June 27, 2013
By BRANDON I. BROOKS
The Jacksons are to music what the Beatles are — Royalty! Although the group has lost its iconic brother their brand still resonates with millions of fans that have followed them for more than a quarter of a century.
Therefore it is no surprise that The Jacksons will be among the big hits this weekend June 29-30 at the inaugural BET Experience.
The group’s elder statesman Jackie Jackson provided an exclusive interview with Sentinel Managing Editor Brandon Brooks.
The Jacksons have been traveling and performing on their Unity Tour for more than a year. They’ve “just came back from Russia” according to Jackie and it is no surprise these international superstars still have staying power.
As many new artists come and go, it’s amazing to see The Jacksons still standing tall after all these years, with voices that are just as golden when Motown introduced them to the world.
“Our fans want to hear our great songs. We sing all of our great hits when we are on tour” Jackie said.
There can be so many highs and lows while on tour, and The Jacksons have experienced it all. Before there was Bieber Fever, there was The Jackson 5 Fever. I’m sure these former teen idols have many stories to tell.
Jackie said that touring “can be tedious and grueling.”
But he is not overtaken by the grind. “Once you get on that stage its nothing like it. You can hear from backstage the audience roaring. They can’t wait to see us.”
“It’s the biggest high you can ever have. My brothers and I enjoy it. It’s a great feeling. It gives you that energy that you feel great on stage.”
And he says he and his brothers can never get enough of it.
“No not all. Because sometimes they come out and fly out and see certain shows they want to see. Whether it’s in Europe or here in the states, the brothers and I love it.”
Balancing the job of performing and maintaining a family life is tough, but The Jacksons have always been about their business when it comes to performing.
“We want to give our best performance. It is a tour to us; the audience gives us that tour. Want to give our fans a great performance,” Jackie told the Sentinel.
“It is about bringing people together around the world. I mean there still is a lot of hatred going on around the world, but we will see it’s getting better. If we can change one person and that person changes the other that is good. We love doing music.”
With so many hits under their belts like “Show You the Way to Go” it’s easy to see how Jackie could forget their songs. “My mind may go blank (he laughs) I’ll stick the mike out to the audience and have them sing it for me.”
The Jacksons will be joining R. Kelly and New Edition in concert following the BET Awards Sunday June 30.
“That is going to be real exciting doing that with BET. R. Kelly and New Edition are going to be on the show. We’re very excited to play with those guys. They have been friends of ours for a very long time. Just to be on the same stage with them it’s going to be wonderful. Right here at the Staples Center. We are looking forward to the show, all the brothers are too. We marked it down on our calendar; we already did (he laughs).”
Hailing from Gary, Indiana where they began their humble careers, their big hit came with their song “I Want You Back” which introduced them to the world.
Los Angeles has been their home since those early years, but they also call Indiana home.
“Home is Indiana. Home is Los Angeles. We have been out here for such a longtime in LA. We have two homes.”
The Jacksons will also be performing at the LA County fair this summer. “You know we got the call. We were like of course we will do it. You know its home.”
The Jacksons have a new album on the way.
“We’ve been recording at the same time and touring at the same time. So when we are not touring we are in the studio recording. Trying to schedule everything and figure out the album. Going to be a great record, we do not have a title right now. Recording some songs working with some top producers, but I cannot name any right now. But it’s going to be wonderful and great record. We’re very excited about it,” said Jackson.
“The man upstairs has blessed us; we have something to do here. We travel around the world and make people happy. That is what we try to do through our music and performances on stage. That is what we love doing.”
Shonassee Shaver contributed to this story.