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Early Life : The Jackson 5

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Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana. Under his father's encouragement, Jackson's career in music began at the age of 5.

The Jackson 5

Joseph believed his sons had talent and molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s that would later become known as the Jackson 5

At first, the Jackson Family performers consisted of Jackson's older brothers, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie. Jackson joined his siblings when he was five years old, and emerged as the group's lead vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. Older brother Marlon also became a member of the group, which evolved into the Jackson 5.

Jackson and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing their act. At first, the Jackson 5 played local gigs and built a strong following. They recorded one single on their own, "Big Boy," with the B-side "You've Changed," but the record failed to generate much interest.

The Jackson 5 moved on to working as the opening act for such R&B artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the legendary Motown record label, and the Jackson 5 eventually caught the attention of Motown founder Berry Gordy. Impressed by the group, Gordy signed them to his label in early 1969.

Jackson and his brothers moved to Los Angeles, where they lived with Gordy and with Diana Ross of the Supremes as they got settled. The Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry at a special event in August 1969, and the group later opened for the Supremes. 

Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, hit the charts in December 1969, with its single, "I Want You Back," reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly afterward. More chart-topping singles quickly followed, such as "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There."

For several years, Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show, which ran from 1971 to 1972. At the same time, Jackson launched his solo career. 

Despite the group's great success, there was trouble brewing behind the scenes. Tensions mounted between Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children's careers, with the Jacksons wanting more creative control over their material. The group officially severed ties with Motown in 1976, though Jermaine Jackson remained with the label to pursue his solo career.

Now calling themselves the Jacksons, the group signed a new recording deal with Epic Records. By the release of their third album for the label, 1978's Destiny, the brothers had emerged as talented songwriters.

The overwhelmingly positive response to Jackson's 1979 solo album Off the Wall helped the Jacksons as a group. Triumph (1980) sold more than 1 million copies, and the brothers went on an extensive tour to support the recording. At the same time, Jackson continued exploring more ways to branch out on his own.

In 1983, Jackson embarked on his final tour with his brothers to support the album Victory. The one major hit from the recording was Jackson's duet with Mick Jagger, "State of Shock."

biography.com

Michael Jackson 2.jpg

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