Rodney Jerkins

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Rodney Jerkins
Rodney Darkchild Jerkins (11149414586).jpg
Jerkins in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRodney Roy Jerkins
Also known asDarkchild
Born (1977-07-29) July 29, 1977 (age 42)
Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • rapper
Years active1993–present
Associated acts

Rodney Roy Jerkins [1] (born July 29, 1977), also known by his stage name Darkchild, is an American record producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has collaborated with a broad range of popular artists, including Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Destiny's Child, Monica, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Toni Braxton, Britney Spears, Ludacris, Ciara, Lady Gaga, Baekhyun, and Justin Bieber.

Brandy Norwood American singer and actress from California

Brandy Rayana Norwood, known professionally by her mononym Brandy, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, she began her career as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. In 1993, Norwood signed with Atlantic Records. The following year, she released her self-titled debut album, which was certified quadruple Platinum in the US, selling six million copies worldwide. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles. She resumed her music career in 1998 with the wildly successful duet with fellow R&B contemporary Monica, "The Boy Is Mine", which went on to become the best selling female duet of all time, and one of the longest running number one singles in history. Her second album, Never Say Never, sold 16 million copies worldwide, featured two number one singles, and earned Norwood her first Grammy Award. This launched her into international stardom, with films, endorsements, sold out concert tours, and her own line of Barbie dolls.

Mary J. Blige American singer-songwriter

Mary Jane Blige is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. Her career began in 1989 when she signed to Uptown Records, becoming the youngest and first female artist on the label. She has released 13 studio albums, eight of which have achieved multi-platinum worldwide sales. Blige has sold over 80 million records, has won nine Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards and has also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its second original song "Mighty River" for Mudbound; she also received a nomination for the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, becoming the first person nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year.

Janet Jackson American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. A prominent figure in popular culture, she is known for sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, and elaborate stage shows.


Jerkins has won multiple Grammy Awards. Among his most successful productions are "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith, "The Boy Is Mine" and "What About Us?" by Brandy, "I Can Love You" and "Enough Cryin" by Mary J. Blige, "Daydreamin'" by Tatyana Ali, "Angel of Mine" by Monica, "It's Not Right but It's Okay" by Whitney Houston, "Say My Name" and "Cater 2 U" by Destiny's Child, "If You Had My Love" by Jennifer Lopez, "He Wasn't Man Enough" by Toni Braxton, "You Rock My World" by Michael Jackson, "One Wish" by Ray J, "Déjà Vu" by Beyoncé, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga, and "As Long as You Love Me" by Justin Bieber. [2] [3] [4]

Stay with Me (Sam Smith song) song by Sam Smith

"Stay with Me" is a song by English singer Sam Smith from his debut studio album In the Lonely Hour (2014). It was released in the United States on 14 April 2014 and in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2014. "Stay with Me" is a gospel-inspired ballad that details the protagonist pleading with his one-night stand not to leave him. The song was written by Smith, James Napier, and William Phillips, with the late Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne later receiving co-writer credits due to the song's noted melodic similarity to Petty's single "I Won't Back Down".

Sam Smith (singer) English singer-songwriter

Samuel Frederick Smith is an English singer and songwriter. He rose to fame in October 2012 when he was featured on Disclosure's breakthrough single "Latch", which peaked at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart. His subsequent feature—on Naughty Boy's "La La La"—earned him his first number one single in May 2013. In December 2013, he was nominated for the 2014 Brit Critics' Choice Award and the BBC's Sound of 2014 poll, both of which he won.

The Boy Is Mine (song) single

"The Boy Is Mine" is a 1998 duet by American singers Brandy and Monica written and composed by LaShawn Daniels, Japhe Tejeda, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, and Brandy with coproduction by Darkchild and Dallas Austin. It was released as the lead single from both singers' second albums from 1998, Never Say Never by Brandy and The Boy Is Mine by Monica. Inspired by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's 1982 duet "The Girl Is Mine", the lyrics of the mid-tempo R&B track revolve around two women fighting over a man.

Early life

Jerkins' father, Frederick, is an Evangelical pastor. Jerkins began playing piano at age five. He would follow his brother and father, who both played at church gatherings. At age 14, Jerkins was mentored by his idol, Teddy Riley, but he did not accept a contract offer to work with the producer due to an aspiration to build an "empire" without such support. [5]

Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity which maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus's atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity, and in spreading the Christian message. The movement has had a long presence in the Anglosphere before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries.

