Marlon Jackson Biography

Business Leader, Music Producer, Singer(1957–)
Marlon Jackson scored platinum records singing with his famous family, including little brother Michael. The Jackson 5 was one of Motown's biggest acts.

Synopsis

Born March 12, 1957, Marlon Jackson was the sixth of the Jackson children, one year older than brother Michael. In the late 60s, the five oldest Jackson brothers formed The Jackson 5, and signed with Motown. Their songs "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There" topped the charts and made them musical sensations. After Michael Jackson left to pursue a solo career, the remaining members moved to Epic Records before eventually disbanding. After the death of Michael, the Jacksons reunited for the series The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty.

Early Career

Singer and businessperson Marlon Jackson was born on March 12, 1957, in Gary, Indiana. As a member of the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons, Marlon Jackson has enjoyed huge success in the music industry. He was the sixth child born to Katherine and Joseph Jackson; his twin brother Brandon was stillborn. At first, his older brothers Tito, Jermaine and Jackie performed as the Jackson Brothers with their father serving as their manager.

By the late 1960s, Marlon and younger brother Michael were part of the act, which was now called the Jackson 5. The group was signed to the famous Motown record label by Berry Gordy in 1968. In 1970, they scored their first No. 1 hit with "I Want You Back." The band continued to see its popularity skyrocket over the next few years with such hits as "ABC" and "I'll Be There."

Commercial Success

At the age of 18, Marlon Jackson married Carol Ann Parker. He and the rest of the band went through some turmoil around this same time. The group, with the exception of Jermaine, left Motown and signed with Epic Records. Randy Jackson joined the group around this time and, in the process, the group went through a name change, becoming the Jacksons. The band took more creative control at Epic, writing all of the songs for 1978's Destiny. In 1980, they released Triumph, which sold more than one million copies.

Marlon and his brothers, including Jermaine, reunited for 1984's Victory. Behind the scenes, Marlon worked as a producer for his sister Janet and singer Betty Wright. He also broke out on his own with the 1987 solo album Baby Tonight, which featured the hit "Don't Go." By the 1990s, Marlon focused most of his attention on different business interests.

Personal Life

Beginning in 1999, Jackson ran the Major Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in Atlanta. The MBC provided viewers with religious-themed programming. In 2004, the network became known as the Black Family Channel. It ceased operations in 2007. More recently, Jackson has been involved in a controversial project in Nigeria. He reportedly expressed an interest in building a historical resort in the port town of Badagry, Nigeria, which was a site of significant slave trading. Some object to the development, which will reportedly include a theme park, a slavery museum, and a special display of Jackson memorabilia.

A personal tragedy, however, led Marlon to focus on more personal matters. On June 25, 2009, he suffered a terrible loss when his brother Michael died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. He was shocked to learn of his brother's death, and discussed this loss with a reporter from Essence.com. Marlon explained that Michael Jackson "left a legacy and it's going to be forever, and I really feel that in my heart. I want people to concentrate on those things that he did for people. He did a lot of positive things."

To honor his brother's legacy, Marlon Jackson worked on reuniting the Jacksons for the All Star Tribute to Michael Jackson: The King of Pop concerts to be held in New York in September 2009. 

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