Randy Jackson is gearing up for a busy 2013 that will see him return for an eleventh season as the longest continuous judge of "American Idol" as well as the release of an album from new "Idol" judge Mariah Carey, whom he also managed. But before his 2012 wraps up, Jackson is taking to HSN on Dec. 16 to debut the Randy Jackson Diamond Edition Guitar Collection.
Featuring designs by Jackson himself, packages will include the choice of a solid body electric or acoustic electric guitar to be paired with an instructional DVD featuring Jackson and guitar expert Scott Goldbaum, a 15W amp, a custom case and guitar strap and other features for less than $300. He will also be pitching designs from his Timepieces by Randy Jackson, a watch collection that incorporates diamonds, Swarovski crystals and colored dials and will retail from $95 to $395 to limited-edition pieces as high as $3,500.
Randy Talks Guitars
Of course, the Jackson-affiliated product with the most riding on it is the next album from Carey, a follow-up to 2009's underperforming "Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel." The project was preceded by the release of single "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" in August, featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill. Should it make the final tracklisting, "Triumphant" would be the first lead single from a Carey album not to chart on the Hot 100. The single peaked at No. 53 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and has sold 61,000 U.S. downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. An alternate "Vintage Throwback" mix of the song, however, went to No. 1 on the Dance Club/Play Songs chart, marking Carey's 16th No.1 on the tally.
Billboard caught up with Jackson for a few minutes last Thursday to hear more about the HSN sale in between updates on his now-canceled "America's Best Dance Crew" and details on "Idol" and Carey's next album.
You've sold products with HSN before. What's it like, and what made you want to add guitars to your collection?
We've sold Randy Jackson Timepieces at HSN, so I love them, I love that they are really about entertainment and storytelling for me. I've been playing the guitar since I was 13 - guitar and bass and keyboards, so I love that they loved being in the space and what they're doing musically.
Obviously you can't really sell a guitar without playing it. What can we expect on Dec. 16?
We're gonna be on there live where people can call in and ask questions. You may see us jamming on there. I've got a couple friends who can jam on this - just some friends of mine, not sure any people you would know, but brilliant, talented musicians. We're just gonna have fun. We wanna make it very informal and make it cool.
Given the huge success HSN has had this year with Lionel Richie and Rod Stewart, they can really help artists sell music. Think the same is true for guitars?
Exactly dude, that's what I'm saying. Lionel Riche, Christmas with Rod Stewart, they love entertainment, they love storytelling. This is a great Christmas thing they wanted this for the holiday - kids, adults, everybody can feel like they've got that inner rockstar thing with the Randy Jackson Collection. They're beautiful guitars - they play great, they sound great. We really put some time and effort into making sure they were made properly.
You're returning for a season of big change at "American Idol" this year, with Mariah joining you on the judges panel as well as of course Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. What can we expect?
"Idol" starts up January 16 on the lovable Fox network, so I'm looking forward to that whole new panel and great, amazingly talented kids. We're about to do another audition. I don't know how but we find some really talented kids every season.
Your other show, "America's Best Dance Crew," was just discontinued by MTV after seven seasons. How do you feel about the show coming to an end?
We had an amazing run with amazing partners. It was just an unbelievable show. "Dance Crew" will surface somewhere else, probably soon, you never know. But keep dancing, MTV!
Going back to Mariah for a second -- when can we expect an album?
We've got some hot new music, and there's gonna be a single some time soon. There'll be an album as well. We're talking about a world tour. There's a lot of stuff going on.
As you learned these last two years with Jennifer Lopez, having "Idol" as a platform during an album cycle can be really powerful. Was that the plan as well with Mariah?
For me, it's about Mariah being one of the greatest singers of all time. It's funny, these kids come on and they're trying to sing her songs in front of her. It tickles me, I just laugh. You got some bold kids out there today, man. She's making a very, very hot record, I'm really happy. It's gonna be a great 2013, dude, we gonna fire it up.
She's already worked with Rick Ross and Meek Mill. Any other collaborators you can confirm at this time?
[ Jackson's Publicist: I'm sorry, did you have any other questions about the guitars?]
Randy Jackson: The Randy Jackson Guitar Collection, dude. Best bang for your buck!