Michael Jackson is someone who has been documented as having had a tough childhood. He was performing from a very early age, but documentaries and articles have shared how he and his siblings had a difficult time. So where was Michael Jackson born and who are his parents?
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958.
He was the eighth of 10 children in the Jackson family, who, at the time, were living in a two-bedroom house, according to Jackson in his 1988 autobiography Moonwalk.
His mother Katherine Jackson had aspired to be a country performer, but worked part-time at Sears store in the USA when Jackson was young.
His father was Joe Jackson, a former boxer who played guitar with a blues band, the Falcons, to supplement the family’s income alongside his work as a crane operator at US Steel.
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Michael Jackson childhood: Where was Michael Jackson born?
Michael’s eldest sibling was Rebbie, and with her he had two sisters, La Toya and Janet, with Janet being younger than him.
His brothers are Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy, with Randy being his younger sibling.
Marlon also had a twin called Brandon, but the child died shortly after birth.
In a documentary with Martin Bashir, Jackson said his father taunted him for his “fat nose,” and in interview Joe Jackson has acknowledged he “whipped” Michael.
The Jackson 5 when MJ was very young
In his autobiography Moonwalk, Jackson said, while rehearsing with The Jackson 5, they “got hit, sometimes with a belt, sometimes with a switch” when they imperfectly performed.
The singer added his father was “real strict” and “something of a mystery”.
In Randy Taraborrelli’s book The Magic and the Madness, the author stated Jackson called his father in September 1988, after the book’s release, to apologise for some of the material in the autobiography.
He explained that he hadn’t written the book himself and that the critical content was written by “someone else,” making some of these comments somewhat confusing.
A younger Michael Jackson with Cher
In addition, while some of Michael’s siblings have said these “beatings” were not abusive, but were just a form of discipline, Michael told Oprah Winfrey in 1993 he felt his youth was lonely and isolated.
Michael gave his first public performance aged five singing Climb Every Mountain, when he was five-years-old.
In 1964, when Jackson was just six years old, he was brought into a band called the Jackson Brothers, formed by his father and included Jackie, Tito and Jermaine.
Michael was originally just a background singer and performer, however he soon started singing lead vocals with Jermaine and the band’s name was changed to the Jackson 5.
The group won various talent shows and other awards, but they signed for Steeltown Records in 1968, when Jackson would have been just 10-years-old, and released their first single, Big Boy.
Their 1970 song I Want You Back was their major break out track, though in the year before Diana Ross had introduced the band on a television appearance, and Rolling Stone magazine described him as “a prodigy.”
Soon, the band renamed itself as The Jacksons, and their younger brother Randy joined the band, as Michael was making solo music.
His fifth solo album, Off the Wall, was the first time he had been truly established as a solo artist, and from here he began to release solo albums.
Needless to say, it was from here when people really started to understand Michael Jackson better as a solo artist, as he was thrust into the public sphere as a solo performer.