Little did Joseph and Katherine Jackson know when they married in November of 1949 and started the world’s most popular music family group and pop royalty. They started their family in 1950 when daughter Maureen Reilette (Rebbie) was born, followed by Sigmund Esco (Jackie, 1951), Tariano Adaryll (Tito, 1953), Jermaine La Jaune (1954), La Toya Yvonne (1956), Marlon David (1957, twin brother Brandon died within 24 hours after birth), Michael Joe (1958), Steven Randall (Randy, 1961) and Janet Damita Jo (1966).
2300 Jackson Street
The Jackson boys’ interest in music took place in their family home on 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana bolstered by papa Joe. In 1964, Joe caught Tito playing with his guitar after a string broke. Upon fixing the string, threatening punishment, Tito played for his father, who was impressed enough to buy Tito his own guitar. Tito, Jermaine and Jackie showed an interest in singing and formed their own group with their father naming them as The Jackson Brothers, with six-year-old Michael playing congas and childhood buddies Reynaud Jones and Milford Hite playing keyboards and drums. Marlon, then seven, eventually joined playing the tambourine.
In 1966, the group won a talent show at Gary’s Theodore Roosevelt High School, where Jermaine performed several Motown numbers, including The Temptations’ “My Girl” and Michael performed two James Brown numbers, including, “I Got You (I Feel Good)”, winning the talent show instantly. Johnny Jackson and Ronnie Rancifer eventually replaced Milford Hite and Reynaud Jones. After several more talent show wins, Joe booked his sons to perform at several respected music venues of the chitlin’ circuit, including Chicago’s Regal Theater and Harlem’s Apollo Theater, winning the talent competitions on both shows in 1967. After winning the Apollo, the brothers entered the professional music scene signing with Steeltown Records and released two singles, “(I’m A) Big Boy” and “We Don’t Have to Be Over 21”.
While performing a week long run of shows at the Regal Theater as the opening act for Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, an impressed Taylor sent the Jacksons to Detroit to help with their Motown audition, which was set for July 23 at Motown’s headquarters located at Woodward Avenue. Following the taped audition, which was sent to CEO Berry Gordy’s office in Hollywood, Gordy requested the group to be signed by early 1969. Following initial recordings at Detroit’s Hitsville USA studio, Berry Gordy sent the Jacksons to Hollywood in July, hiring Suzanne de Passe to become a mentor of the brothers.
The Jackson 5
The group continued as The Jackson 5 and recorded their first single, “I Want You Back”, written by an assembled Motown team called The Corporation, which consisted of three composers and songwriters Freddie Perren, Deke Richards and Alphonzo Mizell with Gordy as a fourth partner. In October of 1970, the song was released and the group promoted it while performing at the Hollywood Palace with Ross hosting. In December, the brothers made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Afterwards, their debut album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, was released that same month.
In January 1970, “I Want You Back” topped the Billboard Hot 100. The Jackson 5 released two more number-one singles, “ABC” and “The Love You Save”. A fourth single, “I’ll Be There” became the band’s fourth number-one single, making them the first recording act to have their first four singles reach the top of the charts. All four singles were almost as popular in other countries as it was in the United States. Releasing a succession of four albums in one year, the Jackson 5 had replaced The Supremes as Motown’s best-selling group. They continued their success with singles such as “Mama’s Pearl”, “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Sugar Daddy”, giving them a total of seven top ten singles within a two-year period.
As Motown’s main marketing focus, the label capitalized on the group’s youth appeal licensing dozens of products, including the J5 heart logo, the group’s album covers, stickers, posters and coloring books, as well as a Saturday morning cartoon series produced by Rankin/Bass. The Jackson brothers graced the cover of magazines, including otherwise predominantly white teen-oriented magazines. In addition, the Jackson 5 appeared in several television specials including Diana Ross’ 1971 special, Diana! and they starred on their first of two Motown-oriented television specials, Goin’ Back to Indiana and The Jackson 5 Show.
To continue increasing sales, Motown launched Michael Jackson’s solo career, with the single, “Got to Be There”, released in November 1971. Following several top 40 follow-ups, Jackson’s 1972 song, “Ben”, became his first to top the charts. Jermaine was the second to release a solo project, his most successful hit of the period being a cover of the doo-wop song, “Daddy’s Home”.
The Jackson 5 released 15 albums at Motown, selling millions of records in one decade and touring all over the world as The Jackson 5 between 1970 and 1976, starting with their first official concert on 2 May, 1970 in Philadelphia the last one in this formation on 19 February, 1976 in Manila, Philippines. At Motown, Michael released four solo albums, Jermaine released nine and Jackie one.
By 1975, most of the Jacksons opted out of recording any more music for Motown desiring more creative control and royalties. Joe began negotiating to have his boys sign a lucrative contract with another company, settling for Epic Records, and signed Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael and Randy with the company in June of 1975. Absent from the deal was Jermaine, who decided to stay loyal to Motown and continue his career at the label that introduced J5 to the world. At that time, Jermaine was also married to berry Gordy's daughter Hazel and had started a family with her.
