Joe Jackson Dies: Family and Others React on Twitter
Wednesday (June 27) Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family that produced pop legends Michael and Janet Jackson, as well as the other members of the Jackson 5, died at the age of 89 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Admirers and several members of his family wrote about him on social media.
As of press time, La Toya was the only of Joe's surviving children to have issued a public statement. "I will always love you," she wrote. "You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared." Later, she shared a video of him giving her a present.
MIchael's estate posted a picture of the two of them along with a quote from Michael's autobiography, Moonwalk. "My father did always protect us and that’s no small feat," it began. "He looked after our interests in the best ways. He might have made a few mistakes along the way, but he always thought he was doing what was right for his family."
Paris Jackson, Michael's daughter, shared a photo on Instagram of her and her grandfather holding hands in the hospital. "Spending those last few moments with you were everything," she wrote. "Being able to tell you everything I needed to tell you before saying goodbye was such a blessing. Everyone that came to visit you, came with love, respect, and so much pride in their hearts for you. proud of you, proud to be your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, proud to have your strength and share the dynasty you spent your life creating, and proud to be a Jackson. You are the first true Jackson. The legend that started it all. None of us would be anywhere near where we’re at if it weren’t for you. You are the strongest man I know. Your life’s work will go down in history, as will you, to be known as one of the greatest patriarchs to ever live."
I will cherish every moment with you til the day I die," she continued, "especially our last moments. being able to hold your hand, lay with you and cuddle you, give you kisses all over your cheeks and forehead, meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Quoting advice you gave me when I was a little kid and seeing your eyes light up, sharing stories my dad used to tell me about you, telling a joke and hearing you laugh for the last time.. My heart is full knowing we left each other in that way. I made you promise me you’ll come visit me. You agreed and I’m going to hold you to it. And I promised you that we will keep telling your story, over and over. to never be forgotten. my great grandchildren will know who Joseph Jackson is. I love you grandpa. so so so much that words can’t describe. I have immense gratitude for you, and always will. we all feel that way. thank you for everything. truly. Rest in peace and transition. I’ll see you in my dreams very very soon."
Another of Joe's grandchildren, Tito's son Taj, who joined forces with his brothers in T3, suggested there was more to the elder Jackson than has been portrayed in the media. "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," he wrote. "Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness."
Questlove admitted that he struggled with Joe's legacy. He acknowledged that "to raise/navigate the lives of 8 kids in Gary Indiana in the early 60s PRE civil rights to just merely 'survive and thrive'—-never mind rule the world—was BEYOND an achievement." But he also knew that Joe's strict approach to raising his kids, whipping them with a belt during rehearsals, came at a price, and he opened up about how his father wasn't much different.
"My dad and I mended decades of anger/trauma/panic differences about a month before his deathbed," he added. "He expressed some regrets over his tactics effecting our general closeness. I get it. It was the crack '80s. You saw what was out there for me and that level of panic makes you go overboard in overburdening guidance."
Ultimately, he concluded, "I’d like to thank Joseph for offering us hope & inspiration through his sons & daughters. It coulda been way easier to fall into the cracks to the land of statistics of the forgotten. But that will & drive. Gave your kids will & drive, which subsequently gave me will & drive. Respect."