The Jackson 5 Biography
The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five or The Jackson 5ive, abbreviated as J5, and later known as The Jacksons) was an American popular music quintet from Gary, Indiana. The group, active from 1962 to 1990, regularly played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, funk, and later disco. Considered "one of the biggest phenomenons in pop music" during the early 1970s, the Jackson 5 are also notable for launching the career of their lead singer, Michael Jackson.
The Jackson 5 were the five eldest sons of Katherine and Joseph Jackson: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael. The sixth and youngest son, Randy Jackson, joined the group in a later incarnation, when they became The Jacksons. Joseph Jackson formed the band in 1962 and served as its manager, with Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and unrelated youths Reynaud Jones and Milton Hite comprising its original lineup. Within a year, Michael and Marlon joined the band, and Michael became lead singer as the group developed a following in the eastern and midwestern United States during the mid-1960s.
Signed to the Motown label from 1968 to 1975, and to Epic/CBS Records (as "The Jacksons") from 1975 until their disbanding in 1990, the Jackson 5 were one of the most popular groups of the era and became the first recording act to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the American charts. Several future singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as The Corporation™; later Jackson 5 hits were crafted chiefly by Hal Davis.
While not the first act considered a "boy band", The Jackson 5 is one of the earliest examples of the type as it is defined today: five adolescents specifically packaged and marketed by a record label for crossover pop success. Significantly, they were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences. Upon their departure from Motown for CBS in 1975, the Jacksons were forced to change their name and trade Jermaine (who remained at Motown) for Randy. The group took control of their songwriting, production, and image, and their success continued into the 1980s with hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "State of Shock", and the highly successful Victory Tour. The Jacksons officially disbanded in 1990, after the commercial underperformance of their 1989 album 2300 Jackson Street, recorded without Michael, except as a guest vocalist on the title song.
The only public reunion performance of the Jacksons after 1990 was at Michael's September 7, 2001 concert at Madison Square Garden, which was later broadcast as a television special on November 13 on CBS. Otherwise, each member of the group primarily focused on careers and interests of their own.
During the 1980s, Michael Jackson became one of the biggest music stars in the world, and released Thriller and Bad, two of the best-selling LPs of the century. His notable success eventually tapered off in the U.S. during the 1990s and 2000s, a period during which he became notorious for behavior that was considered eccentric and allegations of child sexual abuse, two of which resulted in major criminal cases. A 1993 case was settled out of court, and a second case in 2005 ended with Michael being acquitted of all charges.
Following the dissolution of The Jacksons, Jermaine Jackson returned to his solo career. Marlon Jackson also began a solo career, but neither he nor Jermaine had any charting success. Eventually, Marlon then became a real estate broker and co-owner of the Black Family Channel.
Tito Jackson, like his father before him, organized his three sons into a musical group called 3T, which had a Top 5 UK hit, "Why", in 1997, which featured a guest appearance from Michael. Soon afterwards, Tito began a low-key career as a blues musician. Randy Jackson remained out of the spotlight, mostly assisting his brothers in various ventures. Currently, Randy is the webmaster for Michael's official website, mjjsource.com.
The Jackson 5's influence on later performers has been profound, inspiring a number of performers from diverse fields, including indie rock band Dashboard Confessional , R&B groups New Edition and B5 , and boy band Hanson . Perhaps the most noteworthy and coincidental, though, is Five Star, a British black family act from the mid-80's comprising of siblings Stedman, Doris, Lorraine, Deniece and Delroy Pearson. (Note the similar family name). The group were also managed by their father, Buster Pearson and began recording when youngest member Delroy was just 12 years old. The group were often compared to the Jackson Five by press, and Doris once described her perfect moment as '..Doing a dance routine with Michael Jackson - on our wedding day." The Jackson 5 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. In addition, two of their songs ("ABC" and "I Want You Back") are among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
In 1981 Motown announced that the label sold over 100 million copies of Jackson 5 albums and singles worldwide. Epic Records stated sales of more than 30 million for The Jacksons group by the end of 1984.
For a full listing of albums and singles, see Jackson 5 discography.