Joe Jackson, Father Of Michael & Janet, Dead At 89

Joel RyanAP Images

The patriarch and talent manager of one of the most famous musical families in the U.S., Joe Jackson, passed away Wednesday, June 27, after losing his battle with cancer, according to TMZ. He leaves behind his wife Katherine of 69 years, as well as eight of his surviving children as well as grandchildren.

It was announced on June 22 that he was in the hospital with terminal cancer, according to son Jermaine as reported by TMZ. Born in Fountain Hill, AR, but at age 12, after his parents divorced, he moved to a suburb of Chicago in northwest Indiana. Early in life, he was looking to have a career as a boxer but left that behind when he needed to support his wife and kids.

Daughter Janet Jackson recently spoke lovingly about her father during the 2018 Radio Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, while he was still fighting the deadly disease, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. As she accepted the first-ever Impact Award, which celebrates her “influence on society and the world of entertainment — particularly women — across generations of fans,” the superstar wanted the world to know how she felt about her father’s influence. “My father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can,” she shared.

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Janet is the youngest of their nine children, with the others being Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Michael, who passed away nine years previously on June 25, and Randy. Joe saw the talent in all of his kids and first began working with Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie in 1960, according to history portion of the Jacksons website. Marlon and Michael followed soon after.

It was on the advice of Joe’s sister-in-law, Bobbie Rose Jackson, that The Jackson 5 entered and won the Roosevelt High School talent show in 1965. Other wins followed and that same year Joe Jackson booked his kids’ music group into Mr. Lucky’s, a nightclub in Gary. They were such a hit, patrons began throwing money onto the state in appreciation, often amounting to more than they were paid by the club. From there, the Jackson family patriarch sent Motown founder, Berry Gordy, a tape of sons’ group playing but it was later returned. In a few years though, they’re asked to audition for Gordy and after viewing the tape, Gordy signed them to Motown and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2014, Jackson was inducted into Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Jackson was known as a very tough father. He admitted on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show that he hit his children with a strap, according to the Daily Mail.

“Joe was initially defensive about his relationship with Michael, insisting: ‘I don’t think he was afraid of me. What he was afraid of, he may do something wrong and I’d chastise him but not beat him. I never beat him like the media tried to say.'”