Desmond Child

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Desmond Child
Birth nameJohn Charles Barrett
Born(1953-10-28) October 28, 1953 (age 59)
Gainesville, Florida
GenresRock, pop, hard rock, heavy metal, disco, latin pop
OccupationsSongwriter, producer
Years active1975–present
Associated actsAerosmith, Bon Jovi
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Desmond Child
Birth nameJohn Charles Barrett
Born(1953-10-28) October 28, 1953 (age 59)
Gainesville, Florida
GenresRock, pop, hard rock, heavy metal, disco, latin pop
OccupationsSongwriter, producer
Years active1975–present
Associated actsAerosmith, Bon Jovi

Desmond Child (born John Charles Barrett, October 28, 1953) is an American musician, songwriter, and producer. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.



For nearly three decades, songwriter/producer Desmond Child has reigned as one of music's most successful creative forces. His list of accolades includes Grammy awards, 70 Top 40 singles, and songs that have sold over 300 million albums worldwide. His collaborations include Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler, Selena, Aerosmith, Scorpions, Ricky Martin, KISS, Kelly Clarkson, Dream Theater, Cher, Rosie Johnson and Alice Cooper. "Desmond's a chameleon", Aerosmith's Steven Tyler told Rolling Stone. "The first time we met, we wrote "Angel" in about an hour and 45 minutes - and I'm not bullshitting. The guy's a fucking genius."

Desmond Child was born in Gainesville, Florida, and raised in Miami and Ponce, Puerto Rico where his Cuban songwriter[1] mother, Elena Casals, taught him to play the piano at an early age.[2] In high school, Child formed his first band. It was an acoustic collaboration with a high school friend.[1] Child went on to attend Miami-Dade College. It was in Miami, that he formed the group 'Desmond Child and Rouge' in 1973 with singers Maria Vidal and Diana Grasselli. Soon after, he moved the group to New York City to pursue their musical dreams, where they recruited another singer, Myriam Valle. "My band Desmond Child and Rouge recorded two albums for Capitol in 1979 and we had a dance hit, "Our Love Is Insane", recalls Child. "But ultimately, we were doing something very different and urban. We weren't really understood by our label." "Our Love Is Insane" reached #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.

Child’s experience as a recording artist would soon play a role in his songwriting future. His songs caught the ear of Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley, who asked Desmond to co-write a track for the band's 1979 Dynasty album. The result was "I Was Made for Loving You", which is still one of the biggest hits in the KISS catalogue. Paul Stanley then passed Child's phone number to New Jersey rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Jon called Desmond and the three ended up in the basement of Sambora's parents' house, where they penned Bon Jovi's first number-one single, "You Give Love a Bad Name". The collaborations continued and they followed with two more chart-toppers, "Livin' on a Prayer" from the band's breakthrough album Slippery When Wet and "Bad Medicine" from the follow-up, New Jersey.

Child soon began duplicating the feat with other major artists. He hooked up with Aerosmith and wrote "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Angel" (from the their 1987 comeback album, Permanent Vacation), "What it Takes" (Pump, 1989), and "Crazy" (Get a Grip, 1993). During the same period, he co-wrote Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and also co-wrote all of the tracks on Alice Cooper's Trash LP (1989, including the hit single "Poison"). At this point, Child began branching out from his rock base, co-penning Michael Bolton’s "How Can We Be Lovers", as well as co-writing and producing "Just Like Jesse James" and "We All Sleep Alone" for Cher. In the midst of all of his success, he also found time to record the solo album, Discipline (Elektra, 1991), which contained his own Top 40 hit, "Love on a Rooftop". In 1993, Desmond wrote a song in Spanish, titled "Tú Serás la Historia de Mi Vida", for Colombian singer Shakira's second studio album Peligro. However, the song and the whole album itself lacked the production cohesion and it led the album as a commercial failure. In the late 1990s, Child returned to his Latin heritage via collaborations with Ricky Martin. Their efforts resulted in the number-one worldwide smash "Livin' La Vida Loca". The two also worked on "The Cup of Life", which was used as the official song of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The single reached the top of the charts in 25 countries.[3]

Despite having worked for nearly thirty years as a writer, producer, and artist, Child remains enthusiastic. "I think I was born with a certain drive and sense of destiny, that keeps me going", said Child in an interview with SongwriterUniverse. "Maybe it was, because I was born poor; I wanted to win for the family. I still put a lot of energy in what I do. [...] I try to live a lot, so I have new experiences, that I can write about."[4] More than twenty years after his partnership with KISS, Desmond Child remains in-demand. He has now worked with artists such as The Rasmus, Joss Stone, David Archuleta, Kelly Clarkson, Scorpions, Hilary Duff, Meat Loaf, and Ace Young. "The Desmond you don't know about," said Jon Bon Jovi, "is the one, who not only taught me the next level of songwriting, but so many of the true aspects of friendship: truth, honor and loyalty. We've been through a lot together - the ups and the downs... and the ups again."


