Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Today's Featured Artist...April 5, 2017...Rockwell (musician) (video + blog + links)

Rockwell (musician)

(Read all about Rockwell after the video)



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

Early life

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]

Career

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 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

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

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