capitol in 1979 and we had a dance hit, "Our Love Is Insane", recalls Child. "But ultimately, we were doing something very different and urban. We weren't really understood by our label." "Our Love Is Insane" reached #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.
Child’s experience as a recording artist would soon play a role in his songwriting future. His songs caught the ear of KISS guitarist Paul Stanley, who asked Desmond to co-write a track for the band's 1979 Dynasty album. The result was "I Was Made for Loving You", which is still one of the biggest hits in the KISS catalogue. Paul Stanley then passed Child's phone number to New Jersey rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Jon called Desmond and the three ended up in the basement of Sambora's parents' house, where they penned Bon Jovi's first number-one single, "You Give Love a Bad Name". The collaborations continued and they followed with two more chart-toppers, "Livin' on a Prayer" from the band's breakthrough album Slippery When Wet and "Bad Medicine" from the follow-up, New Jersey.
Child soon began duplicating the feat with other major artists. He hooked up with Aerosmith and wrote "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Angel" (from the their 1987 comeback album, Permanent Vacation), "What it Takes" (Pump, 1989), and "Crazy" (Get a Grip, 1993). During the same period, he co-wrote Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and also co-wrote all of the tracks on Alice Cooper's Trash LP (1989, including the hit single "Poison"). At this point, Child began branching out from his rock base, co-penning Michael Bolton’s "How Can We Be Lovers", as well as co-writing and producing "Just Like Jesse James" and "We All Sleep Alone" for Cher. In the midst of all of his success, he also found time to record the solo album, Discipline (Elektra, 1991), which contained his own Top 40 hit, "Love on a Rooftop". In 1993, Desmond wrote a song in Spanish, titled "Tú Serás la Historia de Mi Vida", for Colombian singer Shakira's second studio album Peligro. However, the song and the whole album itself lacked the production cohesion and it led the album as a commercial failure. In the late 1990s, Child returned to his Latin heritage via collaborations with Ricky Martin. Their efforts resulted in the number-one worldwide smash "Livin' La Vida Loca". The two also worked on "The Cup of Life", which was used as the official song of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The single reached the top of the charts in 25 countries.
Despite having worked for nearly 30 years as a writer, producer, and artist, Child remains enthusiastic. "I think I was born with a certain drive and sense of destiny, that keeps me going", said Child in an interview with SongwriterUniverse. "Maybe it was, because I was born poor; I wanted to win for the family. I still put a lot of energy in what I do. [...] I try to live a lot, so I have new experiences, that I can write about." More than twenty years after his partnership with KISS, Desmond Child remains in-demand. He has now worked with artists such as The Rasmus, Joss Stone, David Archuleta, Play (group), Kelly Clarkson, Scorpions, Hilary Duff, Meat Loaf, and Ace Young. "The Desmond you don't know about," said Jon Bon Jovi, "is the one, who not only taught me the next level of songwriting, but so many of the true aspects of friendship: truth, honor and loyalty. We've been through a lot together - the ups and the downs... and the ups again."
Desmond Child & Rouge
"Our Love Is Insane" (#50, 1979)
For and with other artists
|1979||KISS||"I Was Made for Lovin' You"||Dynasty|
|1982||Cher||"When the Love is Gone", "Walk With Me", "The Book of Love"||I Paralyze|
|1984||KISS||"Heaven's on Fire", "Under the Gun", "I've Had Enough (Into the Fire)"||Animalize|
|1985||KISS||"King of the Mountain", "Who Wants to Be Lonely", "I'm Alive", "Radar for Love", "UH! All Night"||Asylum|
|1986||Bonnie Tyler||"If You Were a Woman and I Was a Man", "Lovers Again"||Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire|
|1986||Bon Jovi||"Livin' on a Prayer", "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Without Love", "I'd Die For You"||Slippery When Wet|
