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The Katherine Jackson Story
A Vintage Pop Media Group LLC. Production 20434 S. Sante Fe Ave. Long Beach, CA 90810
Copyright© 2010 Vintage Pop Media LLC, and Vintage Pop Inc., All rights reserved. Published by Vintage Pop Media Group LLC 2010 First hardcover edition June 2010. Narration: Katherine Jackson
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address: Vintage Pop Media Group LLC. 20434 S. Sante Fe Ave. Long Beach, CA 90810 Created by Howard Mann & Sonia Lowe Publisher: Howard Mann c/o Vintage Pop Media Group LLC Creative Director/Designer/Editor: Sonia Lowe c/o Vintage Pop Media Group LLC
This book is dedicated to the loving memory of my son, Michael Jackson. These pages contain photographs from our private family collection, and are illustrated with my personal stories about Michael from his early childhood, right up through his remarkable career. Over the course of Michael’s life, I’ve reserved my comments about my son. Now, after his death, I have decided to share my story for two reasons.
Co-Publishers: Michael Klipper & Robert Creel Copy Editors: Jim Tykoliz, Denise Holtby, Alexis Ungerer Print Production/Editing: Bryan Hughes c/o Zigbot Media Logo/Branding: Miguel St Giovanni Artist (Katherine Jackson Painting): Ronald S. McDowell Special thanks to: Lowell Henry, Trent Jackson, Joe Jackson and The Estate of Michael Jackson. Manufactured in the United States of America ISBN 978-0-9828000-0-3 5559
Vintage Pop Media LLC holds exclusive license to the assets of Jackson Communications Inc., which combines photos, videos, music, personal items and memorabilia assets, purchased by way of bankruptcy liquefication before a United States court. Attempts to plagiarize, unlawfully reproduce or copy will result in prosecution. Original MJ art: “Bubbles Chair”, “Key III”, “Happy Gate” and “We The People” (Pgs. 5,45,85 and 123) are exclusive property of Jackson-Strong Alliance and are not for reprint, duplicaton or subsequent commercialization. All rights reserved. Jackson-Strong Alliance and the beneficiaries of the Michael Jackson Estate.
Firstly, I hope this book sheds insight into the person that Michael truly was, the person who I’ve always known him to be. Sharing my memories with Michael’s fans is my way of passing on his message and legacy in a way that he would approve. And it is my hope that his fans come to know ‘the real’ Michael, rather than the person that the media portrayed him to be. Those who knew my son well will attest that Michael was one of the best persons you’d ever want to meet and be around. He loved everyone; he was a good father and a very good son.
Michael was generous, kind, considerate, funny, intelligent, warm and extremely humble. His acts of kindness and generosity were something he hardly spoke about; when in fact he was truly one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. At one point, he was active in 39 charities, and the Guinness Book of Records recognized him for his donations in the philanthropic world. Michael often saw the good in people and trusted many in the early part of his career, sometimes leading to pain and betrayal in his life. Most of what I’ve read or heard about Michael in the media was not the truth - especially the allegations of child abuse. Evan Chandler, the father of Michael’s first accuser, recently committed suicide. Though I can’t comment on why, I want to believe his conscience finally caught up with him and he was not able to live with himself after destroying an innocent person’s career and
breaking his spirit. Michael loved children and he worked diligently and passionately to better the lives of the less fortunate … the last thing he would do is harm an innocent child.
The second reason for writing this book is to celebrate the remarkable artist my son Michael was, and to acknowledge the contribution he made throughout his life to music, arts, people, and the planet. Michael was a true artist with a vision to heal the world through music. Being on stage was what he loved to do, and I am happy that he shared his gifts with his fans who he loved very deeply. Beyond our hardships, our family loved Michael dearly, and each of us shares a special bond with him. Through our memories, we will always cherish Michael.
