The Jacksons are probably one of the most recognizable families in the world. Not only is the name Michael Jackson known widely across the globe, but the entire family has amounted to so much success, that we know just about everything about them, or do we?
The Jackson family has definitely made countless headlines since they first broke out on the scene back in 1969 as the Jackson 5. The five brothers put the family on the map, and the rest of the siblings followed suit quite fast. With their hit music videos, record-breaking songs, and outstanding dancing skills, the Jackson family is without a doubt music royalty, but believe it or not, there is a lot we don't know about them.
From secret marriages, alternate career paths, jealousy, and groundbreaking scandals, here are 20 facts you may not have known about Michael Jackson and his family.
20 The Meaning Behind 'Blanket'
Many people never fully grasped the meaning behind Michael Jackson's youngest son, Blanket. Although blanket is not his real name, it is the name that he would forever go on to be called. According to the Telegraph, the name stemmed from Michael liking the saying how you "blanket something you love," hence the nickname.
19 Michael Jackson vs. Stan Lee
This is a pairing that many would be surprised to find out about, but believe it or not, Michael Jackson was a huge fan of Marvel Comics. According to Comics Alliance, Jackson loved the comics so much that he even went as for as attempting to buy Marvel from Stan Lee, simply to star and play Spider-Man.
18 Janet's Secret Marriage
Janet Jackson has made headlines for countless reasons, however, one headline that shocked the world was her marriage that she kept secret for years! According to CNN, Janet kept her marriage to songwriter Rene Elizondo secret from the public for nearly a decade, before their divorce stirred up some controversy and became public knowledge, shocking fans from just about everywhere.
17 The Secret Son
If Michael Jackson didn't have it hard enough with the tabloids, press and paparazzi, it appears a secret son is just the cherry on top. According to E! Online, Brandon Howard, a 31-year old singer, claims Jackson is his father. Despite the rumors pointing to Michael being the father, many began to claim that Howard is not Michael's son, but father and former manager Joe Jacksons! Although no definitive answers have been made, it appears the Jackson family can't catch a break.
16 Paris Jackson Cyberbullied
Paris Jackson has not had the easiest journey in the spotlight, and with constant controversy and rumors surrounding her family, we can't imagine things ever being easy for the young woman. Jackson has publicly spoken about her hardships, and the nasty comments and bullying she receives online. According to RollingStone, Paris was severely cyberbullied, leading to feelings of depression and an attempt at suicide. Luckily, Paris is doing much better and has decided to pursue a career in modeling.
15 2009 Conspiracy
2009 was a sad, sad year for the world of music. Michael Jackson passed on June 25, 2009, sparking massive controversy over his death. There were many conspiracies surrounding the event, many of which claim that this was no accident. According to The Sun, Michael's daughter firmly believed her father was "murdered" and all fingers were pointed to Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.
14 Chef Michael Jackson
Not only was Michael Jackson an incredible singer, dancer, and entertainer, but he was also a great cook! Michael would cook for his kids quite often, and was a master chef in the kitchen. According to Rolling Stone, daughter Paris Jackson and her siblings loved their fathers cooking, claiming that he "made the best-fried chicken in the world."
13 Joe Jackson Wanted To Be A Boxer
Before Joe Jackson turned into one of the toughest stage dads to date, he wanted a career in something completely different from the music industry. According to The Guardian, Jackson was training to be a professional boxer during his early years, before realizing it was not cut out for him. Jackson later turned to music, trying to be a blues musician himself, before managing his 5 sons.
12 How The Jackson 5 Started
Before the Jackson 5 were the Jackson 5, father Joe Jackson took his failed attempt at the music career and noticed that his kids had some musical talents of their own. According to Factinate, Joe saw son Tito play with his guitar one night and got Jackie and Jermaine to sing when he realized that there was something there. With the addition of Michael, the brothers were performing across town at local events before getting their big break.
