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RealTracks Artist Bio: Ricky Lawson

As a teen in Detroit, superstar session drummer Ricky Lawson spent his formative years watching recording sessions with top R&B artists, courtesy of his uncle, Paul Riser, a Motown arranger. By the time he left college he had gone from opening for The Jackson Five with The Sons of Soul to playing drums on The Jackson’s “Destiny” album. In those early days he also sat in with the likes of George Duke, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Paul McCartney and Sister Sledge, performed live with the Brothers Johnson, Al Jarreau and Bette Midler, and appeared on Stevie Wonder's 1984 HBO special. He was an original member of the Robben Ford Group, which became the Yellowjackets, winning a best R&B Instrumental Grammy award for co-writing the hit song, “And You Know That” on the Yellowjacket’s acclaimed album “Shades.”

Ricky left the Yellowjackets in 1986 to tour with Lionel Richie. The following years saw him touring with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Eric Clapton, and Phil Collins. He also accumulated a huge list of recording credits, earning a reputation as “The Rock” and the affectionate nickname “Drummer to the Stars.” In addition to the stars already named, he has recorded with Smokey Robinson, Steely Dan, Babyface, Anita Baker, Quincy Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Michael McDonald, Beyoncé, Earl Klugh, and many, many more.

Ricky is consistently voted in the Top 10 Pop, R&B and Soul drummers in the world. He is also a highly respected songwriter, producer, and arranger with a solo vocal-oriented R&B/pop album titled “Ricky Lawson and Friends” to his credit. He also released a follow-up instrumental album of Christmas standards with a Jazz feel titled “Ricky Lawson’s Christmas with Friends.”

Get Ricky Lawson’s latest news at!__main-page, see his many videos on You Tube, and go to for a full list of his recording credits.

Ricky Lawson plays these RealDrums:

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