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Randy Jackson Close to Deal to Manage Mariah Carey (Exclusive)

Under New Management
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images

The "American Idol" judge and frequent collaborator would step in to guide the Grammy-winning superstar's storied career.

Randy Jackson is adding an A-lister to his dawg pound. The American Idol judge is negotiating a deal to manage Mariah Carey's career, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The duo know each other from their Columbia Records days when Jackson was vice president of A&R during the 1990s and Carey was signed to the label from 1988 to 2001.

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Over the years, Jackson has produced, co-written and appeared on many Carey recordings. He’s also played bass for the superstar both in the studio and on the road. Among his Carey credits: Jackson wrote and produced two songs for her 2001 film, Glitter. On her 2002 Island Def Jam debut Charmbracelet, Jackson is listed as composer, producer and percussionist while on her 2005 smash Emancipation of Mimi, he returned to play bass and also appears in the video to Carey’s cover of Def Leppard’s “Bringin' on the Heartbreak.” Throughout her career, he has served as Carey’s musical director and most recently, he produced her 2010 Christmas album, Merry Christmas II You.

Carey, who gave birth to twins in April, was previously signed to Chris Lighty’s Violator Entertainment, which represents such artists as 50 Cent, LL Cool J and Soulja Boy. In September, the company merged with Primary Wave, management home to Cee-Lo Green and Eric Benet.

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Jackson is no stranger to the management game, having worked with funk-flavored rocker Nikka Costa, soul singer Van Hunt and North Carolina-based band Paper Tongues, who are signed to Universal Music-owned A&M/Octone Records. He's one of several notable musicians who also guide the careers of others. Back in the 1990s, when he was known as Puff Daddy, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs managed rapper Notorious B.I.G. More recently, he guided Making the Band winners Danity Kane and was reportedly working with Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross. Jay-Z, by virtue of running management company RocNation, has a hand in the careers of Rihanna and Willow Smith. Usher, in partnership with Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun, can also lay claim to some of the pop phenom's success. 

On Nov. 2, Jackson was in full management mode as he accompanied Carey to film the music video for "All I Want For Christmas Is You," her duet with Bieber, which appears on his Under the Mistletoe album (out now). The nine-hour night shoot took place at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City and, according to observers, Jackson stayed for the duration. A few days later, he was seen at Carey’s label offices where he was taking meetings. Says a source: "He’s very much in the mix."