Joe Jackson, the family patriarch who led his children including Michael Jackson to international stardom as the Jackson Five, has died, a family source said Wednesday. Jackson was reportedly suffering from terminal cancer. He was 89.
Married to Katherine Jackson, Joe Jackson was also the father of four daughters — Janet, La Toya, Rebbie and Joh’Vonnie — and six other sons — Jermaine, Randy, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Brandon, who died in March 1957 just after he was born. The couple married in 1949.
Just last week Jackson appeared to share a tweet hinting at his struggling health. “I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see,” read the caption on a photo of Jackson, in his trademark hat, silhouetted against sun rays. “The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.”
But, his granddaughter Paris Jackson claimed the message was not written by her grandfather. “My grandfather did not tweet this,” she commented. “I’m not sure if he’s ever used this account.”
In the early 1960s, Jackson began to work with and manage his sons’ musical group. The group changed their name from The Jackson Brothers to The Jackson 5 following the inclusion of younger sons Marlon and Michael in the group.
The group signed their first professional contract with Steeltown Records in Gary, Indiana in November 1967 and their first single “Big Boy,” with Michael as the lead singer, which was released on January 31, 1968, became a local hit. Jackson soon helped his sons land an audition for Motown Records in Detroit and The Jackson 5 were signed with Motown in March 1969.
Jackson relocated his family to California and supervised every recording session the group made for Motown. Their first single for Motown, “I Want You Back”, released on October 7, 1969 and first album, “Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5,” released in December 1969 earned the group nationwide fame. The Jackson 5’s first four singles, “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There” sold 10 million copies in 10 months.
Jackson started his own record label, Ivory Tower International Records, and signed artists under his management to tour internationally with The Jackson 5 as opening acts in 1974. In 1982, Jackson established his daughter Janet Jackson’s career at age 16 as a recording artist while managing her.
Just two days ago, on June 25, marked the ninth anniversary of the death of Jackson’s iconic son Michael.
As news of Joe Jackson’s death spread family members and friends took to social media to share their remorse.