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Desmond Child
Child in 2019
Child in 2019
Background information
Birth nameJohn Charles Barrett
Born (1953-10-28) October 28, 1953 (age 70)
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
  • Songwriter
  • producer
Years active1975–present

John Charles Barrett (born October 28, 1953), known professionally as Desmond Child, is an American songwriter and producer. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008. He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and has won a Latin Grammy Award.

His hits as a songwriter include Kiss' " I Was Made for Lovin' You"; Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' " I Hate Myself for Loving You"; Bon Jovi's " You Give Love a Bad Name", " Livin' on a Prayer", [1] " Bad Medicine", and " Born to Be My Baby"; Aerosmith's " Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", " Angel", " What It Takes" and " Crazy"; Cher's " We All Sleep Alone" and " Just Like Jesse James"; Brit Smith's " Karma", recently redone by Jojo Siwa; Alice Cooper's " Poison"; Michael Bolton's " How Can We Be Lovers?"; and Ricky Martin's " The Cup of Life" and " Livin' la Vida Loca". [2]


Child's career started when he formed an R&B-influenced pop rock band, Desmond Child & Rouge in 1975 with singers Myriam Valle, Maria Vidal, and Diana Grasselli, backed by hired musicians. [3] The band was known for their inclusion on the soundtrack to The Warriors in 1979, with the song "Last of an Ancient Breed", and for the song "Our Love is Insane", which charted at No. 51 in the Billboard Hot 100. Their two albums received positive reviews [4] but sold poorly and the group disbanded in 1980. [3] One member, Maria Vidal, had a hit in 1985 with "Body Rock". [5]

Child then worked with songwriter Bob Crewe for two years. [6]

Artists Child has worked with include Kiss, Cher, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler, Dream Theater, Roxette, Ricky Martin, Selena Gomez, and Kelly Clarkson. [3] Desmond is credited with discovering Troy Curtis Tuminelli and recommending him to Edgardo Diaz before Tuminelli landed in Menudo, and, eventually, on Guiding Light.[ citation needed] He was the key partner in Alice Cooper's album Trash (1989). He was also responsible for co-writing the Ratt album Detonator (1990).

Child scored a Billboard Top 40 hit in 1991 as a solo artist with "Love on a Rooftop", a song he had co-written with Diane Warren, originally recorded by Ronnie Spector, and later by Cher. "Love on a Rooftop" also peaked at number 55 on the Australian ARIA Charts. [7]

He produced Meat Loaf's album Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, and co-wrote six of its songs. [8]

Child wrote the song " Believe in Me" for Bonnie Tyler in 2012 and one year later it was selected as the Eurovision Song Contest entry for the United Kingdom, where it finished in 19th place in the final. Following the contest, Tyler received two Eurovision Song Contest Radio Awards for Best Song and Best Singer, making her the first UK representative to win the award. Child was to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest again as a songwriter in 2022, co-writing and producing the Finnish entry, Jezebel, performed by the Rasmus. [9] The song would go on to finish 21st in the final.

Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008. [10] In 2013, he co-founded the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame along with fellow Cuban-American composer Rudy Pérez. [11] Desmond's autobiography, Livin' on a Prayer: Big Songs Big Life with David Ritz, was released September 19, 2023.

Personal life

Child lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his husband, Curtis Shaw, and their twin sons. [12] [13] Child and Shaw's struggle to have a baby via surrogacy is recounted in the documentary Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro.

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 Rouge bandmate, Maria Vidal.

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

He is the biological son of Hungarian baron Joseph S. Marfy and Cuban songwriter Elena Casals. Child did not discover that Marfy was his biological father until he was 18 years old. [14] Until that time, he had believed that his father was John Frederick Barrett, Casals' husband at the time of his birth, [15] and for whom he was named. Through his Hungarian ancestry, Child received dual American-Hungarian citizenship in 2016. [16] Child subsequently released "The Steps of Champions", a song he wrote for the Hungarian government as the official anthem of the sixtieth anniversary commemorations of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 2016 he received Artisjus Lifetime Achievement Award.


