Rockwell (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rockwell
Birth nameKennedy William Gordy
Also known asKenneth Gordy
Born (1964-03-15) March 15, 1964 (age 54)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments
Years active1983–1991
LabelsMotown

Kennedy William Gordy (born March 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is an American former musician and singer-songwriter who was signed to the Motown label.

Early life[edit]

Kennedy William Gordy aka Rockwell is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His father named him Kennedy William after John F. Kennedy and William "Smokey" Robinson.[1][2]

Career[edit]

To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he secured his record deal without his father's knowledge.[3] 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[4]. "Somebody's Watching Me" became a Gold-certified million selling #2 smash hit in the US, which also peaked at #6 in the 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 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.

Personal life[edit]

Rockwell is the son of Berry Gordy. 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 (Skyler Austen Gordy, son of half-brother Berry Gordy IV and his wife Valerie Robeson).[citation needed]

In July 2010, Rockwell married Nicole Moore. In 2013 he filed for divorce. The couple have no children together.[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[6]
US R&B
[6]
CAN
[7]
UK
[8]
Somebody's Watching Me 15 5 34 56
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
[10]
US R&B
[10]
US Dan
[10]
AUT
[11]
CAN
[12]
NZ
[13]
SWI
[14]
UK
[8]
"Somebody's Watching Me" 1984 2 1 3 14 2 5 3 6 Somebody's Watching Me
"Obscene Phone Caller" 35 79
"Knife"
"Taxman" 88
"He's a Cobra" 1985 108 65 Captured
"Peeping Tom"
"Tokyo"
"Carmé" 1986 46 The Genie
"Grow Up"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Filmography[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gordy, Berry (1994). "Survival of the Fittest: 1960–1964". To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown. New York: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7472-1417-4.
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen. "(The New York Times) IT TAKES STAR QUALITY TO SHARE THE JACKSON LIMELIGHT". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  3. ^ Rockwell at Allmusic
  4. ^ "How Rockwell Created Paranoid Pop Classic 'Somebody's Watching Me'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  5. ^ "R&B Singer Rockwell – Somebody's Watching Me ... Divorce My Wife". TMZ.com. EHM Productions, Inc. June 29, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Rockwell > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  7. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada: Top Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  8. ^ a b "Official Charts – Rockwell". The Official UK Charts Company - OfficialCharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  9. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – July 25, 2010: Rockwell certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  10. ^ a b c "allmusic ((( Rockwell > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  11. ^ "austriancharts.at – Austria Top 40". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  12. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles". RPM. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  13. ^ "charts.org.nz – New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  14. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  15. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – July 25, 2010: Rockwell certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. Retrieved 2010-07-25.

External links[edit]