Rockwell (musician)

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This article is about the 1980s musician. For other uses, see Rockwell.
Rockwell
Birth name Kennedy William Gordy
Also known as Kenneth Gordy
Born (1964-05-15) May 15, 1964 (age 50)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Pop, synthpop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, keyboards
Years active 1983–1991
Labels Motown

Kennedy William Gordy (born March 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is a pop artist who was signed to the Motown label.

Biography[edit]

Rockwell is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His father named him Kennedy William Gordy after John F. Kennedy and William "Smokey" Robinson.[1] To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he secured his record deal without his father's knowledge.[2] Motown actually came up with the name Rockwell and the young Gordy agreed to the change because he believed he "rocked well."

In 1984, Rockwell released his biggest hit single, "Somebody's Watching Me", featuring childhood friend Michael Jackson on guest vocals (notably in the chorus lyrics), and Jermaine Jackson singing back-up. "Somebody's Watching Me" became a Gold-certified million selling #2 smash hit in both the US and UK. Additionally, it held #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for five weeks. Follow-up singles underperformed, however, with single "Obscene Phone Caller" being Rockwell's only other Top 40 single. This follow-up single reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rockwell soon ended his musical career with Motown.

Rockwell appeared on Soul Train on February 2, 1985 (Season 14, Episode 17).

Rockwell was not the first member of the Gordy family to hit Billboard's Hot 100 as a recording artist. His uncle, Robert Gordy, reached the longer reaches of the chart in 1958 with "Everyone Was There," recording under the name of Bob Kayli.

Rockwell's paternal half-sister is actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick, the eldest child of Diana Ross. Rockwell is also closely related to the group LMFAO through his half-brother Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy, son of Berry Gordy and Nancy Leiviska) and his nephew SkyBlu (son of half-brother Berry Gordy IV and his wife Valerie Robeson).

In July 2010, Kennedy married Nicole Moore. In 2013 he filed for divorce on grounds of "irreconcilable differences". The couple have no children together. In the divorce file Rockwell is asking to not pay spousal support.[3]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[4]
US R&B
[4]
CAN
[5]
UK
[6]
Somebody's Watching Me 15 5 34 52
Captured
  • Release date: January 15, 1985
  • Label: Motown Records
120 52
The Genie
  • Release date: 1986
  • Label: Motown Records
59
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
[8]
US R&B
[8]
US Dan
[8]
AUT
[9]
CAN
[10]
NZ
[11]
SWI
[12]
UK
[6]
"Somebody's Watching Me" 1983 2 1 3 14 2 5 3 6 Somebody's Watching Me
"Obscene Phone Caller" 1984 35 79
"Knife"
"Taxman" 88
"He's a Cobra" 1985 65 Captured
"Peeping Tom"
"Tokyo"
"Carmé" 1986 46 The Genie
"Grow Up"
"Girlfriend" 1991
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gordy, Berry (1994). "Survival of the Fittest: 1960-1964". To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown (First ed.). New York: Headline Book Publishing. p. 184. ISBN 0-7472-1417-4. 
  2. ^ Rockwell st Allmusic
  3. ^ "R&B Singer Rockwell -- Somebody's Watching Me ... Divorce My Wife". TMZ.com. EHM Productions, Inc. June 29, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Rockwell > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Top Albums/CDs". [[{RPM (magazine)]]. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Rockwell". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  7. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - July 25, 2010: Rockwell certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  8. ^ a b c "allmusic ((( Rockwell > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  9. ^ "austriancharts.at - Austria Top 40". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  10. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles". RPM (magazine). Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  11. ^ "charts.org.nz - New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  13. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - July 25, 2010: Rockwell certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 

External links[edit]