Joseph Jackson, patriarch of musical family, dies

Joseph “Joe” Jackson, pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2014, admitted being very strict with his kids. (George Biard/Wikimedia Commons)

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.”

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News.