Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

R.I.P. Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family died today at age 89 in hospice after dealing with the effects of pancreatic cancer. Jackson’s legacy as the father and architect of The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson is unprecedented and complicated. No other father can lay claim to nurturing three of biggest entertainment acts of the 20th and 21st century in his own household. Fans watched Jackson start his children’s careers while they were underage and saw them grow into adult masters of the stage. But for all of their achievements Michael Jackson was known to talk about the harsh discipline he and his siblings had to undergo in their path to success. These relationship dynamics were explored in the television series The Jacksons: An American Dream. Jackson’s interview admissions about his father’s abuse were always said alongside compliments about Joe Jackson’s natural instincts as a business manager. 

Joe Jackson started The Jackson 5 in 1960’s with Jackie, Tito and Jermaine as The Jackson Brothers. Marlon and Michael joined them and they were renamed signed their first recording contract in 1967. Their first single, “Big Boy” was a local hit in 1968 and Joe Jackson got them an audition with Motown Records later that year. Berry Gordy wanted to only sign Michael but Joe demanded a deal for the entire group. The Jackson 5 became household names because of their hit songs at Motown like “I Want You Back,”The Love You Save” and “ABC.” At the height of their success, they set a new record with four number one singles, had a cartoon series and toured the world. In the mid-70s Jackson took his sons away from Motown and got them a new deal with Epic Records. They recorded as The Jacksons since Motown owned The Jackson 5 name. The Jacksons had a weekly variety show in 1976 and released seven albums for Epic. Michael’s solo career was launched by Motown in 1971 but he did not have a major triumph until his 1981 Off The Wall album. Jermaine’s solo career also began at Motown with the hit record “Daddy’s Home.” In the ’80s, Joe Jackson launched Janet Jackson’s recording career when she was 16 years old. La Toya and Rebbie Jackson also released music in the ’80s and had hits with “Heart Don’t Lie” “Centipede.” 

Michael and Janet eventually fired their father and took on new managers but they never stopped acknowledging his contributions to their rise in the entertainment world. Michael referred to him as a “managerial genius” during a speech at Oxford University in 2001. Janet Jackson thanked him in her acceptance speech last week for the Radio Disney Music Impact Award by thanking him for “driving her to be the best that I can.” Jackson was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall Of Fame in 2011 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. 


Michael Jackson Musical Coming To Broadway

Photo: AP

A musical about the music and life of Michael Jackson is coming to Broadway in 2020. Lynn Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer winner, will write the musical and Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon is responsible for the choreography and direction. Jackson’s estate and Columbia Live Stage announced the production today. Many of Jackson’s hit songs will be used in the musical. It will be the second time the music of Michael Jackson was used in stage play because London’s West End presented Thriller Live in 2009. 



Media Questions Of The Week

Was Kendrick Lamar wrong for stopping a white fan from saying the N-Word at his concert? 

Why did Kanye West pay to use a photo of  Whitney Houston’s old bathroom for Pusha T’s new album Daytona?

Was ABC’s The Last Days Of Michael Jackson just another attempt to exploit Jackson’s name and legacy disguised as admiration? 






The Jacksons To Be Honored During Detroit Music Weekend

The Jackson 5 will headline Detroit Music Weekend and receive honors including the key to the city and the naming of a street after Michael Jackson. The Jacksons signed to Motown in 1969 and started having hits with “I Want You Back” and “ABC” and “The Love You Save.” At the press conference for Detroit Music Weekend at the Music Hall, Marlon and Jackie Jackson shared a story about singing in front of the Motown family of artists at Berry Gordy’s home. They also expressed their respect for Detroit’s neverending pool of creative talent and how they never take the iconic status of The Jackson 5 for granted. It is the second year for Detroit Music Weekend and The Jackson 5 will headline the event that will feature more than 500 artists on five stages. Last year Aretha Franklin was the headliner and honored with the naming of Aretha Franklin Way. 

The Jackson 5 concert is a free outdoor event that takes place June 16th on the Madison Central Stage. On the night of the 15th, there will be a tribute band led by Kern Brantley performing a musical tribute to The Jackson 5 and keyboardist Greg Philliganes who worked on several Jackson albums is one of the musicians. For more information about the event see DetroitMusicWeekend.org

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Throwback: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson-Scream

  Michael Jackson’s “Scream” was a duet with his sister Janet about his frustration with the media. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote the song with the siblings and it was their first time working with Michael. HIStory : Past, Present and Future, Book 1 was Jackson’s ninth solo album. Jam and Lewis produced the album and “Scream”‘s funk and rock influences complimented Jackson’s angry vocals. The video set new standards for the medium with a budget of $7 million dollars and huge set built from seven sound stages. Mark Romanek directed Michael and Janet inside of a spaceship doing everything from crawling the walls, playing video games and dancing together. The black and white colors added to the song’s intensity and gave both singers a conspicuous glare. “Scream” leaked two weeks early on Los Angeles and Philadelphia radio until Epic Records had their lawyers serve them cease and desist letters. Billboard, The Grammys and MTV’s Video Music Awards acknowledged the clip for “Scream” with multiple awards. TLC, Ciara and Lil Mama have all used the “Scream” video as a prototype for their own videos.