Teddy Riley American record producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and singer from New York

Edward Theodore Riley is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist credited with the creation of the new jack swing genre. He fused hip hop and R&B in his production work with artists including Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Samantha Mumba, Doug E. Fresh, Today, Heavy D & the Boyz, Hi-Five, Men of Vizion and Profyle, as well as his spearheaded groups Guy and Blackstreet. Riley's consistency and drum ideas had some influence on modern-day R&B, which since him contained more samples and rapping segments as well as singing, a practice which in part was reminiscent of the Jackson family. Along with Neo Soul style of singers such as Marvin Gaye, he has had a seminal influence on gospel and R&B music, which became more open to using rap and sound effects in their recordings.


Jerkins' first recorded output was a "gospel rap" collaboration with his brother, Fred Jerkins III, entitled On the Move. He later incorporated the name "Darkchild", at the age of 17, subsequently accepting a worldwide publishing deal with the EMI Music Corporation. The producer then proceeded to establish a commercial music career, initially working with artists such as Joe, Mary J. Blige and Brandy. [5]

Christian hip hop is a subgenre of hip hop music characterized by a Christian worldview, with the general purposes of evangelization, edifying some members of the church and/or simply entertaining. Christian hip hop music emerged from urban communities in the United States in the 1980s, when it existed almost exclusively in small underground scenes, with minimal formal industry promotion and little mainstream attention. It emphasizes the use of positive and uplifting messages to promote faith and belief.

Fred Jerkins III, also known as Uncle Freddie, is an American songwriter and record producer who is best known for his work with his brother Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. Jerkins has co-written several hit songs with Rodney Jerkins and LaShawn Daniels, among them "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica, "Say My Name" and "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child, "It's Not Right but It's Okay" by Whitney Houston, "Man Enough" by Toni Braxton, and multiple tracks from Michael Jackson's album Invincible. He has also produced a number of songs under the Darkchild imprint for artists such as Brandy, Shola Ama, Men Of Vizion, Keith Washington, & JoJo.

In the music industry, a music publisher is responsible for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Through an agreement called a publishing contract, a songwriter or composer "assigns" the copyright of their composition to a publishing company. In return, the company licenses compositions, helps monitor where compositions are used, collects royalties and distributes them to the composers. They also secure commissions for music and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television.


Jerkins has produced and written for Brandy, Patti LaBelle, Joe, The Saturdays, Toni Braxton, Vanessa Williams, Will Smith, Keyshia Cole, Monica, Michael Jackson, Ayumi Hamasaki, Cher, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Kierra Sheard, The Black Eyed Peas, Destiny's Child, Spice Girls, TLC, Janet Jackson, Danity Kane, Beyoncé, Linda Király, Lady Gaga, Cascada, Tamia, Pussycat Dolls, Whitney Houston, Natasha Bedingfield, Mary J. Blige, Lionel Richie, Tiffany Evans, JYJ, Wonder Girls, Austin Brown, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Utada Hikaru, Hala Al Turk, Nelly Furtado, Justin Bieber, Brian McKnight and LMFAO. [6] [7]

Patti LaBelle American singer-songwriter and actress

Patti LaBelle is an American singer, actress, and entrepreneur. LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and front woman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group's name change to Labelle in the early 1970s, they released the iconic disco song "Lady Marmalade" and the group later became the first African-American vocal group to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Joseph Lewis Thomas, known mononymously as Joe, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Raised in Opelika, Alabama, he later relocated to New Jersey. In 1992 he signed a record deal with Polygram Records. He rose to prominence after releasing his debut album Everything the following year. He followed it with a series of successful albums under Jive Records, including All That I Am (1997), the international bestseller My Name Is Joe (2000) as well as the multi-certified albums Better Days (2001) and And Then... (2003). Several songs from these albums became hit singles on the pop and R&B record charts, including the number-one hit "Stutter", the top ten entries "All the Things ", "Don't Wanna Be a Player", and "I Wanna Know" as well as his collaborations "Faded Pictures", "Thank God I Found You" and "Still Not a Player".

The Saturdays British-Irish girl group

The Saturdays are an English-Irish girl group based in London, England. The group formed during the summer of 2007 and have been on hiatus since 2014. The line up consists of Frankie Bridge, Una Healy, Rochelle Humes, Mollie King and Vanessa White. They were formed through Fascination Records, a sub-division of Polydor Records, who gave them an instant record deal with the label. As soon as the contract was finalised, the Saturdays went on tour with Girls Aloud during their Tangled Up Tour. The group's music style is pop, however throughout their career their management have experimented with dance-pop and electropop. Throughout their career, songwriters and producers Ina Wroldsen, Steve Mac, Camille Purcell and Quiz & Larossi have been heavily involved to help create their music.

In the 2010s, he has produced songs for Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Ayumi Hamasaki, The Saturdays' . Jerkins was a music executive and mentor on season 10 of American Idol .

