Joe Jackson, the father and famously driven manager of the star-studded Jackson family, has died. He was 89.
He passed away Wednesday in Los Angeles at around 3:30 a.m. following a battle with cancer, TMZ reported.
The pop music patriarch was hospitalized last week with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a family source previously confirmed to The News.
Friends remembered the notoriously domineering dad as a force who revolutionized the recording industry with his guidance of The Jackson 5 and early solo careers of superstars Michael and Janet.
“I think Joe Jackson was the patriarch of a family that transformed music in America,” Rev. Al Sharpton, a family friend, told the Daily News on Wednesday.
“He brought the music of blacks mainstream, from Michael and the Jackson 5 to Janet. He fathered them and instructed them and never got the credit he deserved,” Sharpton said.
“He reinterpreted what American music was all about. Without Joe Jackson, black music would have continued largely on the Chitlin Circuit, which rendered blacks outside the mainstream,” he said.
In the days leading up to his death, Jackson was medicated for pain as family members flocked to his side, the family source previously told The News.
The source said Katherine Jackson, his wife of 68 years and mother of 10 of his children, rushed to his bedside as his prognosis grew more dire.
Granddaughter Paris Jackson revealed on social media she flew out to be with her grandfather Sunday.
In a series of Twitter posts, she said there was no way he posted a Sunday tweet on his verified Twitter account alluding to his mortality.
“My grandfather did not tweet this,” she wrote of the message. “I was with him there’s no possible way for him to have tweeted it.”
Jackson struggled with health issues in recent years, including a 2012 stroke, a second stroke with accompanying heart arrhythmia in 2015 and a Los Angeles hospitalization in 2016.
Jackson, portrayed by his late son Michael as a tyrannical taskmaster, was a former boxer and steel worker who refused to give up on his dream of a career in music.
When he noticed talent in his kids, he pushed them hard to succeed.
Michael revealed some of his alleged tactics in his 1985 autobiography, “Moonwalk.”
“We’d perform for him and he’d critique us. If you messed up, you got hit, sometimes with a belt, sometimes with a switch. My father was real strict with us — real strict,” Michael wrote.
The King of Pop repeated the claim in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying the demanding dad would sit with a belt in his hands as he, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon rehearsed as The Jackson 5.
“If you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you,” Michael said.
Joe Jackson later admitted to some questionable parenting practices, but he claimed his stern style was a key to his family’s success.
Michael famously left his dad nothing when he died from drug intoxication in 2009, but the two were not completely estranged.
Joe Jackson supported his son during Michael’s 2004 molestation trial, and Michael acknowledged during an emotional 2001 speech at Oxford University that he had largely forgiven his dad. He described Joe as the rational product of his own harsh childhood in the Depression-era South.
“Is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers so that they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and poverty?” Michael asked.
“I have begun to see that even my father’s harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me. Because he wanted no man to ever look down at his offspring,” he said.
Michael called his dad a “managerial genius.”
As news of the elder Jackson’s death spread online Wednesday, many critics focused on his history of alleged abuse.
Grandson Taj Jackson, one of Tito’s sons, fired back, saying the family knew the real Joe Jackson and loved him deeply.
“Disgusted by some of the comments I’m reading about my grandpa Joe by those who didn’t even know him. Please don’t just regurgitate what you were spoon fed by the press. Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness,” Taj said in a Twitter post.
John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of Michael’s estate, said in a statement that they were “deeply saddened” by Jackson’s death.
“We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously,” the statement reads, while also sending condolences to the family.
Daughter La Toya Jacksin fondly remembered her father in a tweet Wednesday, shortly after news of his death emerged.
“I will always love you! You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world,” she wrote. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared.”
Janet, 52, paid tribute to her dad Friday while accepting the 2018 Radio Disney Music Award’s Impact award.
“It’s humbling to be recognized as someone that has had a positive impact, but if I have been fortunate enough to impact others it is only because I, myself, have been greatly impacted by positive people in my life,” Janet said in her speech, which aired Saturday.
“My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable. My father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can,” she said. “My siblings set an incredibly high standard for artistic excellence.”
Born in Fountain Hill, Ark. in 1928, Jackson was the eldest of five kids. He aspired to be a boxer early in his life, but moved away from that dream during his early 20s in order to support his burgeoning family with Katherine, whom he married in 1949.
Jackson was the father to 11 children — 10 of whom he had with Katherine between 1950 and 1966. His 11th child, daughter Joh’Vonnie, was born in 1974, the result of an affair.