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 Life after Michael: Jackie Jackson on fame, stardom--Mention Michael, Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley

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PostSubject: Life after Michael: Jackie Jackson on fame, stardom--Mention Michael, Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley   Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:17 am

Life after Michael: Jackie Jackson on fame, stardom

As the Jacksons tour, MJ's oldest brother reflects on Michael and his musical legacy.

Jackie Jackson remembersthe moment he knew the Jackson 5 were superstars.

"We had several hit records out, I Want You Back and ABC, but our first trip to Europe (in 1972) we were landing about 5 o'clock in the morning and a pilot told us ... 'Jacksons, you have about 10,000 screaming fans sneaking into the airport overnight,' " Jackie said

"That's when I realized ... that we're doing something really major."

The Jackson 5 of Gary, Indiana, mixed pop, soul, rock and R&B for an ebullient sound that shook the world with a message of joy and brotherhood in the early '70s.

"The music will last forever," Jackie said. "You can listen to a great song without the curse words and it's not too sexual or provocative, it's just great music."

The Jacksons — also Jermaine, Marlon and Tito — are on a Unity Tour this summer. The group will perform all eras of Jacksons music, including solo material of the late Michael Jackson. Michael's songs will be sung by Jackie.

The brothers are on the road again, just like old times when they were the kings of the charts. They had the attention of the King of Rock 'n' Roll back then.

"I remember Elvis (Presley), he was the nicest guy," Jackie said. "He was always bringing his daughter (Lisa Marie Presley) to our shows all the time, that's how Michael first met her."

Michael and Lisa Marie would later marry.

"(Elvis) would stand way in the back while his daughter would sit in the front."

Elvis once rescued Jackie from the clutches of his Memphis Mafia security team.

"One time I was going on the elevator at the (former) MGM Grand Hotel (in Las Vegas) and I was going the back way because I had another performance to do," Jackie said. "When Elvis would go somewhere, he had an army with him and so his security guys didn't know who I was and they were about to throw me out of the elevator. Elvis said, 'Wait, hold on, that's a Jackson right there, you don't throw him out. Leave him here.' "

The Jackson 5, and later the Jacksons and Michael as a solo act, played a not-insignificant role in defusing the country's racial tensions of the '70s and early '80s with a message of inclusion and unity.

"There were times on tour when we did run into particular problems," said Jackie, 62. "But we stuck together and rose above that and we tried to show that people are people no matter what color they were."

"When you go to our concerts, you see everybody: white, black, all nationalities – that what we love to see."

The presence of Michael, who died in 2009 at the age of 50 in a tragic and controversial manner, is felt at the Unity shows, Jackie said.

"When we do the Michael songs, we have the backdrop, people start crying and sometimes we tear up on stage when we're singing the songs," Jackie said. "Then we break out an uptempo tune which makes people laugh and dance in their seats, so it's like a bittersweet moment."

Michael's death added him to the regrettable list of entertainment icons, including Presley, Whitney Houston, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, who perished before their time. Michael died after a fatal dose of a sleeping agent while in the care of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was sentenced to prison for manslaughter for his role in the death.

"It seems like the talented people, they leave real early, I don't know why that is. I don't plan to, my brothers don't plan to go nowhere soon," Jackie said. "That's something that bothers me, why do talented people leave so soon?"

"It could be that they give so much of themselves. They don't pace themselves and they burn out."

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