Three judges on The Four: Battle for Stardom have, shall we say, big personalities: Diddy, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor. Add host Fergie and you’ve got the potential for swagger, shade, and spectacle. But there’s a fourth judge on the show — Charlie Walk. Who’s he?
Will he be the cock of the walk, or let the superstars walk all over him? Here’s all you need to know about The Four judge Charlie Walk.
He’s currently the president of Republic Group, which includes Republic Records and is part of Universal Music Group. That’s the same label that signs The Voice winners — and that seems to have a habit of underperforming their artists. Republic Group has a huge stable of award-winning artists, from Ariana Grande to Black Sabbath to Kid Cudi to Stevie Wonder.
Before becoming president, Walk headed the marketing for Republic. He worked on promotional campaigns for Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”), Enrique Iglesias (“Bailando”), and Lorde (“Royals”). He also co-founded a marketing agency, JWALK, whose clients include Lacoste, Kenneth Cole, and Equinox.
Previously, he was president of Epic Records, where he worked with Jessica Simpson and Shakira. He hasn’t personally won any Grammys or AMA’s, but marketing chiefs and label presidents rarely do.
In February 2017, he gave an interview to Billboard that illustrates his views on what a music label should be:
“The core business is music but it’s also about the things around the artists that we do can do. It’s not just audio. We create content. And no one puts out more visual content than us — snackable content, the stuff that plays out on Musical.ly, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.”
Keep that in mind when he’s evaluating the performers on The Four. Speaking of which, what does he think of sitting next to mad geniuses Diddy and Khaled?
“They’ve been friends for a real long time,” he says. “At this point in our careers, we’ve gotten together to focus on finding new talent at the beginning, and give them the opportunity to become big stars.”
Charlie Walk sounds like a decent, normal, intelligent guy. We’ll see if he can get a word in edgewise as his fellow judges (and the host) unleash their personal brand of crazy.