Bubbles Chair ~MJ “You are so beautiful to me” ~ Michael Jackson
always felt that Michael had talent. intuitively learning how to compose music and vocals. At the time. I knew then that the music was in him. Marlon and Michael soon became old enough to join their brothers on back-up vocals and percussion. 6 Michael was born with rhythm. It was Tito’s talent that got noticed first. our home in Gary. and Joe performed in a band with his brother. I remember the time our television set broke down. Our kids were encouraged to experiment with music at a young age. we encouraged the family to sing together with influences of popular musical It was not long before Joseph discovered his sons’ talents and decided to form The Jackson Brothers. Tito. Joe and I always had instruments lying around the house. he eventually allowed Michael to assist Jermaine on lead vocals. Ours was a musical family. We could not afford to get it fixed. with our three oldest sons. We had a broken down washing machine that made a racketing sound when set to a rinse cycle. Joseph was hesitant to let his young son bear the weight of center stage. As a baby. blues and jazz. my husband reduced his shifts at the mill so he could dedicate more time into developing the group. he responded very well to sound. Soon after we got married. but with my persuasion. Both myself and my husband Joseph grew up with a great love for music. Michael’s vocal range was evolving naturally toward what is now known as the signature sound of the group. He would borrow the guitar to practice on while Joe worked late shifts at the steel mill. so to entertain the kids. and my days playing clarinet in my high school band. I enjoyed singing with my sister. it was obvious that he loved music and dance. We didn’t have much money to entertain ourselves back then. 7 . Jackie and Jermaine on lead vocals. Joseph renamed the boys The Jackson Five in 1964. The boys took turns on the instruments. It was not unusual to find Joseph and I singing country songs around the house when we were newlyweds. Even before he could say his first words. Indiana was buzzing to the harmony of country. but I had no idea that he would achieve the level of success he did. all of which our nine children took a liking too. I acts like The Temptations. Michael would sit on top of the machine with a bottle in his mouth. With his background in music. bopping and grooving to the rhythmic racket. After realizing the talent that was brewing. As a child.
Tito. Middle: (clockwise): Jackie. Jermaine. Michael. Right: Michael (center) and family. .8 9 Left: Joe. Marlon. Randy and Michael.
10 11 Left to Right: Michael. . Randy and Tito. Marlon. Tito and Jermaine. Jackie. Left to Right: Michael. Marlon.
the group began to get noticed and soon after. including Janet. touring all over the country. Joseph and the boys decided it would be best to just focus their time and energy on music and touring. Early in the boys’ career. Latoya. Shortly after the group left Motown in 1975. he eventually collaborated with Bobby Taylor. 13 Left: 2300 Jackson Street. A quiet house was a drastic change for me . I enjoyed sewing as a hobby. and designed the group’s earlier costumes. Indiana. The entire family. Always a skeptical business man. The boys’ time soon became divided among weekly rehearsals and the preparation of skits and performances for television. a few offers started coming in. After only one season. I often found myself wishing we were back in Gary so I could spend more time with all my children. We didn’t have much money then. the boys found themselves in the studio. I missed having dinner with the entire family every night like we used to before the beginning of the boys’ professional careers. the boys would rise to stardom. we hired the talented Ruthie West to design the right outfits for the Jackson Five’s soulful. but we had each other. they signed with Epic Records (CBS) and worked with record production duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Joe initially resisted the deal. creating their first record. One of the major labels showing interest was Motown Records. Right: Me and my husband. backstage at a Jackson Five Concert. . squeaky-clean image. Joseph. Gary. Following that decision. As soon as we could afford it. Sure enough. we still struggled to make ends meet. Joseph and I knew that once we found the right contacts in the entertainment business. I stayed at home with Janet. Rebbie and Randy (until he eventually joined his brothers officially in 1975).. The Epic deal included a variety show titled. We moved the family from Indiana to California in 1968. Joseph and the boys immediately hit the road. Rebbie and Latoya made appearances on The Jacksons Variety Show. The Jacksons.12 W ith Joseph’s direction. the boys practiced three times per week and performed at local gigs in the Gary and Chicago areas.. but once the terms were in the best interest for the family. better known as Gamble and Huff.
Jackie. Leon Huff.14 15 Left: Tito. Michael and Randy . Marlon. Kenneth Gamble.