11 Jackson Family Faith
Although it isn't a major topic amongst the family, many are often surprised to hear that the Jackson's are in fact, Jehovah's Witness. It wasn't until 1987 that Michael Jackson himself left the religion, surprising his family and fellow members of the sect (LA Times). The family would speak about God and their beliefs, but no mention of being Jehovah's was really made.
10 Gladys Knight's Discovery
According to Soul Of Detroit, Joe Jackson is not the only person responsible for making the Jackson 5 big. As it turns out, singing sensation Gladys Knight is the true reason for the group making it into the spotlight. The singer signed the group to her label at the time for a one-year contract and the rest is history.
9 Michael's Children's Education
Michael Jackson's three children definitely took some time to adjust to the spotlight themselves, but it appears they are all doing well as of present. According to US Magazine, the three kids are all doing well and are succeeding with their education. Michael Joseph, Jackson's oldest son, attended private schools in California before heading off to study business in college, while Blanket is very active with sports at his school.
8 Momma Jackson vs. Elizabeth Taylor
Michael Jackson and legend Elizabeth Taylor had a very budding friendship for years, but not everyone was a fan of their relationship. Michael's mom, Katherine Jackson, spoke out publicly regarding their "odd" friendship and was not a fan of Taylor at all. According to Daily Mail, Katherine felt that she "stole her son away" and went as far as even refusing to sit in chairs that Elizabeth Taylor had sat in, claims the source.
7 Family Cut Off Financially
It goes without saying that the amount of money the Jackson family were pulling in, may have been too much for them to handle. According to the NY Post, many of the Jackson family had found themselves in financial trouble, relying on Janet and Michael for money at the time. It was not until 2003 that both Janet and Michael, the only two Jackson's who was racking in the big bucks, decided to cut off their siblings for good.
6 Mannequin Friends
Michael Jackson was scrutinized for countless things during the span of his massively successful career, one of which was the eerie mannequins he had across his Neverland ranch. According to The Sun, Jackson had numerous life-like mannequins at his home to keep him company, even Michael claimed that he "needed someone" and would "chat" with them frequently.
5 Pepsi Commercial Mishap
When Pepsi reaches out for you to be featured in their commercial, you know you've made it big, however, that's only when Pepsi doesn't try to burn your scalp off. During Michael's 1984 taping of his Pepsi commercial, sparks from an explosive fire effect landed on Michael's hair, catching fire, says The Telegraph. This incident led to Jackson suffering from terrible burns and being rushed to the hospital cutting the filming short.
4 Michael Before & After
Michael Jackson has definitely made some changes to his physical appearance over the span of his career, but what many fans might not know, is that it was for medical reasons. According to CNN, Jackson suffered from vitiligo causing areas of skin to have less pigment, leading him to permanently bleach his skin lighter. In addition, Michael was constantly made fun of his nose by the public and his own family, leading him to have 2 nose jobs throughout his career, as mentioned in his memoir; "Moonwalk."
3 Janet Jackson Invented YouTube
Believe it or not, Janet Jackson invented YouTube. Well, not really, but she was the figure that led creators Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim to create the platform. According to Forbes, Janet's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction led to the creation of the video streaming website. The source explains how neither founding creator could find a clip of the wardrobe malfunction online and wished there was a website that they could access the video and the rest is history!
2 Janet Jackson Lawyer
Before Janet Jackson was a singing sensation, releasing hit after hit, she wanted a career very different from that of the music industry. According to the LA Times, Jackson wanted to be a lawyer! She had let her family know that she wanted to attend business law school and make her way by acting. It appears the universe had something else set for her, and we bet she doesn't mind one bit.
1 Jermaine Jackson's Jealousy
When you are a big family, jealousy is quite natural, however, when it lasts a lifetime, then things can definitely become unhealthy. Michael Jackson was hands down the most famous and successful Jackson sibling, however, that didn't always go over well with the older brother, Jermaine. According to Factinate, Jermaine held resentment towards Michael for stealing the spotlight and has been quoted to this day saying "that should be me" had he been the lead singer in Jackson 5 nearly 50 years ago.