BMI is saddened to have learned of the passing of Joe Jackson on Wednesday, June 27, at age 89. Profoundly instrumental to the legacy of some of BMI’s most prominent and celebrated affiliates, Jackson launched his family’s musical journey in 1964 with the formation of the Jackson 5, featuring his sons Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Michael. The siblings originally signed to Steeltown Records in 1967 before moving to Berry Gordy’s Motown in 1969. Their first single for the storied label was “I Want You Back,” which landed at the No.1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 in January 1970. Under their father’s management, the Jackson 5 went on to record three more singles — “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There” – that all matched the success of “I Want You Back,” earning the band the distinction of being the first recording act to have their first four singles reach the top of the Hot 100.
As the Jackson 5 gradually launched the solo careers of Michael and Jermaine, Joe reconfigured the group as The Jacksons (with Randy replacing Jermaine in 1975) and signed them to Epic. Jermaine Jackson went on to be nominated for a GRAMMY and scored several Billboard Top 30 Hits. Michael, meanwhile, released a series of unprecedentedly successful albums and would go on to become an international pop superstar. Simultaneously, Joe started orchestrating the careers of his daughters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet, the youngest of the Jackson family who first began her career in television before embarking on a stratospheric music career of her own. BMI is privileged to be honoring Janet Jackson as a BMI Icon at the 2018 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards later this summer.
Renowned for his industry savvy, Joe Jackson was proclaimed Best Entertainment Manager of All Time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. BMI recognizes Jackson’s monumental impact and extends its condolences to the Jackson family for their loss.