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The Other Singing Jacksons: Where Are They Now?

Music | April 10, 2019

1978: Janet Jackson (C) with her brothers (L-R) Marlon, Michael, Tito, Randy, and Jackie Jackson of The Jacksons pose during a publicity photo shoot at Jackie Jackson's home on August 17, 1978 in Westlake Village, California. Source: (Photo by Gregg Cobar

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the nine siblings of the Jackson family -- in their Jackson 5 incarnation and as solo artists -- were some of the most popular musicians on the planet. Janet Jackson has been a chart-topping artist, and others had some moments on their own but generally never attained the stardom they'd seen as The Jackson 5 -- later known as, simply, The Jacksons. Since the dissolution of The Jacksons in the late ‘80s, long after their popularity waned, members of the group went their separate ways. Some of the Jacksons continued to record and perform with one another, one Jackson cut ties with the family altogether, and a couple of them managed to start successful careers outside of the music industry. 

The most successful sibling, the late Michael Jackson, achieved worldwide fame and was dubbed the King of Pop -- but his legacy is in jeopardy due to revelations that he was a sexual predator.

The Jacksons will always be an integral part of the landscape of 20th century American pop. They didn’t have the most normal childhood, due to celebrity as well as alleged abuse from patriarch Joe Jackson. But each of them managed to have a fascinating life in their own way. 


Janet Jackson Became A Huge Star

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The baby of the family, Janet Jackson is the most prominent and successful member of the “other” Jacksons. She has been a full-fledged musical phenomenon since her 1982 eponymous debut. Control (1986) was a big album, with five top-5 singles, and the follow-up, 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 that cemented her status as a bonafide star. Rhythm Nation remains the only album in history to contain singles that topped the chart in three different calendar years, and the only that boasts seven top-5 singles. Throughout the ‘90s Jackson enjoyed a success unparalleled by her siblings, apart from Michael. She also had the most significant acting career of the Jacksons, gaining recognition as Penny on the '70s sitcom Good Times and Charlene on Diff'rent Strokes in the '80s. She returned to acting in 1993 with her film debut as the lead in Poetic Justice.

Following the calamity that was the Super Bowl XXXVIII half time controversy in 2003, Jackson was essentially blacklisted from the industry, but in 2007 she appeared in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married and its sequel a few years later. Forbes has listed Jackson as one of the most successful female performers of all time, with a wealth hovering just around $150 million. In 2019 she announced that she’ll be starting a Las Vegas residency at the MGM resort in the summer and that she’ll be playing the Glastonbury Festival the same July. 

La Toya Jackson Has Faced Many Ups And Downs

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While many fans remember La Toya Jackson as the most prominent member of the Psychic Friends Network, they might not know the reason behind her strange commercials. After distancing herself from the Jackson family in the late ‘80s, this Jackson released the solo album La Toya before posing topless in Playboy in 1989. She later claimed that her then-husband, Jack Gordon, forced her to appear in the magazine and controlled every aspect of her life -- including her appearances on the Psychic Friends Network.

In the late ‘90s, La Toya was saved from her abusive relationship by her brother Randy, who helped her escape her husband’s home while he was away. After filing for divorce La Toya stayed cloistered in her home and spent the time writing music. In the 2000s La Toya appeared on reality television shows like Armed & Famous, Celebrity Big Brother, and NBC's Celebrity Apprentice where she raised $65,000 for her chosen charity, AIDS Project Los Angeles. In 2019 she appeared on the FOX reality series The Masked Singer where she was revealed to be “The Alien.”

Jermaine Jackson Is Still Performing

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Out of all the members of the Jackson family, Jermaine has had the most varied post-Jackson 5 career. He began releasing a solo album in 1972 while still a member of the 5, and when the group left Motown for CBS records he parted ways with the band to focus on his solo career. Rather than just work with the same people that he’d been working with as a member of the Jacksons, in 1982 he worked with punk-weirdos Devo on "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy.”

