In Defence Of The Jackson Family

As a huge fan of all members of the Jackson musical dynasty, it pains when people belittle the careers of…

Andrew McArthur



As a huge fan of all members of the Jackson musical dynasty, it pains when people belittle the careers of the late Michael Jackson’s siblings. Of course, most people are aware that the King of Pop’s brothers and sisters were all in the music industry, but unfortunately their work simply never received the promotion and success it deserved, with perhaps the one exception being Janet Jackson.

Some suggest that it was overshadowed by their brother’s success, with Clive Davis’s recent autobiography suggesting Michael attempted to sabotage Jermaine’s musical career.

With the male Jacksons in the middle of their first tour in almost three decades, I think it is time to re-evaluate the music careers of Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet Jackson and make a small effort to help get them the respect they deserve.

First up is Rebbie…



8. Rebbie Jackson


Rebbie is the eldest of the Jackson siblings and perhaps the least well-known Jackson female, despite having some solid 1980s R&B hits under her belt. The name may not be familiar to many casual readers as Rebbie seems to shun the widespread spotlight in favour of performing more intimate gigs and working on her own music. After three reasonably successful albums in the 1980s, Rebbie took a ten year hiatus from recording, until eventually releasing her most recent album, Yours Faithfully, in 1998.

If willing to dig in to her back catalogue, there are plenty of hidden gems to be found, including the bizarrely brilliant, ‘Centipede’. Released in 1984, Centipede was penned and produced by younger brother, Michael, and uses a centipede as a weird sexual analogy.

After hours of painstaking research (or six minutes spent on Youtube), I discovered that the music video further enhances this camp weirdness, featuring Rebbie in a sparkling red ballgown, shooting lightning from her fingers as she dances around a tiger. Who dare says Rebbie is not original? This strangeness paid off, with the track reaching #4 in US R&B Charts, proving to be the singer’s biggest hit.

Rebbie followed this with a couple of other Top 20 R&B hits including the funky ‘Reaction’ and ‘Plaything’, yet never truly receiving mainstream success. Fortunately this does not seem to be a deterrent to the eldest Jackson, with Rebbie continuing to tour and working hard on a new studio album (her first in fourteen years).