WASHINGTON — Joseph “Joe” Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family of singers and the creator of The Jackson 5, died Wednesday. He was reportedly 89.
Jackson was hospitalized a few days ago in Las Vegas and was reportedly suffering from pancreatic cancer. He died at 2:55 a.m. PDT Wednesday at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, Clark County coroner John Fudenberg told the Associated Press.
Jackson was a steelworker, amateur guitarist and the father of nine surviving children (one died shortly after birth) when he decided to form a singing group with his three eldest sons around 1964. Jackie, Tito and Jermaine were later joined by Marlon and Michael, and The Jackson 5 was born.
The youngest member, Michael, took the spotlight as the lead singer. and the group became a worldwide sensation. Known for their smooth vocals, meticulously choreographed dance steps, hip clothes and big Afros, The Jackson 5 became one of Motown Records’ most successful recording artists.
The group was the predecessor of several boy bands that tried to capitalize on the success of The Jackson 5, including New Edition, New Kids on the Block and *NSYNC.
Michael chose to leave the group in 1984 to embark on a solo career with Epic Records. He became one of the world’s most successful musical artists, collecting multiple awards and honors. His iconic 1982 album, Thriller, remains the world’s top-selling album. He died on June 25, 2009.
Joseph’s youngest child, Janet, also became a successful singer whom he initially managed. Like her brother Michael, Janet has amassed numerous awards.
Several of Joseph Jackson’s children, including Michael, said he was a strict disciplinarian who beat them. He admitted being very strict and attributed part of The Jackson 5’s success to his tough love.
In a 2013 interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Joseph Jackson defended his parenting style.
“I’m glad I was tough because look what I came out with. I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right.”
More than 50 years after Joseph Jackson created a singing group with his sons, his four eldest sons — Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon — are on a world tour, as is their sister Janet.
In an interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that was published in the 2009 book, The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation, the youngest J-5 member praised his dad. “God bless my father because he did some wonderful things and he was brilliant. He was a genius.”
Joseph Jackson is survived by his estranged wife, Katherine; nine children, including a daughter from another relationship; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A son, Brandon — Marlon’s twin — died shortly after birth in 1957.
Joseph’s last posting on his Twitter page, on Sunday, says: “I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see. The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.”
I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see. The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes. pic.twitter.com/PGcmbulzyC
— Joseph Jackson (@Joe5Jackson) June 24, 2018
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News.
Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of Joe Jackson on the Piers Morgan program in 2013
Regina Holmes has more than two decades of experience as a journalist –editing and reporting for news dailies including the Miami Herald, Newsday and the Baltimore Examiner. She also launched an award-winning investigative news website that tackled police and political corruption in Baltimore. She has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and Baltimore County Public Schools. Regina became a journalist because even as a child she was fascinated by the power of the press: how it could force a president out of office, elect a president, expose corruption, and shine a light on discrimination. She is passionate about giving a voice to people who are disenfranchised, ignored or powerless, including people of color, senior citizens, the impoverished, people with disabilities, veterans, and children. Issues in which she is particularly interested include race relations, criminal justice, and police brutality. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. In her spare time, Regina enjoys traveling,antiquing, window-shopping for carsand watching HGTV.