Joe Jackson, the man who launched a pop empire, died early Wednesday morning in a Las Vegas hospital, USA Today reports. He was 89 years old.
A grandson of Jackson, Randy Jackson Jr., confirmed his death by tweeting, “RIP to the king that made everything possible!!! I love you grandpa.”
Son Jermaine recently told The Daily Mail his father had been suffering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer but lamented his inability to see his father due to “handlers.” According to TMZ, Jackson entered a hospice in Las Vegas days before his death.
His most recent public appearance occurred when daughter Janet accepted the BET Ultimate Icon Award in 2015. Jackson was, however, spotted in a Jamba Juice June 6. A video was then posted to his Twitter account that features Jackson trying to decide on a drink while Michael’s music plays in the background.
Co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate issued a statement regarding the patriarch’s death: “We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family,” the statement said. “Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, to worldwide pop superstardom. Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous. … We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
Daughter La Toya also tweeted about her father’s death, saying, “I will always love you! You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world,” she wrote via Twitter. “I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared. #RIP Joe Jackson.”
Joe Jackson was born in Fountain Hill, Arkansas in 1928. He was married in 1949 to Katherine Scruse, and the pair went on to have 10 children (Brandon Jackson died following birth). The stellar rise of his children helped the Jackson family rise from the poverty of Gary, Indiana and achieve international fame.
Over the weekend Janet Jackson spoke about her father, saying, “My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable.” She went on to say, “My father, my incredible father drove me to be the best I can. My siblings set an incredibly high standard, a high bar for artistic excellence.”
— Joseph Jackson (@Joe5Jackson) June 6, 2018
I will always love you! 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. #RIP Joe Jacksonhttps://t.co/F5UfYjEgYx
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) June 27, 2018