Desmond Child

Songwriter Desmond Child grew up in Miami Beach, FL, where his Cuban songwriter mother taught her son to play the piano at an early age. Influenced by Otis Redding and Laura Nyro, he was inspired to start a band in high school called Night Child with singer and guitarist Debra Walls. They disbanded almost directly before they got a record deal, but in 1973 Child moved on to a new group, Desmond Child & Rouge, with singers Maria Vidal and Diana Grasselli. After developing a loyal following in the New York City club scene, they were signed to Capitol Records in 1978. They recorded two albums (both released in 1979) but because they never really fit into a specific genre, their label never tried to give them a push and they disbanded in 1980. Undeterred, Child simply started focusing on his songwriting career, which he had kick started in 1978 by co-writing Kiss' Top Ten hit "I Was Made for Loving You." He would go on to keep working with Kiss, eventually gaining the attention of other rock bands through his efforts. He teamed up with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora to write songs for their Slippery When Wet album, and when that became a smash hit, he suddenly became in demand. He began to write songs with Aerosmith, Cher, Roxette, Chicago, Alice Cooper, and many others throughout the late '80s/early '90s. One of his most frequent collaborators, Joan Jett, had her last Top 40 hit with their composition "I Hate Myself for Loving You," while singer Michael Bolton had a huge hit with Child's "How Can We Be Lovers." After a little heralded solo album and more songwriting work, he settled down in Miami to begin writing and production work on Ricky Martin's new album, which was to introduce Martin to an international audience. The album, 1999's Livin' la Vida Loca, was a smash success and opened the door for even more production gigs, such as the 2001 smash "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men. Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, formally commemorating his talents.
Bradley Torreano, Rovi

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