Kennedy William Gordy (born May 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is a former American musician and singer-songwriter who was signed to the Motown label.
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, who was also signed to Motown, 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 the US, while also peaked at #6 in the 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 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.