Janet. . Tito. Marlon. Michael and Randy. Michael and Jermaine. Latoya. The Jaskson Variety Show (Left to Right): Rebbie. Jackie.16 17 Left to Right: Tito.
my boys took on a hectic touring schedule which involved regular travel abroad. Michael’s best subject was Geography. As his mother. He felt like he missed out on some aspects that he deemed as a “normal childhood”. Michael knew that he would not have accomplished the level of stardom he did if it weren’t for his commitment as a child. who babysat for him periodically. he left his prized piano as a gift for Michael. He also had a fascination with Art. Michael invested several hours in the studio to record both background and lead vocals. He also surprised and impressed musical coaches with his ability to sing in harmony without any formal training. For instance. 19 Left to Right: Jackie. Our neighbors. Once their popularity grew. a private tutor who went on tour with the band. and though I’ve heard him complain about his sacrifices. at a mere six years old. Even at a young age his perfectionist nature was a force driving him to commit additional studio time to post-production editing. we hired Mrs. He was a natural. While his brothers would go out to celebrate. Michael ventured out to museums and galleries. Michael. a pianist. Growing up. and I’m sad to learn that Michael grew to regret most of the years he spent working as a child. Both Mrs. I felt the career pressure put upon Michael was premature. Michael was able to pick up choreography quickly. Not able to attend school. Marlon. often comment on how “different” Michael was and that there was something special about him . History and Culture. because he did a lot of things that you wouldn’t expect a child his age to do. Jermaine. He remained grateful in his accomplishments. even back then. Fines passed away. It was what he loved to do and we supported him. immersing himself in the culture of the cities they visited. Fines and her husband. formed a bond with Michael and inspired him to appreciate literature. When Mr. a certain je ne ce quois.. . I know he believed strongly in his purpose: to inspire the world with his art. I was especially proud of watching my son’s early development into stardom.. Fines.18 E ven though most people saw him as musically gifted and mature for his age. He knew how he wanted the music to sound and shared the responsibility of production. Tito. He was always considerably passionate about his music. Michael was also as gregarious as most other children.
The Jackson Five (Left to right): Tito. Marlon. . Michael and Jermaine. Tito. Jermaine and Jackie.20 21 The Jacksons Variety Show (Left to right): Michael. Jackie. Marlon.
.22 23 Left: Jackie and Michael Right: Michael in flight.
24 25 Right: The Jacksons meeting the Royal Family .
and emergency supplies being loaded onto several planes lining the tarmac. Michael spent it on candy. His generosity didn’t stop there. shiny. Every time he received his weekly allowance. . 27 The Jackson Five and the US Thunderbirds in Las Vegas. On the occasion I was presented with a ribbon and told to follow it to the other end. 26 I tried to teach Michael about the world through documentaries. My children often threw parties for me and hired my favorite country musician. I’m going to do something about this.” Several years later. goods. and inspiring the world to change for the better. One day. turned to me and said “One day. Donations to charities and years working with disabled children from all walks of life ensued. he did. Michael was also generous with our family. mother. We drove out to the airport hangar I witnessed boxes of food. And even at a young age.ichael had a generous nature about him. He was sending aid to Africa. Floyd Kramer. when my daughter Janet suspiciously asked me what my favorite color was. to perform. sympathetic at the age of 14. The state of their lives brought us both to tears. Michael would sometimes go out at night and randomly give hundreds of dollars to the homeless people he encountered. red Rolls Royce. where before me. He set up a little candy shop around the back of our house. I was M proud to know that my son followed through on his words. Michael. stood a beautiful. I recall a few days before one of my parties. he had an entrepreneurial spirit too. so he could give his treats away to the neighborhood kids. The ribbon led me all the way to the parking lot. Michael and I watched a film about the less fortunate children in Africa. He valued money far less than he did his goal of making a difference in peoples’ lives. Michael surprised me on a trip to New York City.
on the day my kids surprised me with a car. Randy and Marlon in Japan. . Middle: Me.28 29 Left: Michael. Right: Michael and Randy in Japan.
Jackie. Marlon. . Left to Right: Tito. Michael and friends. Randy and Michael.30 31 Left to Right: Sanford & Son’s Redd Fox.