|1987||Aerosmith||"Angel", "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Heart's Done Time"||Permanent Vacation|
|1987||Cher||"We All Sleep Alone", "Main Man", "Give Our Love a Fightin' Chance", "Perfection", "Working Girl"||Cher|
|1987||Jimmy Barnes||"Waitin' for the Heartache", "Walk on"||Freight Train Heart|
|1987||John Waite||"These Times are Hard for Lovers"||Rover's Return|
|1987||KISS||"Bang Bang You", "My Way", "Reason to Live"||Crazy Nights|
|1987||Jennifer Rush||"Down to You", "Heart Wars"||Heart Over Mind|
|1987||Ronnie Spector||"Love on a Rooftop"||Unfinished Business|
|1988||KISS||"Let's Put the X in Sex", "(You Make Me) Rock Hard"||Smashes, Thrashes & Hits|
|1988||Bon Jovi||"Bad Medicine", "Blood on Blood", "Born to Be My Baby", "Wild is the Wind"||New Jersey|
|1988||Joan Jett & The Blackhearts||"I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Little Liar", "You Want In, I Want Out"||Up Your Alley|
|1988||Bonnie Tyler||"Notes From America", "Hide Your Heart", "Save Up All Your Tears", "Take Another Look at Your Heart", also produced the album||Hide Your Heart|
|1989||Aerosmith||"What It Takes", "F.I.N.E."||Pump|
|1989||Alice Cooper||Entire album, including "Poison"||Trash|
|1989||Animotion||"Calling It Love"||Room To Move|
|1989||Michael Bolton||"How Can We Be Lovers?" and "Love Cuts Deep", also produced the album||Soul Provider|
|1989||Bonfire||"The Price of Loving You"||Point Blank|
|1989||Cher||"Just Like Jesse James", "Love on a Rooftop", "Emotional Fire", "Does Anybody Really Fall in Love Anymore?"||Heart Of Stone|
|1989||Ace Frehley||"Hide Your Heart"||Trouble Walkin'|
|1989||KISS||"Hide Your Heart", "You Love Me to Hate You"||Hot in the Shade|
|1989||Robin Beck||"Hide Your Heart", "Don't Lose Any Sleep", "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)", "Hold Back the Night", "Save Up All Your Tears", "Tears In The Rain"||Trouble or Nothin'|
|1990||Ratt||"Givin' Yourself Away", "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose", "Lovin' You's A Dirty Job", "One Step Away", "Shame Shame Shame"||Detonator|
|1991||Kane Roberts||Entire album||Saints and Sinners|
|1991||Cher||"Save Up All Your Tears"||Love Hurts|
|1991||Michael Bolton||"Forever Isn't Long Enough", "New Love"||Time, Love & Tenderness|
|1991||Alice Cooper||"Dangerous Tonight", "Might as Well Be on Mars"||Hey Stoopid|
|1991||Joan Jett & The Blackhearts||"Ashes in the Wind", "The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)", "Lie to Me", "Don't Surrender", "Goodbye"||Notorious|
|1992||Bon Jovi||"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", "Keep the Faith"||Keep The Faith|
|1993||Aerosmith||"Crazy", "Flesh"||Get a Grip|
|1993||Steve Vai||"In My Dreams With You"||Sex & Religion|
|1994||Joan Jett & The Blackhearts||"As I Am", "You Got A Problem", "Brighter Day"||Pure and Simple|
|1995||Bon Jovi||"Something for the Pain", "This Ain't a Love Song", "Hearts Breaking Even", "Diamond Ring"||These Days|
|1995||Chynna Phillips||"I Live for you," "This Close," "Jewel in My Crown"||Naked and Sacred|
|1995||Roxette||"You Don't Understand Me"||Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!|
|1997||Aerosmith||"Hole in My Soul"||Nine Lives|
|1997||Chicago||"All Roads Lead to You"||The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II|
|1997||Dream Theater||"You Not Me"||Falling into Infinity|
|1997||Robbie Williams||"Old Before I Die"||Life Thru a Lens|
|1997||Hanson||"Weird"||Middle of Nowhere|
|1998||Billie Myers||"Kiss the Rain"||Growing, Pains|
|1999||Bon Jovi||"Real Life"||EdTV Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|1999||Ricky Martin||"Livin' La Vida Loca", "The Cup of Life"||Ricky Martin|
|2000||Bon Jovi||"One Wild Night"||Crush|
|2000||Ricky Martin||"She Bangs"||Sound Loaded|
|2002||Bon Jovi||"All About Lovin' You", "Misunderstood", "The Distance"||Bounce|
|2002||Sakis Rouvas||"Ola Kala", "The Light", "Disco Girl", also produced the album||Ola Kala|
|2002||Kelly Clarkson||"Before Your Love"||Thankful|
|2003||Clay Aiken||"Invisible", "Run to Me"||Measure of a Man|
