Few people may know that Jermaine was actually the original lead singer of the Jackson 5. When Michael dazzled his siblings and father by not only mimicking his brother but displayed a superior voice, he was installed as the new frontman, allegedly leaving Jermaine with plenty of residual resentment.
Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, has been accused of being something of a svengali figure, if not outright physically abusive, by various Jackson children (most famously Michael — who claimed to be nauseous in his presence). For his part, Jackson has admitted to spanking his children, but little more.
When the Jackson 5 was ready to part ways with Motown in 1975, brother Jermaine dropped a bombshell — he revealed he was marrying label head Berry Gordy’s daughter Hazel and staying behind on the label. He didn’t rejoin his brothers until the Motown 25 special in 1983.
1983′s Motown 25 special was a watershed moment for Michael Jackson’s career and was also supposed to be a heartfelt reunion of all six Jackson brothers, but for decades rumors have persisted that the King of Pop’s siblings resented his solo spotlight for his performance of “Billie Jean.”
1984′s Victory tour was one of the biggest in history. The concerts, which reunited the Jackson brothers with Michael at his post-Thriller peak, were heavily hyped, but the King of Pop publicly and privately griped about the exorbitant ticket prices and the staging of the production.
In 1984, when she was only 18 years old, Janet Jackson shocked her family when she eloped with R&B singer James DeBarge. Their brief marriage was annulled the following year and many have speculated that Janet only did it to escape the influence of Joe.
“The only reason I wrote this song was to help my little brother get a grip on reality,” Jermaine Jackson said of his angry broadside against Michael called “Word to the Badd!!”. Released in 1991, the song directly attacked Michael over his plastic surgery and rapidly lightening skin. The brothers apparently patched things up, but the song stands out as a rare airing of dirty laundry for this usually private family.
LaToya Jackson’s infamous 1989 appearance in Playboy kicked off a decade of estrangement from the Jackson family. During this time she was married to a man named Jack Gordon (who she claimed abused her). She would say Joe Jackson molested her, and become a tabloid fixture.
Back in 2010, child services had to come to ‘Blanket’ Jackson’s rescue after he was allegedly tortured by his cousins with a stun gun.
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The Internet is buzzing today with breaking stories of discord in the Jackson family, but this is far from the first time that private dramas involving the most famous family in R&B have spilled onto the national stage. As Katherine, Tito, Janet, Randy, and Michael’s lawyers feud and spin about the fate of his estate and his children, theGrio is taking a look back on past conflicts that went public.
Click here to view a slideshow of Paris Jackson’s most telling tweets about the Jackson family drama.