He got along well with Marlon because they were closest in age. A Latoya sang back up for Michael for years and made appearances in both his “Say. It wasn’t unusual for Michael to entertain his guests at our place. A tight bond is shared between Michael and all of his siblings. To our new 10-bedroom estate. Michael entered with Yul following behind to find me in bed with my sleeping cap on. Janet turned to Michael as a mentor throughout her career. who were also among his closest friends.32 doration for classic stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Shirley Temple was something Michael was known for. He was always the ideal older brother to Janet and a big fan of her music. As a solution. Say. A tradition of abundance and togetherness is still practiced. because he looked up to him. Gregory Peck and Yul Brenner. He even built a studio for himself above the garage where he could practice. I was actually sleeping when I heard a knock at the door. The new studio inspired creativity for songs like “Billie Jean”. Michael felt like he was able to relate to his mentors… greats like Fred Astaire. In the 80’s we attempted to sell our property and relocate to the Hollywood area. He and Latoya bonded when they shared an apartment in New York while he worked on The Wiz in 1978. He befriended those he respected and admired in the industry. and although a generation apart. a beautiful gazebo and pool. Encino California has been our family home since 1971. Say” and “The Way You Make Me Feel” music videos. To this day. who was a favorite among all the boys. we failed to find a suitable place. Michael suggested tearing down our old house and remodeling my dream home right on the Encino property. Michael was also close to his sisters. Jermaine. I’ll never forget the embarrassing night I met Yul. “Beat it” and “Don’t stop till you get enough”. 33 . It was not until the 90’s that Michael decided to move out on his own into the Neverland Ranch. our Encino home remains a haven for family and friends. but after months of searching. Michael added a candy shop. They simply adored one another. Michael lived at home through the early part of his adulthood. It was late. and Tito.
34 35 Left: Michael with a fan. .
Tito.36 37 Left: Jackie. Marlon. Michael. Right: Randy. Tito. Jermaine. . Marlon. Jermaine. Jackie. Michael.
After the boys returned home from months of being on tour. Saddened and affected by their oppression. lending their time and also their voices to back up the group. He ensured that the Aboriginal kids were able to meet and take photos with the boys. Michael hoped to find the tribes and discover ways to improve their situation. the boys grew sensitive to cultural segregation at a young age. . Several years later. One day they visited a school to meet and perform for the local kids.38 bove and beyond his tutoring. The boys were in a small town promoting one of their albums. Joseph and I tried to instill cultural values in our children at a young age. Latoya. the Aboriginal kids were not permitted to meet the band and pose for photos. So that they would grow to respect and appreciate all A races. Randy and Rebbie were often present during rehearsals. Michael returned to Australia and to the town where the Aboriginal people lived. It was through such incidents. Because of the segregation of cultures that existed during that time. Joe noticed a group of Aboriginal fans gathering at the event with a hope to meet The Jacksons. I remember one story in particular which took place during a Jackson Five tour in Australia of 1974. the rest of the family began to take interest in show business and enthusiastically chipped in to help the boys prepare for their performances. 39 In the meantime. Michael learned a lot about other cultures and the world through his career. Michael was always excited to share his stories and his experiences abroad. Joe and The Jackson Five on tour in Australia. Janet. That day. Joe insisted that no fans be discriminated against.
40 41 The Jacksons CBS/Epic Years. .
Right: Jermaine and Michael. Randy.42 43 Left: Michael. Marlon and Tito. Tito and Jackie. Jackie. Right: Michael. .
Marlon. Michael. Stage The . Randy and Tito.44 Key III ~MJ Clockwise: Jackie.
however he was not discouraged. he still holds the record for the highest amount of Grammys won by an individual recording artist in a single year. Not receiving the recognition he had hoped for that year disappointed Michael. The entire stadium was adorned in balloons and banners with “Happy Birthday Michael” splashed across them—to me. an icon and a legend. Today. through all this. 47 The Jackson Five Victory Tour. Steadfast in his goal to change the outcome. “Next year mother. And there were about 30. I was surprised and amazed by the crowd of people who were there for my son. There is no doubt H my son accomplished great things in his life. I remember some of the highlights in Michael’s remarkable career. . I always saw Michael Jackson as just. Off the Wall. It really impressed me. He was a dreamer. my son.” The following year (1984). it was a tremendous gesture.46 is fans and peers crowned him the king of pop. But as big a star as he was. He was ambitious. He attended the Grammys in 1983 after the release of his first solo album. The arena echoed with excitable chants and screams from at least 70. his birthday. the Thriller album was released. I remember him saying. And somehow. yet he always strived for more. Michael managed to stay grounded.000 fans. Michael was nominated for 12 Grammy awards and took home eight. they are going to have to take notice.000 more anxiously waiting his attention outside. Michael’s fame had not occurred to me until one year when he took me to Echo Arena in Liverpool on August 29th.
