Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family, dead at 89
Joe Jackson, the father and longtime manager of the famed Jackson family, has died at 89.
He passed away Wednesday in Los Angeles at around 3:30 a.m. following a battle with cancer, TMZ reported.
The pop music patriarch was hospitalized last week with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a family source previously confirmed to The News.
Friends remembered the notoriously domineering dad as a force who revolutionized the recording industry with his guidance of The Jackson 5 and early solo careers of superstars Michael and Janet.
“I think Joe Jackson was the patriarch of a family that transformed music in America,” Rev. Al Sharpton, a family friend, told the Daily News on Wednesday. “He brought the music of blacks mainstream, from Michael and the Jackson 5 to Janet. He fathered them and instructed them and never got the credit he deserved ... He reinterpreted what American music was all about. Without Joe Jackson, black music would have continued largely on the Chitlin Circuit, which rendered blacks outside the mainstream."
In the days leading up to his death, Jackson was medicated for pain as family members flocked to his side, the family source previously told The News.
The source said Katherine Jackson, his wife of 68 years and mother of 10 of his children, rushed to his bedside as his prognosis grew more dire.
Jackson struggled with health issues in recent years, including a 2012 stroke, a second stroke with accompanying heart arrhythmia in 2015 and a Los Angeles hospitalization in 2016.
Jackson, portrayed by his late son Michael as a tyrannical taskmaster, was a former boxer and steel worker who refused to give up on his dream of a career in music.
When he noticed talent in his kids, he pushed them hard to succeed.
Michael revealed some of his alleged tactics in a blockbuster 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The King of Pop publicly accused the demanding dad of brutal beatings, saying Joe would sit with a belt in his hands as he, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon rehearsed as The Jackson 5.
“If you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you,” Michael said.
Joe Jackson later admitted to some questionable parenting practices, but he claimed his strict style was a key to his family’s success.
As news of the elder Jackson’s death spread online Wednesday, many critics focused on his history of alleged abuse.
Grandson Taj Jackson, one of Tito’s sons, fired back, saying the family knew the real Joe Jackson and loved him deeply.
“Disgusted by some of the comments I’m reading about my grandpa Joe by those who didn’t even know him. Please don’t just regurgitate what you were spoon fed by the press. Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness,” Taj said in a Twitter post.
Daughter Janet, 52, paid tribute to her dad Friday while accepting the 2018 Radio Disney Music Award’s Impact award.
“It’s humbling to be recognized as someone that has had a positive impact, but if I have been fortunate enough to impact others it is only because I, myself, have been greatly impacted by positive people in my life,” Janet said in her speech, which aired Saturday.
“My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable. My father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can,” she said. “My siblings set an incredibly high standard for artistic excellence.”
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