Joe Jackson, father to Michael and Janet, dies of pancreatic cancer at 89: report

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Joe Jackson, father to Michael and Janet, dies of pancreatic cancer at 89: report
Joe Jackson, 89, had been in hospital for terminal cancer. * Reuters
Joe Jackson, 89, had been in hospital for terminal cancer. * Reuters

(BBC) – Joe Jackson, the father of music legends Michael and Janet Jackson, has died at age 89, a person close to the family has confirmed to the BBC.

Jackson passed away early on Wednesday morning after he had been in hospital for terminal pancreatic cancer, celebrity news website TMZ reports.

His death comes just two days after the anniversary of his son Michael Jackson’s death nine years ago.

His grandson, Taj Jackson, also confirmed his death in a tweet.

The Jackson family patriarch played a large role in the careers of The Jackson 5 as well as Michael and Janet Jackson.

Five sons – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael – became the Jackson 5, joined at times by younger brother Randy, who also pursued a solo career.

Three daughters – LaToya, Rebbie, and, most famously, Janet – all fashioned their own pop careers under Jackson’s management, with varying levels of recognition.

Jackson was the architect of his children’s early successes, but some of them would later say he drove them with a zeal that bordered on abuse, with Michael and others alleging bullying, physical abuse and punishing work schedules.

Jackson later admitted that he had whipped Michael, but denied it could be categorised as a beating. “I whipped him with a switch and a belt. I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick,” he told the BBC’s Louis Theroux in 2003.

The interview made headlines after Jackson said in response to a question about Michael, “We don’t believe in gays. I can’t stand them.”

The Jackson family was famously riven over the years by internal strife, which often played out in the full glare of the public eye, with various estrangements and arguments over money making their way through the courts.

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