Left to Right: Marlon.48 49 Left to Right: Tito. . Jackie and Randy. Marlon. Michael and Randy. Michael.
hen Michael remodeled our Encino home, he built a studio above our garage and called it Jacksons Communications Inc. (JCI). There, countless hours of rehearsing for shows followed.
Michael did not partake in traditional exercise to keep fit for touring, instead, his ritual involved dancing for several hours every Sunday. In an effort to also develop vocal endurance for his choreography, Michael would sing and dance by himself at the studio. He was intuitive in his methodology and believed in hard work and perseverance. His aim was to deliver a high-energy performance, constructed with ground-breaking choreography and special effects for every single show he did. Michael’s influences for dance were the great Fred Astaire and the legendary James Brown. He referred
to the icons of his time as a reference, while also staying abreast of modern talent to collaborate with. Merging the old with the new was a technique responsible for Michael’s classic, yet avant-garde approach to performance. My proudest “Michael Moment” was the first time he did the moonwalk during his solo performance of “Billie Jean” on March 25th 1983, during Motown 25. He rehearsed for that show at the JCI studio above the garage, and kept that trick a secret. In fact, the very first time I saw the moonwalk was on stage, just like everyone else.
I have two favorite Michael Jackson songs; “Man in the Mirror,” released in 1988, and “The Earth Song,” released in 1995. Another one of my favorites was the Jackson Five hit “Man of War”. I especially liked the lyrics, “Don’t go to war no more, study peace, ‘cause peace is what we need”.
56 57 .
58 59 .
” and his sister Rebbie’s 1984 song “Centipede. M Just like singing and dancing came naturally. he wore his glove and waved to his fans as he was being carried out on the stretcher. This too became one of his signature trends.. I often heard him shuffling around in his room because an inspiration woke him in the middle of the night. and to protect his head after the accident. sequined glove in the early to mid 80’s. He also began wearing fedoras and other types of hats when he went out in public as a disguise. Songs like “Heal The World” and “Will You Be There” were among Michael’s favorite to write because he was able to translate his message of peace and good will to his fans.. When he burned his scalp during a stage accident in 1984. and it didn’t stop at performance. Michael also wrote Diana Ross’s 1982 hit “Muscles.ichael loved the allure of theatre and strived to incorporate similar stage presentations into his performances. It was just one of those things that he thought would make a good fashion statement. With the help of his brothers and sisters on percussion. In some cases. 60 Michael first began sporting one white. he composed both songs at home in the JCI studio. He loved to study and dedicated time toward honing his craft. 61 . Michael was also able to write and compose music organically. emulating the same showmanship and excellence of his mentor Fred Astaire . The glove became famous after that. He excelled at capturing and maintaining the audience’s attention. he would write an entire song overnight. Michael was involved in the music composition for “Billy Jean” and “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” —often doubling as a producer to many of his tracks. He wanted to give the audience everything he had .” He also co-wrote “We Are The World” in 1985 with Lionel Ritchie.
. Randy and Michael.62 63 Left to Right: Marlon.
64 65 .
66 67 .
68 69 The Victory Tour: Marlon. Michael. .
70 71 The Victory Tour: Marlon. . Randy. Michael.
72 73 .
74 75 .
76 77 .
78 79 .
80 81 .
82 83 .
