“American Idol” fans were thrilled to see Kelly Clarkson receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame surrounded by all three of the “Idol” judges who helped crown her as the show’s first winner in 2002. But supporters also expressed great concern over Randy Jackson’s surprisingly feeble appearance at the ceremony, particularly after videos of him struggling to walk started popping up online.
Fans React as Videos of Jackson Spread Online
Randy Jackson seemed to be in good spirits at Clarkson’s Walk of Fame ceremony on September 19, 2022, joking with Cowell and Abdul from his seat and smiling for photos with the group. But what most fans did not see during media coverage of the event was how much difficulty 66-year-old Jackson had with standing and walking independently.
While posing for photos, the music producer and bass guitarist tried to hide his cane behind him and held onto Cowell’s shoulder for much of the time. After the group of judges gave Clarkson hugs and dispersed, Cowell could be seen on the live stream video paying close attention to his friend, putting his arm around Jackson to steady him. Jackson then grabbed onto one of the poles holding up the overhead tent to get his balance.
By the following day, videos taken by others who attended the event began to pop up on social media, concerning fans.
In a YouTube video from celebritychaos.tv, Jackson is seen entering and exiting the event with an assistant and security guard, looking frail and unsteady on his feet.
But the most-viewed video has been on TikTok. Within 24 hours of the ceremony, a TikTok video posted by Lupe de Los Santoz, in which Jackson kindly says “See you later, dawg” to a well-wishing fan while slowly exiting the event, had been viewed over 2 million times. Viewers flooded the post with concern over Jackson’s health.
One viewer wrote, “My (heart) emotionally shattered Into pieces when I saw this…” and added a crying emoji.
Another commented, “omg!!! is he sick? wow what happened?!”
“Was I under a rock,” someone asked. “what’s going on with Randy?”
Fans also took to Twitter to voice their concerns and questions. One wrote, “damn man. what condition does randy jackson have? it makes me so sad just looking at him.”
But many social media users encouraged others to be kind and use their feeds for spreading good wishes and to support Jackson’s perserverance.
One Twitter user wrote, “I just saw the video of Randy Jackson. After some quick research I learned that nothing has been said, so the best we can do is give him well wishes, encouragement, positive vibes, prayer etc.”
In the comment section of the TikTok video, a viewer wrote, “He came out for Kelly (crying emoji) pretty brave of him to do knowing people would talk.”
Another commented, “God bless him as he fights through whatever it is. He is definitely pushing forward.”
Jackson Talked About His Health in April 2022
Hours after the Walk of Fame ceremony, Jackson posted a message of congratulations to Clarkson on Instagram, but didn’t address fans’ growing concerns about his health.
In the past, he’s been an open book about his health challenges. In 2003, Jackson was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and lost over 100 pounds with gastric bypass surgery. But in April 2022, he told Yahoo! Entertainment reporter Lyndsey Parker that the weight crept back up, so he had to find alternative ways to lose it again.
Jackson told her he tried countless diets, injections and even “drinking women’s urine,” but eventually found success with supplements he created with several doctors, which are part of the nutritional supplement company he co-founded called Unify Health Labs.
During that interview, recorded five months before the Walk of Fame event, he said of his vitamin company, “I love it. I think I look pretty good now!”
Also in April, Jackson told KTLA’s Sam Rubin that his body now compared to years ago is “like day and night.”
“It’s so funny,” he continued. “My doctor finally says to me, ‘Finally! you’re down to the weight chart where you’re supposed to be for your height.’ I don’t think I’ve ever been there in my life! But it’s great, listen, I feel great, it’s really good.”
Jackson Has Been Busy Performing & Tries Not to Care About Negative Comments
In his April interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Jackson said that fan speculation about how he looks comes with the territory of being famous.
“Hey man, you gotta give zero F’s or don’t even get on that stage,” he said, providing examples of the kinds of put-downs stars hear about their appearance. “Her eyes are too close together, his knees are knocking, his teeth are jacked up, his hair — he needs extensions, I don’t like his skin, he looks like he has a puffy belly. The audience rips you to shreds. So if you’re gonna take the oath and become a public person, get ready. Get ready.”
“That’s why I don’t understand how people get all bent out of shape. You wanted this job. They’re gonna talk about everything about you,” Jackson continued. “So that’s why the leaders, the real rock stars, you never seen them sweat. They don’t care what you say.”
Jackson has been active in the music scene in recent years. In the spring of 2022, he returned for a second season of serving as band leader on “Name That Tune” on FOX, sitting at the piano while filming the show in Dublin, Ireland.
The performer also returned to his old band, Journey, for the first time since 1986 to record their 15th album, Freedom, released in July. And he told Guitar World in August that he’s been working on his own album with a variety of musicians.
On September 22, Jackson is scheduled to appear on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” but fans shouldn’t expect him to address the viral videos, since the interview was likely recorded before Clarkson’s Walk of Fame event.