Joe Jackson, father of musical empire, dead at 89; grandchildren react

Joe Jackson, father to the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson, has died at the age of 89 from pancreatic cancer, just two days after the 9th anniversary of his son's death.

The Michael Jackson Estate released this statement:

"We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family. Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to worldwide pop superstardom. Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous. We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”

Jackson pushed Michael and his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon into stardom as the Jackson 5. As their manager, he got them spots at the Apollo theatre, a record contract with Steeltown Records and finally, in 1969 they signed with Motown Records.

A year later, despite a world record for sales and international super-stardom, Joe wasn't done. He pulled in the youngest of his brood son Randy and daughters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet, to perform at casinos in Las Vegas.

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Michael led his brothers to Epic Records, where they were called the Jackson Brothers, so they could create their solo careers, essentially leaving Joe's oversight.

Joe then successfully launched 16-year-old Janet into pop-stardom first under his own record label, then with A&M records.

The father of 11 was not known for his kindness at home or as a manager, however. Michael recalled in an interview with Oprah how his father would stand over them while they were practicing with a belt and hitting them when they weren't good enough for him.

In addition, he carried on a 25-year-long affair having another daughter while unofficially estranged from wife Katherine. Of late, he has made headlines with his wife over the preferences of his granddaughter Paris Jackson's love life with Cara DeLevingne.

Despite the rough history, Joe's family loved him and did their best to surround him in his final days.

His grandchildren have left heartwrenching tributes today across social media:

 

A few weeks ago on Father’s Day I posted a picture of my great grandfather, my grandfather, my father and me as a child for Father’s Day. “The love never ends.” At the time I had no idea of my Grandpa Joe’s condition, but would find out a couple days later. I was told there wasn’t much time. To be honest, I don’t deal well with funerals, sickness and death. I’m very sensitive and tend to avoid these situations. Something I am working on. I wanted to be there with my grandfather, to thank him and spend some final moments, but I also didn’t want to see him weak, and have that be my lasting memory of him. And then I thought about the time when I was a very young boy and I saw my great grandfather Samuel before his passing. Although vague, I have that memory of him. So I decided to give my children that same opportunity with their great grandfather. Looking back I am so happy I did. My own father, who shares the same struggles as I do with loss, also found the strength and courage and made the trip. Because of this I was able to have a moment with my father, my grandfather and my two sons. As a man and father it was very powerful, moving and touching. I could see both strength and sadness in my father’s eyes. My father told my sons, when they get older to tell their children about his father. And explained how we all had the same blood running through our veins. From Grandpa Joe, to my father, to me, to my two boys. The photo above was taken a day before my father arrived. I got to spend some time with just my grandfather and my two boys. I thanked him for his strength and vision and for giving my father a better life... thus giving me and my children a better life and opportunity. I told him what he did with his family is amazing. I told him that I am proud of him and that I loved him. My Grandfather passed away early this morning.... but we will carry him in our hearts, the blood will continue to flow in our veins and the love will never end. #rip #grandpa #hawk #thejacksons #jackson #love

A post shared by Taryll Jackson (@tarylljackson) on

He is survived by his wife Katherine and their children Maureen, 68, Jackie, 67, Tito, 64, Jermaine, 63, La Toya, 62, Marlon, 61, Randy, 56, and Janet, 52 as well as Joh’Vonnie Jackson, 43, the daughter of Cheryl Terrell.

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Angela Corry

Managing Editor

I am a writer at heart, boss by nature and the managing editor of TheCelebrityCafe.com.

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