84 Happy Gate ~MJ Friends .
Michael carried on the same generous tradition throughout his life. Sammy Davis Jr. with a diet consisting of fish. Several years later. civil rights activist. After wearing it for several years. The two first met in Lake Tahoe. It was not unusual for Michael to give his fans and friends the things he had that they admired. It wasn’t Michael on set with Latoya and Paul McCartney O long before Michael encouraged the family to start eating healthy. and some like Miko Brando even accompanied him on tour. This photo was taken during their lunch break at the Tavern Scene location in the video. his late wife. Michael was very close with Paul and Linda for years. He seldom wore much jewelry himself. Michael first met Dick in 1978 on the set of The Wiz in New York. . Michael. Several of Michael’s friends visited him backstage at his shows. Because of his experience with kind-hearted mentors like Sammy. Among Michael’s friends was Chicago comedian. Dick continued to influence Michael’s health habits throughout his career until he finally became a full-blown vegetarian. One night after his show. Dick Gregory. Michael gave it to me as a keepsake. was soon inspired to become a vegetarian. Michael purchased the 2700 acre property which became the Neverland Ranch. 87 I still have that watch to this day. and often visited them at their home in the United Kingdom. and my daughter Latoya Jackson was shot on an old ranch in 1983. and nutritional consultant. Being the generous spirit he was. After meeting Dick. Linda McCartney. Michael was admiring Sammy’s watch. I remember my son adopting a serious health regime. chicken and vegetables in lieu of red meat. Sammy instantly removed the watch and gave it to Michael. was a dear friend and inspiration to Michael. impressed with Dick’s extensive knowledge on nutrition and health.86 ne of the scenes from the music video “Say Say Say” with Sir Paul McCartney.
Rev. Michael.88 89 Left: Joe. . Don King. Right: Michael and Dick Gregory.Jesse Jackson.
Miko Brando and Quincy Jones. “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Michael. ..90 91 Backstage (Left to right): Wayne Newton and Michael. Sammy Davis Jr.
(right photo) .92 93 Backstage the Victory Tour: Eddie Van Halen and Michael and Randy.
and Michael. Latoya and Michael. Right: Emmanuel Lewis.94 95 Left: The three T’s. . a family friend.
Yoko Ono.96 97 Left to Right: Michael. Right: Diana Ross and Michael. . Sean Lennon. Marlon.
Steve Rubell and friend.98 99 Left: Mr T. . Right: Lionel Richie. Michael. Debbie Allen. Center: The Three T’s and Diana Ross. and the Three T’s.
Don King. Michael. creating art pieces for the White House Commemoration book for the Bicentennial of the Presidency.100 101 Michael and artist Brett-Livingstone Strong. . Tito. Left To Right: Marlon. Randy.
102 Boy ~MJ Michael Just .
Michael would often write notes to himself. “our family will never have to worry about money anymore because of this business decision. Michael always knew what he wanted to do and how far he wanted to go. Michael was vocal about his intention to create the highest selling record of all time. he wouldn’t settle to just be “good”. 105 Michael received a lot of negative feedback and media backlash when he bought The Beatles catalog. Michael learned everything he knew about the entertainment industry through sheer experience. and to give everything he had to achieve his dream. Michael receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Equally as ambitious. Being as trusting as he was. His efforts did not stop there either. Long before he had any children of his own. He worked tenaciously. As he grew older. Above and beyond his tenacity was his vision. He believed in hard work. Most of his business dealings were left in the hands of his associates. Michael always set very high professional targets for himself to surpass.” I think those words stayed with him.. . He often used his intuition as a tool to make business and creative decisions. He was a visionary and specific in his ambition.104 always told Michael. No matter what he set out to do in his career. “you only get out of life. Michael came to me and said. For example. I Anyone who worked with Michael can attest that he simply would not settle for anything less than perfection. for as long as it took until he was satisfied with the outcome. which in time proved to be very lucrative for him. He would then work and strategize toward actualizing his goal. He strived to be the best in his field. He was right. a positive attitude and perseverance. and yet it was not in his nature to prosecute them. but Michael knew his investment would grow.. Michael became disheartened to learn that several employees and associates betrayed him. so he would see it every day as a reminder. before the success of the Thriller album.” People commented that he overpaid for the catalogue. Sometimes he would scribble down a target date for his album to top the charts on his mirror. He was always looking ahead. At only seven years old when he started. he hoped to dedicate less time to business and more toward his art. what you put into it. it had to be his best.
106 107 .
108 109 .