Desmond Child and Rouge


For and with other artists

Year Band/Artist Song(s) written/co-written/produced Album
1979 Kiss " I Was Made for Lovin' You" Dynasty
1980 Billy Squier "You Should Be High Love" The Tale of the Tape
1982 Cher "When the Love is Gone", "Walk With Me", "The Book of Love" I Paralyze
1984 Kiss " Heaven's on Fire", "Under the Gun", "I've Had Enough (Into the Fire)" Animalize
1985 "King of the Mountain", "Who Wants to Be Lonely", "I'm Alive", "Radar for Love", "UH! All Night" Asylum
1986 Bonnie Tyler " If You Were a Woman and I Was a Man", "Lovers Again" Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
Bon Jovi " You Give Love a Bad Name", " Livin' on a Prayer", "Without Love", "I'd Die For You" Slippery When Wet
1987 Aerosmith " Angel", " Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Heart's Done Time" Permanent Vacation
Cher " We All Sleep Alone", " Main Man", "Give Our Love a Fightin' Chance", "Perfection", "Working Girl" Cher
Jimmy Barnes "Waitin' for the Heartache", "Walk on" Freight Train Heart
John Waite "These Times are Hard for Lovers" Rover's Return
Kiss "Bang Bang You", "My Way", " Reason to Live" Crazy Nights
Jennifer Rush "Down to You", "Heart Wars" Heart Over Mind
Ronnie Spector "Love on a Rooftop" Unfinished Business
1988 Kiss "Let's Put the X in Sex", "(You Make Me) Rock Hard" Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
Bon Jovi " Bad Medicine", " Born to Be My Baby", "Blood on Blood", "Wild is the Wind" New Jersey
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts " I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Little Liar", "You Want In, I Want Out" Up Your Alley
Bonnie Tyler "Notes From America", " Hide Your Heart", " Save Up All Your Tears", "Take Another Look at Your Heart", also produced the album Hide Your Heart
Aerosmith " What It Takes", " F.I.N.E." Pump
1989 Alice Cooper Entire album, including " Poison" Trash
Animotion "Calling It Love" Room To Move
Michael Bolton " How Can We Be Lovers?" and "Love Cuts Deep", also produced the former Soul Provider
Billy Squier "Stronger", "Tied Up" Hear & Now
Bonfire "The Price of Loving You" Point Blank
Cher " Just Like Jesse James", "Love on a Rooftop", "Emotional Fire", "Does Anybody Really Fall in Love Anymore?" Heart Of Stone
Ace Frehley "Hide Your Heart" Trouble Walkin'
Kiss "Hide Your Heart", "You Love Me to Hate You" Hot in the Shade
Robin 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'
1990 Ratt "Givin' Yourself Away", "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose", "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job", "One Step Away", "Shame Shame Shame" Detonator
1991 Kane Roberts Entire album Saints and Sinners
Cher " Save Up All Your Tears" Love Hurts
Michael Bolton "Forever Isn't Long Enough", "New Love" Time, Love & Tenderness
Alice Cooper "Dangerous Tonight", "Might as Well Be on Mars" Hey Stoopid
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts "Ashes in the Wind", "The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)", "Lie to Me", "Don't Surrender", "Goodbye" Notorious
SouthGang Entire album (co-writer) Tainted Angel
1992 Bon Jovi " Keep the Faith", " I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" Keep the Faith
1993 Aerosmith " Crazy", "Flesh" Get a Grip
Steve Vai "In My Dreams With You" Sex & Religion
1994 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts "As I Am", "You Got a Problem", "Brighter Day" Pure and Simple
1995 Bon Jovi " Something for the Pain", " This Ain't a Love Song", "Hearts Breaking Even", "Diamond Ring" These Days
Chynna Phillips " I Live for You", "This Close", "Jewel in My Crown" Naked and Sacred
Roxette " You Don't Understand Me" Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!
1997 Aerosmith " Hole in My Soul" Nine Lives
Chicago "All Roads Lead to You" The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II
Dream Theater "You Not Me" Falling into Infinity
Robbie Williams " Old Before I Die" Life Thru a Lens
Hanson " Weird" Middle of Nowhere
1998 Billie Myers " Kiss the Rain" Growing, Pains
1999 Bon Jovi " Real Life" EdTV Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Ricky Martin " Livin' la Vida Loca", " The Cup of Life" Ricky Martin
2000 " She Bangs" Sound Loaded
Sisqó " Thong Song" Unleash the Dragon
2001 Tina Arena " Soul Mate No. 9", "You Made Me Find Myself" Just Me
Alejandra Guzmán "Quiero Vivir", "Volveré a Amar", "Todo", "Vagabundo Corazón", "Soy Tú Lluvia", Soy
2002 Bon Jovi " All About Lovin' You", " Misunderstood", "The Distance" Bounce
Sakis Rouvas "Ola Kala", "The Light", "Disco Girl", also produced the album Ola Kala
Kelly Clarkson "Before Your Love" Thankful
LeAnn Rimes " Life Goes On", "The Safest Place", " Suddenly", "Sign of Life", "Review My Kisses", "Love Is an Army" Twisted Angel
2003 Clay Aiken " Invisible", "Run to Me" Measure of a Man
La Ley "Más Allá" Libertad
2004 Alejandra Guzmán " Lipstick", "Sálvame", "Hoy Me Voy a Querer", "Tengo Derecho a Estar Mal", "Mundos", "Un Juego Más", "Tu Corazón", "Supersexitada" Lipstick
Jesse McCartney " Because You Live" Beautiful Soul
Hilary Duff "Crash World" A Cinderella Story
"Who's That Girl" Hilary Duff
Diana DeGarmo "Dreams" Blue Skies
2005 Bon Jovi "Bells of Freedom", "Dirty Little Secret", "These Open Arms" Have a Nice Day
Carrie Underwood " Inside Your Heaven" Some Hearts
Bo Bice Non-album single
Vince Neil "Promise Me" Non-album single
Amanda Stott "Homeless Heart" Chasing the Sky
Lindsay Lohan "I Live for the Day" A Little More Personal (Raw)
Marion Raven "October" Cut Off
2006 Marion Raven "Good 4 Sex" Heads Will Roll
Meat 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
Paul Stanley "All About You", "Lift", "Live to Win", "Wake Up Screaming", "Where Angels Dare" Live to Win
2007 Sebastian Bach "Falling into You" Angel Down
Bon Jovi " (You Want to) Make a Memory" Lost Highway
Scorpions "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
2008 Ace 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
Katy Perry " Waking Up in Vegas" One of the Boys
The Rasmus Entire album, including " Livin' in a World Without You" Black Roses
2009 Bon Jovi "Brokenpromiseland", "Fast Cars", "Happy Now", "Learn to Love" The Circle
Margaret Cho "I Cho Am a Woman" I Cho Am a Woman (single)
Tokio Hotel "Zoom/Zoom into Me" Humanoid
The Stunners "Santa Bring My Soldier Home" (Santa Bring My Soldier Home-Single)
2010 Tokio Hotel and Kerli "Strange" Almost Alice
Meat Loaf "Elvis in Vegas" Hang Cool Teddy Bear
Ida Maria "Bad Karma" Katla
Weezer "Trainwrecks" Hurley
2011 Ricky Martin Entire album (co-writer) Musica + Alma + Sexo
Alice Cooper "I Am Made of You", "The Underture" Welcome 2 My Nightmare
2012 Porcelain Black "Rock Angels" Rock of Ages (film)
Aerosmith "Another Last Goodbye" Music from Another Dimension!
2013 Sick Puppies " There's No Going Back" Connect
Selena Gomez "Love Will Remember" Stars Dance
Bon Jovi "Army of One" What About Now
Bonnie Tyler " Believe in Me", "Stubborn" Rocks and Honey
2015 Zedd " Beautiful Now" True Colors
2020 Ava Max " Kings & Queens" Heaven & Hell
Countess Luann "VIVA LA DIVA" VIVA LA DIVA (single)
2021 Bonnie Tyler "Stronger Than a Man" The Best is Yet to Come
2022 The Rasmus " Jezebel", "Rise", "Live And Never Die" Rise
Weezer "What Happens After You" SZNZ: Autumn
Jordan Smith "Sparrow" "From the American Song Contest" American Song Contest
Christian Pagán "LOKO" "From the American Song Contest"
Riker Lynch "Feel the Love" "From the American Song Contest"
Marcus King "Blood on the Tracks" Young Blood
Ceramic Animal "Forever Song" Sweet Unknown
Bacon Brothers "In Memory Of When I Cared" Erato-EP
Chris Willis "If I Had Only" single
2023 Winger "Proud Desperado" Seven
2024 JoJo Siwa " Karma" Non-album single
Brit Smith "Karma's a Bitch" Non-album single

