Randy Jackson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. At age five, he started playing piano and guitar. Some of his earliest musical influences were musicians such as Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, and Led Zeppelin. In 1973, Jackson met Felix Hanemann and later on with Guy Gelso they formed the band Zebra.
Jack Douglas, who is best known for working with John Lennon and Aerosmith, produced their first album titled Zebra. The album went gold and was the fastest selling debut album in the history of Atlantic Records at that time. Over the next few of years, Zebra opened for such rock legends as Aerosmith, Journey, ZZ Top, Loverboy, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar and REO Speedwagon. The band, Zebra, has produced five albums as well as five videos with combined sales of over two million.
Throughout her childhood in Virginia, Mickie James was always something of a tomboy, as she enjoyed riding horses and dreaming of becoming a wrestler. In 1999, she made this dream a reality, starting her pro career under the name Alexis Laree. After years on the independent circuit, she started working for Total Nonstop Action in 2002, then signed with WWE a year later. In 2005, she debuted for WWE, and beat Tricia Status to win Wrestlemania 22. She would go on to win five Women’s Titles and one Divas Title, and her six championships are second all-time. In 2010, she returned to TNA Wrestling with the goal of becoming a Knockouts Champion, which she did three times.
James loves music as well, and in 2010, released a country album, Strangers and Angels, which included three songs that she herself co-wrote. Her music has received critical acclaim from Country Weekly and CMA Magazine, and led to TV appearances on Fox and Friends and Red Eye. Moreover, she has performed in concert with Rascal Flatts, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson and Randy Houser. In 2010, she released a single entitled “Hardcore Country,” which is also her walkup song. Three years later, her second album came out: Somebody’s Gonna Play Through Entertainment One Music, which includes three original songs.
In 2014, James gave birth to a son, Donovan, but she still travels the world, taking him with her. If there is anything James wants to tell her fans, it’s that “I just want to say thank you for all of your support. I love you. Without you I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and do it on the stage that I do it. I am forever grateful.”
On December 9, 2011 Carldell Johnson signed with the New Orleans Hornets training camp roster, where he became a home town favorite. After he was released from the New Orleans Hornets, Johnson returned to the Austin Toros where they won the NBA Development League Championship. Prior to signing with the New Orleans Hornets, Johnson was featured in an article written in the Austin American-Statesman in which his teammate Lance Thomas stated, “That Squeak’s selfless. He’s just happy being here. He’s always making someone smile.” Johnson himself was quoted as saying, “A lot of people might think, you know, five years in the D-League? But I’m excited. I’m excited to be playing basketball.” Since turning professional in 2006, he played for three different teams in Mexico and two in Belgium as well as having three different stints with the Austin Toros in the NBA Development League. He also has been a non-roster invitee of the San Antonio Spurs on two occasions. Carldell Johnson also participate with the New York Knicks mini camp in 2012. Later that year he played for the Atlanta Hawks during their 2012 pre-season.
When Johnson was seventeen years old, his father passed away of cancer. Johnson said that, “My whole life I’ve been trying to grind it out and work hard to get where I need to be. My father died from cancer, and I grew up in a tough neighborhood in New Orleans East where guys would get bored and find time to get into other things, like stealing cars and walking around looking for fights.
Johnson’s autobiography covers his faith and determination on both on and off the court. It also outlines how he overcame the hardships of living in New Orleans East as a child as well as the horrors he experienced during and after Hurricane Katrina, and his triumph of becoming an NBA player. His inspiring story will touch the hearts of many.