There was a giraffe Michael called Jabar. Naturally. I refused. Clothing was more of a personal and creative expression for Michael. as in Lola Falona. Though approached several times to produce a fashion label of his own. he was very much a part of the family. he motioned with his arms for us to pick him up. Michael saw that imitation of his style and image to be a form of flattery. events. His intelligence was apparent in the way he played games and taunted the dogs we kept around the yard. Animals were as plentiful as family around our home. and award shows. all except one that is. Michael For years. quite a few of his fans and peers emulated his fashion sensibility.110 ost of Michael’s clothes and costumes were custom made. 111 Left to Right: Bubbles. Bubbles lived and slept in Michael’s room. It was like night and day. You’d never even know there were any animals on the property because Michael kept the area they lived on in immaculate condition. His signature color was red. Michael pleaded for a pet monkey. Regardless. after basketball player. He had two deer. But when Michael was offstage. Karim Abdul Jabar. Michael and a family friend. a well-known actress. He would even provide sketches of the garment to be made. He had his own personal style and worked very closely with several designers on his wardrobe for his tours. Michael kept all the animals in a sanctuary he built on the Encino property. until one day he brought a baby chimp named Bubbles home. Prince and Princess. he simply didn’t express an interest in such projects. Bubbles was different from the other animals we fostered. And a snake named Muscles. . With a child-like demeanor. his sense of style was extremely understated. Lola. A staff of over 200 ensured that same precedent was maintained at NeverLand Ranch’s animal sanctuary years later. M also had a Llama named.
.112 113 Left: Michael and Magician Doug Henning. Marlon and friends backstage. Center: Me. with Michael.
nephews and neighborhood kids Enjoying magic as he often did. I know he would be trying a new career in directing films. I would come to the house to play. though I was always frustrated because Michael. All his nieces. 115 Long before Neverland. My father Prince. my father and I. Prince Michael Joseph Jackson. It seems like he sought out to compensate for the childhood he felt he never had. . He was happy just giving it away seeing the smiles on the children’s little faces. Jackie and Latoya. 114 Most people are not aware of the origins of Michael’s sons’ names. Marlon. Prince Michael Joseph Jackson the art of film direction. Michael was a big kid himself. When Michael was younger he spent time with my father. I remember enjoying quite a few indulgences myself as well. Right: Myself.Jermain. He was studying privately with a California State Professor who also offered his time to teach Michael’s oldest son. Michael and Joseph. and on family visits he often spent his time playing hide and seek with his cousins. The store was always filled with ice cream and treats. and Prince Michael Jackson (Blanket) were named after him. especially fantasy and science-fiction. always resisted temptation to eat candy himself. Left: Michael. He was also a movie buff. Michael was always a fan of fantasy and wonderment.f Michael were around today. He admired several magicians over the years and incorporated elements of this into his shows. Middle: Michael. Prince. being the picky eater he was. Michael’s sons. which was actually derived from his grandfather. Michael built a candy shop and play area right on our Encino property. in Indiana.
.116 117 Left: Me and Michael visiting family. Jackie and family. Joseph. Center: Michael. Right: Our family celebrating a special occasion. Randy.
118 119 Left: Janet. . Michael and family. Michael and family. Right: Randy.
Left: Michael (a friend). Joe and Jackie (at Janet’s graduation).120 121 Left: Janet. Joe and Randy. Michael. . Marlon. Me. Bubbles and friends. Right: Michael. Latoya. Right: Michael.
122 We The People ~MJ Fans The .
pleasant and polite. they would even find a way into the house. a dreamer and somehow held on to a belief that he could never fail as long as he put love into his work. so we did not leave his side. Sometimes.f there’s one thing I know for sure. I’ve been close to my son throughout his life. Whenever this happened. It was the strength he needed. Michael always remained calm. One rule he enforced among his security staff was to “always be good to his fans. Without fail. gifts and prayers. It really did not faze him as it might have most people. Every once in a while. his humility often amazed me. and strengthened while we endured the trials in 90’s. He made a lot of intuitive decisions and really trusted and believed in himself. fans would gather around the gate of the ranch showing their support with signs. 124 It touched Michael and I to see bible verses blown up on signs with loving words of encouragement for him to stay strong during the difficult time he was facing. He really was a big thinker. it seemed to come naturally to him. 125 . it’s how much my son adored his fans. I knew Michael needed me as much as he needed his fans then. even still. Making music is when Michael felt most in his element. Every morning we would leave the ranch together to head into court. I didn’t have to teach my son lessons about being humble during his lifelong fame. It’s possible that my message resonated.” When Michael lived at home. there were several people hanging around the gate of our home on any given day. He was grateful to his fans and acknowledged he would I never be who he was if it were not for their love and support. and that it did not make him better than anyone else. I’ll never forget the years when Michael was facing trial. Michael was a happy-go-lucky kind of person. There were huge crowds of people following his every move. I remember telling Michael as a boy that performing on stage was a job. Our bond grew once his brothers left home. a fan would find a way into the yard to see Michael.