Desmond Child & Rouge

"Our Love Is Insane" (#50, 1979)


For and with other artists

YearBand/ArtistSong(s) written/co-written/producedAlbum
1979Kiss"I Was Made for Lovin' You"Dynasty
1982Cher"When the Love is Gone", "Walk With Me", "The Book of Love"I Paralyze
1984Kiss"Heaven's on Fire", "Under the Gun", "I've Had Enough (Into the Fire)"Animalize
1985Kiss"King of the Mountain", "Who Wants to Be Lonely", "I'm Alive", "Radar for Love", "UH! All Night"Asylum
1986Bonnie Tyler"If You Were a Woman and I Was a Man", "Lovers Again"Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
1986Bon Jovi"Livin' on a Prayer", "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Without Love", "I'd Die For You"Slippery When Wet
1987Aerosmith"Angel", "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Heart's Done Time"Permanent Vacation
1987Cher"We All Sleep Alone", "Main Man", "Give Our Love a Fightin' Chance", "Perfection", "Working Girl"Cher
1987Jimmy Barnes"Waitin' for the Heartache", "Walk on"Freight Train Heart
1987John Waite"These Times are Hard for Lovers"Rover's Return
1987Kiss"Bang Bang You", "My Way", "Reason to Live"Crazy Nights
1987Jennifer Rush"Down to You", "Heart Wars"Heart Over Mind
1988Kiss"Let's Put the X in Sex", "(You Make Me) Rock Hard"Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
1988Bon Jovi"Bad Medicine", "Blood on Blood", "Born to Be My Baby", "Wild is the Wind"New Jersey
1988Joan Jett & The Blackhearts"I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Little Liar", "You Want In, I Want Out"Up Your Alley
1988Bonnie Tyler"Notes From America", "Hide Your Heart", "Save Up All Your Tears", "Take Another Look at Your Heart", also produced the albumHide Your Heart
1989Aerosmith"What It Takes", "F.I.N.E."Pump
1989Alice CooperEntire album, including "Poison"Trash
1989Animotion"Calling It Love"Room To Move
1989Michael Bolton"How Can We Be Lovers?" and "Love Cuts Deep", also produced the albumSoul Provider
1989Bonfire"The Price of Loving You"Point Blank
1989Cher"Just Like Jesse James", "Love on a Rooftop", "Emotional Fire", "Does Anybody Really Fall in Love Anymore?"Heart Of Stone
1989Ace Frehley"Hide Your Heart"Trouble Walkin'
1989Kiss"Hide Your Heart", "You Love Me to Hate You"Hot in the Shade
1989Robin Beck"Hide Your Heart", "Don't Lose Any Sleep", "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)", "Hold Back the Night", "Save Up All Your Tears", "Tears In The Rain"Trouble or Nothin'
1990Ratt"Givin' Yourself Away", "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose", "Lovin' You's A Dirty Job", "One Step Away", "Shame Shame Shame"Detonator
1991Kane RobertsEntire albumSaints and Sinners
1991Cher"Save Up All Your Tears"Love Hurts
1991Michael Bolton"Forever Isn't Long Enough", "New Love"Time, Love & Tenderness
1991Alice Cooper"Dangerous Tonight", "Might as Well Be on Mars"Hey Stoopid
1991Joan Jett & The Blackhearts"Ashes in the Wind", "The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)", "Lie to Me", "Don't Surrender", "Goodbye"Notorious
1992Bon Jovi"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", "Keep the Faith"Keep The Faith
1993Aerosmith"Crazy", "Flesh"Get a Grip
1993Shakira"Tú Serás la Historia de Mi Vida"Peligro
1993Steve Vai"In My Dreams With You"Sex & Religion
1994Joan Jett & The Blackhearts"As I Am", "You Got A Problem", "Brighter Day"Pure and Simple
1995Bon Jovi"Something for the Pain", "This Ain't a Love Song", "Hearts Breaking Even", "Diamond Ring"These Days
1995Chynna Phillips"I Live for you," "This Close," "Jewel in My Crown"Naked and Sacred
1995Roxette"You Don't Understand Me"Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!
1997Aerosmith"Hole in My Soul"Nine Lives
1997Chicago"All Roads Lead to You"The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II
1997Dream Theater"You Not Me"Falling into Infinity
1997Robbie Williams"Old Before I Die"Life Thru a Lens
1997Hanson"Weird"Middle of Nowhere
1998Billie Myers"Kiss the Rain"Growing, Pains
1999Bon Jovi"Real Life"EdTV Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1999Ricky Martin"Livin' La Vida Loca", "The Cup of Life"Ricky Martin
2000Bon Jovi"One Wild Night"Crush
2000Ricky Martin"She Bangs"Sound Loaded
2002Bon Jovi"All About Lovin' You", "Misunderstood", "The Distance"Bounce
2002Sakis Rouvas"Ola Kala", "The Light", "Disco Girl", also produced the albumOla Kala
2002Kelly Clarkson"Before Your Love"Thankful
2003Clay Aiken"Invisible", "Run to Me"Measure of a Man
2003La Ley"Más Allá"Libertad
2004Jesse McCartney"Because You Live"Beautiful Soul
2004Diana DeGarmo"Dreams"Blue Skies
2005Bon Jovi"Bells of Freedom", "Dirty Little Secret"Have a Nice Day
2005Vince Neil"Promise Me"-
2005Amanda Stott"Homeless Heart"Chasing the Sky
2005Lindsay Lohan"I Live for the Day"A Little More Personal (Raw)
2006Meat Loaf"The Monster Is Loose", "Blind as a Bat", "Monstro", "Alive", "If God Could Talk", "What About Love?"Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
2006Paul Stanley"All About You", "Lift", "Live to Win", "Wake Up Screaming", "Where Angels Dare"Live to Win
2007Mika"Erase"Life in Cartoon Motion
2007Sebastian Bach"Falling into You"Angel Down
2007Bon Jovi"(You Want to) Make a Memory"Lost Highway
2007Scorpions"Hour I", "The Game of Life", "The Future Never Dies", "You're Lovin' Me to Death", "321", "Love Will Keep Us Alive", "We Will Rise Again", "Your Last Song", "Love Is War", "The Cross", "Humanity", "Cold"Humanity: Hour I
2008Ace Young"Addicted", "A Hard Hand to Hold", "Where Will You Go", "How You Gonna Spend You Live", "The Girl That Got Away", "Dirty Mind", "The Gift"Ace Young
2008Katy Perry"Waking Up in Vegas"One of the Boys
2008The RasmusEntire album, including "Livin' in a World Without You"Black Roses
2009Bon Jovi"Brokenpromiseland", "Fast Cars", "Happy Now", "Learn to Love"The Circle
2009Margaret Cho"I Cho Am a Woman"I Cho Am a Woman (single)
2009Tokio Hotel"Zoom/Zoom into Me"Humanoid
2009The Stunners"Santa Bring My Soldier Home"(Santa Bring My Soldier Home-Single)
2010Tokio Hotel and Kerli"Strange"Almost Alice
2010Meat Loaf"Elvis in Vegas"Hang Cool Teddy Bear
2011Ricky MartinAll Songs of the AlbumMusica + Alma + Sexo
2011Alice Cooper"I Am Made of You", "The Underture"Welcome 2 My Nightmare
2012Porcelain Black"Rock Angels"Rock of Ages (film)
2012Aerosmith"Another Last Goodbye"Music From Another Dimension!