Mariah Carey American singer and songwriter

Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and entrepreneur. Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" by the Guinness World Records, she is noted for her five-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, and signature use of the whistle register. She rose to fame in the early 1990s after signing to Columbia Records and releasing her eponymous debut album, which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 for eleven consecutive weeks. Soon after, Carey became the only artist ever to have their first five singles reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Vision of Love" to "Emotions".

Leona Lewis British singer-songwriter

Leona Louise Lewis is a British singer, songwriter, actress, model and activist. She was born and raised in the London Borough of Islington in London, where she attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. Lewis achieved national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music. Her winner's single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and it broke a world record for reaching 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes. In February 2007, Lewis signed a five-album contract in the United States with Clive Davis's record label, J Records.

JLS English pop/R&B group

JLS were an English pop/R&B group, which consisted of members Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Marvin Humes, and JB Gill, originally formed by Williams. They initially signed to Tracklacers production company New Track City and then went on to become runners-up of the fifth series of the ITV reality talent show The X Factor in 2008, coming second to Alexandra Burke. Following their appearance on The X Factor, JLS signed to Epic Records. Their first two singles "Beat Again" and "Everybody in Love" both went to number one on the UK Singles Chart.

When asked by Ryan Seacrest in 2013 the favourite people he's produced for he said "Definitely The Saturdays. Without a doubt. I had a lot of fun working with them and was really impressed with their voices. They were very down to earth and I like that a lot in an artist. I wish them all the best in America and think they could end up as big as The Spice Girls." [8]

In preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony, Jerkins produced a song featuring the Palestinian 2013 Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf.

In 2017, he produced Blind and Makings Of You for Tamar Braxton.

Record labels

In 1999, Jerkins joined Sony/Epic Records to promote power vocalist Rhona, Pop/R&B girl group So Plush and rapper Fats. Fats appeared on two tracks Jerkins produced for Michael Jackson's album Invincible , and So Plush released the single "Things I've Heard Before". Subsequently, So Plush's singles, "Damn" and "Things I've Heard Before", were pressed and made available as promos, and Rhona's album was even released in Japan. In 2005 Darkchild Records reappeared when Jerkins signed brand new acts including Shamari Fears, formerly of R&B group Blaque, female MC Asia Lee, dancehall artist Atiba, and gospel singer Anesha Birchett.

In 2006, he was appointed VP of Artists & repertoire (A&R) for The Island Def Jam Group. Jerkins released his wife Joy Enriquez's second album Atmosphere of Heaven, which features a religious direction, on his independent gospel imprint JoyFul Child Records. The Darkchild name has been loaned to Darkchild Gospel, a record company run by Jerkins' brother, Fred Jerkins III. [9] which released the latest album from VirtueTestimony.

Music Mogul, Inc.

In late 2008, Jerkins joined Nicholas Longano, Ray Brown, and Jonathan E. Eubanks in creating Music Mogul, Inc. [10] is an online portal where artists can communicate with their fans. Each quarter, members vote for the best video performances. [11] The top performers are then flown to Los Angeles to compete in front of a panel of celebrity judges. The winner gets a demo deal with Darkchild Productions. [12]

Personal life

Jerkins has been married to singer Joy Enriquez since April 4, 2004, and they have four children. [6] [13] He has resided in Galloway Township, New Jersey. [14]

In 2015, his five-year-old daughter Heavenly Joy was a contestant on season 10 of America's Got Talent . [15]

