Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (born July 29, 1977) is an American songwriter, record producer and musician. He has worked with a range of popular artists, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and the Spice Girls, and in 2011 he received two Grammy nominations.
Jerkins' father was an Evangelical pastor and he began playing piano at 5 years of age, following his brother and father who both played at church gatherings. At the age of 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.
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.
Jerkins has been married to singer, Joy Enriquez, since April 4, 2004, with whom he raises two children. Their first child, Rodney David Jr., was born on May 28, 2008, and their daughter, Heavenly Joy Jerkins, was born on November 17, 2009.
Jerkins has produced for Joe, Toni Braxton, Lindsay Lohan, Will Smith, Keyshia Cole, Brandy, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Mary Mary, 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, JYJ, Wonder Girls, Austin Brown, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Utada Hikaru and LMFAO.
He's currently producing songs for Justin Bieber and Nelly Furtado's forthcoming albums. Jerkins was a music producer and mentor on season 10 of American Idol.
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