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

Grammy Award nominations and wins for Desmond Child [18]
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2000 " Livin' la Vida Loca" Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Ricky Martin Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
2001 " Thong Song" Best R&B Song Nominated

Latin Grammy Awards

Latin Grammy Award nominations and wins for Desmond Child [19]
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2000 " Livin' la Vida Loca (Spanish Version)" Record of the Year Nominated
2002 Soy Best Rock Solo Vocal Album Won
2004 "Lipstick" Best Rock Song Nominated
2011 "Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tú" Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Himself Producer of the Year Nominated

Primetime Emmy Awards

Primetime Emmy Award nominations and wins for Desmond Child [20]
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 "Everyone Matters" from the It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "Diese Website steht zum Verkauf! - Informationen zum Thema rocksnobs". Archived from the original on August 21, 2002. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "Desmond Child Continues Great String Of Hits, From Aerosmith & Bon Jovi To Ricky Martin". July 24, 2001. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 96. ISBN  0-7535-0257-7.
  4. ^ "Desmond Child & Rouge – Desmond Child & Rouge | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  5. ^ "Desmond Child & Rouge - Biography | Billboard". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  6. ^ "Episode 227 - Desmond Child". Sodajerker. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  7. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose". All Music Guide. Retrieved October 17, 2006.[ dead link]
  9. ^ Krol, Charlotte (January 17, 2022). "Listen to The Rasmus' Eurovision entry bid and new single 'Jezebel'". NME. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  10. ^ "News | Songwriters Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  11. ^ "Founders". Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Variety Staff "Births" Variety Los Angeles, August 12, 2002. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Leslie, Joey "Gay rights rally in Nashville draws more than 200 people", Out & About Newspaper, Nashville, November 15, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  14. ^ Bliss, Jessica (2014). "Songwriter Desmond Child and his partner's journey to becoming dads to twin boys." The Tennessean. 7 May 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Cuban poet, songwriter Elena Casals dies at 85." 21 March 2012 Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "Celebrity US Songwriter Desmond Child Takes Up Hungarian Citizenship". Hungary Today. February 8, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Desmond Child". The Recording Academy. Retrieved April 13, 2024.
  19. ^ "Desmond Child". The Latin Recording Academy. Retrieved April 13, 2024.
  20. ^ "Desmond Child". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 13, 2024.

External links