Throughout the ‘90s, he continued to perform while writing and producing for different artists. After some time out of the limelight, Jackson reappeared in 2007 as a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother UK. He continued to make reality show appearances, like on the programs Gone Country and Celebrity Wife Swap. He’s still recording music, and in 2016 he even performed with The Jackson 5 at the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

Tito Jackson Reinvented Himself As A Blues Guitarist

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While most cursory fans of the Jackson family only remember Tito as a punchline (mainly because of his funny-sounding name), this Jackson brother has continued to have a behind the scenes career long after The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons came to an end. After the dissolution of the group, Tito started managing his son’s career before coming back to the stage as a blues guitarist. In 2007 he appeared as a judge on the UK competition series Just the Two of Us.

In 2016 Jackson released a solo album, “Tito Time” that featured the single “Get It Baby.” It looks as if Tito shows no signs of slowing, even in his fifth decade of recording and performing. Rock on, Tito. 

Rebbie Jackson Started In Music Late

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Rebbie Jackson, the oldest of the siblings, may be one of the unsung members of the Jacksons, but like her famous brothers and sisters, she’s still managed to have a fairly interesting recording career. Unlike others, she did not pursue music professionally as a kid, but joined her siblings on the Las Vegas stage in the mid-'70s, when she was 24 years old. She was also a part of the 1976-77 variety show The Jacksons.  Being on The Jacksons inspired Rebbie to make a serious run at a musical career, and she released her debut album Centipede in 1984. Even though it wasn’t as successful as other Jackson albums, it was a big enough hit to inspire Rebbie to release two more albums: Reaction and R U Tuff Enuff.

After the release of R U Tuff Enuff, Jackson stepped away from her recording career for nearly a decade. In that time, she got married and had kids, even though her father wanted her to continue pursuing her career. In 1998 she released the album Yours Faithfully

Jackie Jackson Still Performs In Las Vegas

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The original leader of The Jackson 5, Jackie Jackson, has kept busy since his time with the family band. Following the group’s Victory Tour, Jackie worked with his brothers on various projects, including the theme song for the 1987 Whoopie Goldberg film Burglar. While the single wasn’t a hit by Jackson standards, it was in Belgium’s top 40 for two weeks. Following his work on the Burglar soundtrack, Jackie has remained behind the scenes.

Jackie Jackson has most prominently worked as the head of his own independent record label Jesco, and Futurist Entertainment which promoted his son Sigmund's mixtape in 2007. Two years later he appeared in The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty, and in 2012 he joined his brothers Tito, Jermaine and Marlon for a series of Las Vegas performances.

Marlon Jackson Created A Television Network

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Marlon Jackson was very young when The Jackson 5 formed, but when he was old enough to take the stage he was brought in to perform with the group as a percussionist. He toured with the family band from 1970 to 1984, throughout their name and label changes. After the group ended he released the solo album “Baby Tonight” in 1987, and after that, he made minor contributions to a few of his family members' solo albums.

After setting aside his musical career, Marlon branched out into ownership of the Black Family Channel, a cable network that featured family-oriented programming specifically for African-Americans. The channel shuttered its doors in 2007.

Randy Jackson Revolutionized Digital Video

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Regardless of when they were born, members of the Jackson family had to learn how to play an instrument just in case they were called up to perform with the family band. Randy Jackson was three when The Jackson 5 started performing, but as he got older he was instructed in piano and percussion, he started touring with the band at the age of 11 in 1972.

After the Jacksons stopped touring, Randy continued to record with his brothers and sisters on their various solo projects. In 1990, he started Total Media, Inc. with Philip Taylor Kramer of the band Iron Butterfly. The company was the first to create video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM, and after going public TMI was sold for $900 million. In 2018 he and his sister Janet formed Rhythm Nation Records and partnered with Cinq Music to independently distribute Janet’s single “Made for Now.” 

Tags: Jackie Jackson | Janet Jackson | Jermaine Jackson | La Toya Jackson | Marlon Jackson | Michael Jackson | Randy Jackson | The Jackson 5 | The Jacksons | Tito Jackson | What They Are Known For | Where Are They Now

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Jacob Shelton

Writer

Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.