Kennedy William Gordy (born March 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is a pop artist who was signed to the Motown label.
Rockwell is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His father named him Kennedy William Gordy after John F. Kennedy and William "Smokey" Robinson. To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he secured his record deal without his father's knowledge. Motown actually came up with the name Rockwell and the young Gordy agreed to the change because he believed he "rocked well."
In 1984, Rockwell released his biggest hit single, "Somebody's Watching Me", featuring childhood friend Michael Jackson on guest vocals (notably in the chorus lyrics), and Jermaine Jackson singing back-up. "Somebody's Watching Me" became a Gold-certified million selling #2 smash hit in both the US and UK. Additionally, it held #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for five weeks. Follow-up singles underperformed, however, with single "Obscene Phone Caller" being Rockwell's only other Top 40 single. This follow-up single reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rockwell soon ended his musical career with Motown.
Rockwell appeared on Soul Train on February 2, 1985 (Season 14, Episode 17).
Rockwell was not the first member of the Gordy family to hit Billboard's Hot 100 as a recording artist. His uncle, Robert Gordy, reached the longer reaches of the chart in 1958 with "Everyone Was There," recording under the name of Bob Kayli.
Rockwell's paternal half-sister is actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick, the eldest child of Diana Ross. Rockwell is also closely related to the group LMFAO through his half-brother Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy, son of Berry Gordy and Nancy Leiviska) and his nephew SkyBlu (son of half-brother Berry Gordy IV and his wife Valerie Robeson).
In July 2010, Kennedy married Nicole Moore. In 2013 he filed for divorce on grounds of "irreconcilable differences". The couple have no children together. In the divorce file Rockwell is asking to not pay spousal support.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license