|2003||La Ley||"Más Allá"||Libertad|
|2004||Alejandra Guzmán||"Lipstick ", "Sálvame", "Hoy Me Voy a Querer", "Tengo Derecho a Estar Mal", "Mundos", "Un Juego Más", "Tu Corazón", "Supersexitada"||Lipstick|
|2004||Jesse McCartney||"Because You Live"||Beautiful Soul|
|2004||Diana DeGarmo||"Dreams"||Blue Skies|
|2005||Bon Jovi||"Bells of Freedom", "Dirty Little Secret"||Have a Nice Day|
|2005||Vince Neil||"Promise Me"||-|
|2005||Amanda Stott||"Homeless Heart"||Chasing the Sky|
|2005||Lindsay Lohan||"I Live for the Day"||A Little More Personal (Raw)|
|2006||Meat Loaf||"The Monster Is Loose", "Blind as a Bat", "Monstro", "Alive", "If God Could Talk", "What About Love?"||Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose|
|2006||Paul Stanley||"All About You", "Lift", "Live to Win", "Wake Up Screaming", "Where Angels Dare"||Live to Win|
|2007||Sebastian Bach||"Falling into You"||Angel Down|
|2007||Bon Jovi||"(You Want to) Make a Memory"||Lost Highway|
|2007||Scorpions||"Hour I", "The Game of Life", "The Future Never Dies", "You're Lovin' Me to Death", "321", "Love Will Keep Us Alive", "We Will Rise Again", "Your Last Song", "Love Is War", "The Cross", "Humanity", "Cold"||Humanity: Hour I|
|2008||Ace Young||"Addicted", "A Hard Hand to Hold", "Where Will You Go", "How You Gonna Spend You Live", "The Girl That Got Away", "Dirty Mind", "The Gift"||Ace Young|
|2008||Katy Perry||"Waking Up in Vegas"||One of the Boys|
|2008||The Rasmus||Entire album, including "Livin' in a World Without You"||Black Roses|
|2009||Bon Jovi||"Brokenpromiseland", "Fast Cars", "Happy Now", "Learn to Love"||The Circle|
|2009||Margaret Cho||"I Cho Am a Woman"||I Cho Am a Woman (single)|
|2009||Tokio Hotel||"Zoom/Zoom into Me"||Humanoid|
|2009||The Stunners||"Santa Bring My Soldier Home"||(Santa Bring My Soldier Home-Single)|
|2010||Tokio Hotel and Kerli||"Strange"||Almost Alice|
|2010||Meat Loaf||"Elvis in Vegas"||Hang Cool Teddy Bear|
|2011||Ricky Martin||All Songs of the Album||Musica + Alma + Sexo|
|2011||Alice Cooper||"I Am Made of You", "The Underture"||Welcome 2 My Nightmare|
|2012||Porcelain Black||"Rock Angels"||Rock of Ages (film)|
|2012||Aerosmith||"Another Last Goodbye"||Music From Another Dimension!|
|2013||Sick Puppies||"There's No Going Back"||Connect|
|2013||Bon Jovi||"Army of One"||What About Now|
|2013||Bonnie Tyler||"Believe in Me", "Stubborn"||Rocks and Honey|
Child lives in Nashville, TN with his husband, Curtis Shaw, and their twin sons, Roman and Nyro. Child and Shaw's struggle to have a baby via surrogacy is recounted in the documentary Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro.
The track "The Truth Comes Out" from Desmond Child & Rouge's second album Runners in the Night (1979) was written about 'coming out' to his girlfriend and band member, Maria Vidal.
The song "A Ray of Hope", written by Don Paul Yowell, was recorded by Child as a tribute to his younger brother, Joey, who died in January 1991 of AIDS-related complications.
The lyrics to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" were inspired in part by Desmond's life in late 1970s New York. He was living with then-girlfriend and Desmond Child & Rouge bandmate, Maria Vidal, working as a New York taxi cab driver trying to make ends meet, while Vidal was a waitress nicknamed Gina. In the evening they were musicians.
Desmond is published by Universal Music Publishing worldwide and managed by Lucas Keller at The Collective.
-  Biography at Song Writer Universe.com
-  Biography at Starplus.com
-  Biography at Musicians Guide.com
- Kawashima, Dale. "Desmond Child Continues Great String of Hits, from Aerosmith & Bon Jovi to Ricky Martin". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "Founders". Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Variety Staff "Births" Variety Los Angeles, 12 August 2002. Retrieved on 2 December 2012.
- Leslie, Joey "Gay rights rally in Nashville draws more than 200 people", Out & About Newspaper, Nashville, 15 November 2008. Retrieved on 2 December 2012.
- Official website
- Desmond Child at the Internet Movie Database
- Songwriting Tips From The Man Who Penned Over 70 Top 40 Hits - Audio interview