Personal life

Child lives in Nashville, TN with his partner, Curtis Shaw, and their twin sons, Roman and Nyro.[5][6]

The track "The Truth Comes Out" from Desmond Child & Rouge's second album Runners in the Night (1979) was written about 'coming out' to his girlfriend and band member, Maria Vidal.

The song "A Ray of Hope", written by Don Paul Yowell, was recorded by Child as a tribute to his younger brother, Joey, who died in January 1991 of AIDS-related complications.

The lyrics to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" were inspired, in part on Desmond's life in late 1970s New York. He was living with then-girlfriend and Desmond Child & Rouge bandmate, Maria Vidal, working as a New York taxi cab driver trying to make ends meet, while Vidal was a waitress nicknamed Gina. In the evening they were musicians.


Desmond is published by Universal Music Publishing worldwide and managed by Lucas Keller at The Collective.

See also


  1. ^ a b [1] Biography at Song Writer
  2. ^ [2] Biography at
  3. ^ [3] Biography at Musicians
  4. ^ Kawashima, Dale. "Desmond Child Continues Great String of Hits, from Aerosmith & Bon Jovi to Ricky Martin". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  5. ^ Variety Staff "Births" Variety Los Angeles, 12 August 2002. Retrieved on 2 December 2012.
  6. ^ Leslie, Joey "Gay rights rally in Nashville draws more than 200 people", Out & About Newspaper, Nashville, 15 November 2008. Retrieved on 2 December 2012.

External links