While Jermaine's brothers continued as The Jacksons, he focused on his solo career at Motown. In 1980, Jermaine teamed up with his long-time friend Stevie Wonder for the album Let’s Get Serious of which the title song reached #1 in the U.S. charts and earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Jermaine released a total of nine solo albums for Motown and moved on to the record label Arista Records in 1983.
At Arista Jermaine released four albums and he collaborated with rising star Whitney Houston. He produced three songs for her debut album Whitney Houston and he recorded a couple duets with her, one of them features on Jermaine’s 1984 hit album Dynamite, which also features a duet with his brother Michael, the #1 song "Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’ (Too Good to Be True)". The album Dynamite also features the #1 European smash hit single "When the Rain Begins to Fall", a duet with Pia Zadora. In 1989 Jermaine topped the U.S. charts again with the song Don’t Take It Personal.
Reunited with the brothers
In March of 1983, one of the performing highlights of the remarkable career of Jermaine is the unforgettable reunion performance with his brothers on one of histories most watched television specials, Motown 25. Following the success of the reunion, all six brothers recorded a sixth album for Epic, released as Victory in 1984. Their biggest-selling album to date included the top ten single, “State of Shock”. In July of 1984, the Jacksons launched their Victory Tour. The group performed 55 concerts to an audience of approximately 2 million and the tour sold what was then a record number of ticket sales.
After the Victory Tour, Jermaine and Michael continued their solo careers. The other brothers also released solo records. Marlon released his solo debut in 1987, Jackie released his second album in 1989 and in that same year Randy worked on and album with a band called The Gypsys and released an album in 1989. as well.
In 1989, five years after their last album, the remaining quartet of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Randy released 2300 Jackson Street, with Jermaine performing most of the lead vocals. After a brief promotional tour, the band went into hiatus. Besides Michael, all the brothers spent time as a husband and father to children and worked on their own careers, projects and businesses.
In September 2001, nearly 17 years after their last performance together, all six Jackson brothers reunited for two performances at Madison Square Garden for a 30th anniversary special commemorating Michael’s career.
Early 2009, the four elder brothers began filming a reality show to make their attempt on reuniting the band, later debuting in December 2009 as The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty. During the middle of the project, Michael had announced his concert comeback in London. Sadly, the brothers, the Jackson family and fans all over the world were shocked when Michael suddenly passed away on June 25, 2009. Later in 2009, following the death of brother Michael, the surviving Jacksons recorded background vocals for a previously unreleased song, “This Is It” (the theme for the movie This Is It), which had originally been a demo.
Moving beyond the music
In the 90s, Jermaine started to diversify and doing other things. In 1992, he produced The Jacksons: An American Dream, an award-winning and highly-rated miniseries about the history of The Jacksons.
Jermaine appeared in the media a lot to defend and support his brother Michael. During the child molestation trial, Jermaine stoo dby his brother's side and attended the court house on a daily basis.
In 2007 Jermaine participated in Celebrity Big Brother 2007, also known as Celebrity Big Brother 5, the highly controversial fifth series of the British reality television series Celebrity Big Brother. The series was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK , from 3 January 2007 and ran for 26 days with the finale on 28 January 2007. Jermaine finished as runner-up with Shilpa leaving the house last as the winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2007. Jermaine was known as the peacemaker among the household. A year later, in 2008, Jermaine also participated in another reality series. This time American celebrity reality television Gone Country (season 2) in which contestants compete to become a country music singer.
In 1997 Jermaine and his brothers were ceremonially honored as inductees of the well-respected Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the youngest group to ever receive that honor.
In 2011, Jermaine published his memoirs You Are Not Alone Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes, an Amazon and New York Times best seller.
In between touring with his brothers, the Jermaine Jackson & Coronet® Collection was launched in 2016, a jewelry collection with designs by Jermaine.
The dream goes on
In 2010, Jermaine performed a solo concert Celebrating 40 Years of Jackson Family Music in The Gambia, Africa and Las Vegas, United States.
After nearly three decades, brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon reunited in 2012 to start the Unity Tour in the United States and Canada. The Unity Tour continued in 2013 with shows in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the US and Canada.
In February and March of 2014, The Jacksons did a six week Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood taking the audience on an interactive, unforgettable journey through their lives and musical career and offering offers soulful pop-funk and impeccable live performances that have made them one of the most beloved musical acts of all time. Jermaine and his brothers Jackie, Tito and Marlon continue to perform all over the world to bring love, peace and happiness to their fans and the public.
In April of 2014, Jermaine and his wife Halima appeared on US ABC reality show Celebrity Wife Swap.
In March 2016, Jermaine launched the Jermaine Jackson & Coronet® Collection which is 3 lines of fine Jewelry, including a Jermaine Jackson signature collection that contains exquisite pieces of Jewelry, a silver guitar Jewelry line with the inspirations from the extravagant design of Coronet diamond guitar, a Islamic diamond Jewelry line with diverse beautiful design and a playful dual face watches dedicated to The Jackson 50th anniversary.
Besides running a lot of businesses and charities, and mentoring his sons Jaafar and Jermajesty to launch their singing careers, Jermaine is performing with his brothers, as well as recording a new music.