Michael and Body Guards waving to fans.126 127 Left: Frank DeLeo. .
130 131 The boys greeting fans backstage. .
132 133 .
134 135 .
.136 137 Left: Michael backstage with fans.
The loss of my son is an overwhelming grief I can never elaborate through words. but then again. It was both a blessing and a curse. talent. I believe my son Michael fulfilled his life purpose. hope and inspiration back to the world through his music. The world knew him. he gave love. My son knew his fans were behind him until the end. Despite the tribulations he faced. Regardless of what people may think. they didn’t. Michael was an extraordinary human being. 138 I’m not one to speculate on what could be done differently if we could do it all over again. Fifty is too young to die. In return. son and a father. But both my son and I will agree that his fame did not come without a price. 139 . I share my stories with Michael’s children and his fans because I know he would want them to know how much they really meant to him. I don’t think I could ask for anything more in life than a son like Michael. I believe he still managed to live as joyously as he truly deserved.ichael lived an extraordinary life and was very grateful to be able to do exactly what he loved through his art. A person who set every foundation with good intentions and with the hope to inspire others through unprescendented displays of love M and humanity. I don’t believe Michael would have wanted his life to have gone any other way.
Your son Michael!” 141 .Michael Jackson 1958 – 2009 “Dear Mother! I love you.
becomes a celebrated tribute to Michael’s remarkable life – the son. and ask Katherine to share the untold story of Michael Jackson. Sweet. Publisher . In our first conversation. she seemed no different than any mother remembering her son… only this son happens to be one of the most influential recording artists of our time. California. polite and politically correct. the (first) question was “what are we going to do with a bunch of Michael Jackson’s stuff?” The answer was simply to go to his family with what we had. as she opened up for the creation of Never Can Say Good Bye—The Katherine Jackson Story. we sifted throughout thousands of Jackson family photos and stories about Michael seemed to just flow. A privilege we could not take for granted. we wouldn’t wager that months later we’d meet his mother. Though he may be gone. Fast forward a few weeks. Yet. Normal. Displacing the old habit of keeping the media off her turf. Creative Director/Editor & Howard Mann. Reliving that day on June 25th. When Vintage Pop Media Group acquired 16. Sonia Lowe. The day we met. Prelude to the Neverland years. Katherine needed to clear the air.000 neverbefore-released photos. Now that she’s lost her son. I certainly gained valuable insight into the person he was. a product of a lifetime with prying tabloid media. this was the house Michael called home during the early part of his existence. she was poised. she let her guard down and conversation ran deeper. videos and personal Jackson memorabilia. when she received the phone call summoning her to the hospital where Michael was admitted. the news of the King of Pop’s death struck a chord. from the woman who raised him. in that moment the king of pop’s matriarch remained solemn. Though we hadn’t ever met Michael Jackson. brought us both to tears. This would be her chance to preserve Michaels legacy—in a way no one else could—while delivering a tribute for his fans and children. Sitting across from her. Katherine allowed us in to listen to her story and to create a family-album-style book for MJ fans. through the eyes of the woman who raised him. the artist and the man. MJ lives forever in our hearts.Editor & Publisher’s Note When we heard that Michael Jackson died on June 25th 2009. Katherine invited us to her place in Encino. Like so many others. An increasing comfort level eventually unlocked a few uncensored and private moments into her family’s lives. The process was organic. we hope. Yet. there we was … in awe of the untethered access into her home (and heart). This book. Nor that she would be granting us full admission and a front row seat to the story of her son’s life.
End The .