Singles discography

YearSongArtistChart position
R&B Hot 100 UK
1995"The Way That You Love" (Remix) Vanessa Williams 236752
1996"The Things That You Do" Gina Thompson 1241
1997"Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" Simone Hines 38
"Don't Wanna Be a Player" Joe 52516
"I Can Love You" Mary J. Blige (featuring Lil' Kim)228
"Don't Stop" No Authority 54
1998"Our Love is Stronger" Simbi Khali --30
"Let Me Return the Favor" Andrea Martin 3282
"Daydreamin'" Tatyana Ali 566
"The Boy Is Mine" Brandy and Monica 112
"Top of the World" Brandy (featuring Mase)2
"Revolution" Kirk Franklin (featuring Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins)59
"Angel of Mine" Monica 2155
"It's Not Right but It's Okay" Whitney Houston 743
"Angel in Disguise" Brandy 1772
1999"If You Had My Love" Jennifer Lopez 614
"Sunshine" Coko 1970
"Say My Name" Destiny's Child 113
"U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To)" (Darkchild Mix) Brandy (featuring Shaunta & Da Brat)2579
"Damn"So Plush (featuring Ja Rule)41
2000"He Wasn't Man Enough" Toni Braxton 125
"Let Love Lead the Way" Spice Girls 1
"Shining Star" Backstreet Boys
"If I Told You That" Whitney Houston & George Michael 9
"Time Limit" Hikaru Utada
2001"I Sings" Mary Mary (featuring BB Jay)68
"You Rock My World" Michael Jackson 13102
"Satisfied" Rhona
"Everything" Canela
"I Remember" (Remix) Debelah Morgan
"Celebrity" *NSYNC
2002"Overprotected" (Darkchild Remix) Britney Spears 864
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll"13
"What About Us?" Brandy 374
"All Eyez on Me" Monica 3269
"Get with Me"3rd Storee85
"If Only You Knew" Prymary Colorz 78
"Turntable" TLC
2003"I'm Good" Blaque 95
"All I Do" B5 71
2004"You Don't Know" Kierra "Kiki" Sheard 84
"Lose My Breath" Destiny's Child 1032
"One Wish" Ray J 31113
We’ve Had Enough Michael Jackson
2005"Cater 2 U" Destiny's Child 314
"What I Need" Ray J 58
2006"Enough Cryin'" Mary J. Blige 23246
"Hold Me Down" Danity Kane
"Need a Boss" Shareefa 1067
"Cry No More"43
"Déjà Vu" Beyoncé (featuring Jay-Z)141
"So Lonely" Mariah Carey (featuring Twista)65
"The One You Need" Megan Rochell (featuring Fabolous)41
"Can't Get Enough" Tamia 26
"Turn the Page" Bobby Valentino 63
2007"Be with Me" J. Holiday 83
"Can't Leave 'Em Alone" Ciara (featuring 50 Cent)1040109
"Shoulda Let You Go" Keyshia Cole 641
"Hey Hey Hey"Natasha
"So Sick"
"Feedback" Janet Jackson 3919
2008"What Them Girls Like" Ludacris (featuring Chris Brown & Sean Garrett)1733
"I'm Grown" Tiffany Evans (featuring Bow Wow)98
"Luv" Janet Jackson 34101
"So Over You" Ashanti 93
"Angel" Natasha Bedingfield 63
"Right Here (Departed)" Brandy 2234
"Long Distance"42101
"The Definition"116
2009"I Look So Good (Without You)" Jessie James 104
"Girls" Se7en (featuring Lil' Kim)
"Make Me" Janet Jackson 7173
"Telephone" Lady Gaga (featuring Beyoncé)31
"The One" Mary J. Blige (featuring Drake)3263
2010"Shake My" Three 6 Mafia (featuring Kalenna)75
"Perfect Nightmare" Shontelle
"I Hate That You Love Me" Dirty Money
"Target Practice" Austin Brown
2011"The One You Call" Keke Palmer
"Taking His Girl" Clyde McKnight
"What Are Words" Chris Medina 83
"Just Can't Get Enough" The Black Eyed Peas 33
"Stitch by Stitch" Javier Colon 17
"I Forgive You" Kelly Clarkson
"Turn the Lights Out" Priscilla Renea
2012"Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)" Nelly Furtado 14
"Spirit Indestructible"
"Parking Lot"
"Got Me Good" Ciara
"Die in Your Arms" Justin Bieber 1734
"As Long as You Love Me"116622
2013"Waiting for the Night" Nelly Furtado
"Bucket List"
"The Art of Letting Go" Mariah Carey 46
"Perfect World" Tone Damli
"My Heart Is Open" Maroon 5 (featuring Gwen Stefani)
"Roller Coaster"Justin Bieber
"Lease My Love" The Saturdays
2014"Xscape" Michael Jackson
Xscape (Original Version)
2017"Blind" Tamar Braxton
2018"Dose" Ciara
"Hard Place" H.E.R.

Appearances and production discography

Notable productions

Guest raps

Unreleased tracks

Video cameos

Web series

Jerkins is currently starring with Johnny Wright in a number of episodes of the Take the Stage web series. [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

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  14. Jackson, Vincent. "MUSIC / Jerkins Brothers Have Shot At Winning Grammys Tonight", Press of Atlantic City , February 23, 2000. Accessed December 28, 2010. "Local record producer Rodney Jerkins – who had a half dozen hits in 1999 – should walk out of the Grammy Awards ceremony tonight with either a Grammy award or a certificate... The Galloway Township resident, whose DarkChild recording studio is in Pleasantville..."
  15. "Rodney Jerkins' 5-Year-Old Daughter Heavenly Joy Auditions for 'America's Got Talent': Watch".
  16. Shaw, Lucas. "MySpace Meets 'American Idol' In New Singing Competition 'Take The Stage'". Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  17. Hampp, Andrew. "Johnny Wright, Rodney Jerkins Talk New MySpace Competition Series 'Take The Stage'". Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  18. Wieselman, Jarrett. "Building the Perfect Reality Competition". Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  19. "Take The Stage Singing Contest Webseries". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  20. "Take The Stage" . Retrieved August 28, 2012.