Joe Jackson, father of the Jackson 5, dies aged 89

Michael Jackson’s father had been suffering from cancer, according to reports

 File image of Joe Jackson, the father of late pop star Michael Jackson, posing  in Cannes, France, in  May 2014. File photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

File image of Joe Jackson, the father of late pop star Michael Jackson, posing in Cannes, France, in May 2014. File photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

 

Joe Jackson, the patriarch of an American musical dynasty who started his son Michael and his Jackson 5 brothers on the road to stardom but also verbally and physically abused them, has died at the age of 89, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Jackson, who lived in Las Vegas and had been estranged from much of his family, had been suffering from cancer, according to media reports.

TMZ.com first reported the news. Both TMZ and CNN cited an unnamed source close to the family.

Joe was estranged from Michael before the singer’s 2009 death. He was also estranged from his wife, Katherine, and many of his other children, including another singing superstar, Janet.

Joe Jackson, who was born on July 26th, 1928, in Fountain Hill, Arkansas, had tried careers as a boxer and a guitarist with little success in the 1950s. He was working as a crane operator at a steel plant in Gary, Indiana, when he took note of the musical talents of his sons.

He called them the Jackson 5 and, with Michael as the precociously talented lead singer, they would become one of the world’s top acts.

But it came at a price. As the group’s manager, Jackson put his sons through long, regimented rehearsals.

Michael, who died at age 50 of a drug overdose, told interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he was so afraid of his father that he would sometimes vomit when he saw him. He said Joe presided over rehearsals with a belt.

– Reuters