Marlon Jackson

Marlon Jackson
Marlon Jackson
Birth name Marlon David Jackson
Born March 12, 1957 (1957-03-12) (age 54)
Gary, Indiana, U.S.
Genres R&B, soul, pop
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, dancer
Instruments Vocals, multiple instruments
Years active 1964–1990, 2001
Labels Steeltown (1968)
Motown (1969–75)
Epic (1975–84)
Capitol (1987–90)
Associated acts The Jackson 5

Marlon David Jackson (born March 12, 1957) is an American entertainer singer, dancer, former member of The Jackson 5, and elder brother of American pop stars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.


Personal life

Marlon was born in Gary, Indiana, to Joseph and Katherine Jackson as the sixth child of the Jackson family. Marlon's twin brother Brandon died within 24 hours of birth. They were several weeks premature.

Marlon has three children with wife Carol Ann Parker.

  • Valencia Sophia (born December 19, 1976)
  • Brittany (born April 15, 1978)
  • Marlon David, Jr. (born September 23, 1981)

Marlon also has three grandchildren:

  • Noah Laniak (born August 15, 2006) for Valencia Jackson
  • Sophia Laniak (born November 13, 2007) for Valencia Jackson
  • Phoenix Sánchez (born July 27, 2010) for Brittany Jackson

He and sister Rebbie Jackson are the only Jackson siblings to have not divorced.

Michael's memorial

On July 7, 2009, he and his family offered their final eulogies for Michael, saying he was the "soul" of the family, and breaking down as he tearfully addressed the crowd: "Maybe now Michael, they will leave you alone"[1] and "I would like for you to give our brother, my twin brother, Brandon, a hug for me".[2] Marlon fought back tears as he said "I love you Michael & I miss you".[1]


The Jackson 5

While Marlon was still a child, his older brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine formed an early incarnation of what would become The Jackson 5. Marlon and younger brother Michael would soon join the group, initially as percussionists. In the early years of the group it was said that Marlon had trouble singing and keeping up with his brothers dance steps. However through his perseverance he would become a proficient singer, songwriter, producer and dancer. In brother Michael's 1988 book Moonwalk, he would say of Marlon...

Marlon was and is one of the most determined people I've ever met. He, too, was a real joker and prankster. He used to be the one who'd always get in trouble in the early days because he'd be out of step or miss a note, but that was far from true later.

While brothers Michael and Jermaine were the main attractions of the group, all five Jackson brothers sang lead spots on various songs. Marlon's voice can noticeably be heard on "Feelin' Alright", "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Corner of The Sky". He took a more prominent singing role on the 1973 G.I.T.: Get It Together album, particularly in the last minutes of the song "Mama I Gotta Brand New Thing (Don't Say No)". Eventually a dispute with Motown led to the group's split from the label in 1976, whereupon they signed with Epic Records. After the departure of Jermaine and inclusion of youngest brother Randy in the move, the group would be forced to change their name to "The Jacksons". All of the brothers took a more active role in their music and it was Marlon who filled in for Jermaine's vocal parts when they performed the old Jackson 5 songs on stage.

On the debut Jacksons albums Marlon sang lead spots on "Strength of a Man" and "Man of War". However it was the Destiny and Triumph albums that returned the brothers to the top of the pop charts. In the finale of Triumph Marlon shared a duet with brother Michael entitled "Give it Up". The return of Jermaine to the group in 1983 after their reunited performance at Motown 25 led to the Victory album and tour in 1984. For the Victory album Marlon wrote, produced and sang his first solo lead on the single "Body". In the music video for the single Marlon can be seen riding a motorcycle and leading a troupe of dancers. Despite the success of both the album and tour, monetary problems and rumored accounts of the brothers' egos led to the collapse of the Jacksons as a group. Michael announced his exit from the group at the end of the tour while Marlon stunned family members by announcing his split a year later. This left The Jacksons as a quartet of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Randy for their final album, 2300 Jackson Street, although Michael and Marlon would join their brothers on the album's title single.

Solo career

In 1987, Marlon released his debut solo album Baby Tonight, an album he wrote and produced himself. It featured the No. 2 R&B hit "Don't Go" which he performed to an enthusiastic audience on The Late Show with Arsenio Hall. During the show he was interviewed by Arsenio and said:

I've always wanted to do a solo album and I've always wanted to pursue a solo career. I feel that God has a time for everybody and I think that this is my time.

Later years

Unlike his brothers, after his brief brush with solo stardom, Marlon embarked on a career outside of show business, becoming a successful real estate agent in Southern California. He was also part owner of the Black Family Channel, a cable network designed to bring family-friendly programming to the Black community. Marlon joined his brothers on stage when The Jackson 5 was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001, he reunited with his brothers to perform as the Jacksons during Michael's 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. He is now an executive producer for the show The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty ‎along with the rest of his brothers.



Baby Tonight
Track Listing:
01 Don't Go (4:09)
02 To Get Away (4:20)
03 When Will You Surrender (3:40)
04 Lovely Eyes (4:22)
05 Baby Tonight (4:32)
06 Something Coming Down (4:11)
07 Life (4:04)
08 She Never Cried (3:58)
09 Talk 2-U (4:23)
10 Where Do I Stand (4:43)

  • His only solo album "Baby Tonight" was released in 1987. It reached #22 on the R&B charts on Dec. 19, 1987 and stayed for 22 weeks. It reached #175 on the Billboard Top 200 Dec. 5th, 1987 and stayed for 7 weeks. The singles from the album "Don't Go" reached #2 on the R&B charts on Nov. 21, 1987 and "Baby Tonight" reached #57 on Jan. 30th, 1988 [3]

Other Contributions


  1. ^ a b Maria Puente, "At Jackson Memorial, Tears, Cheers and 'I Love You, Michael Jackson,'" USA Today, July 8, 2009.
  2. ^, Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
  3. ^
Michael and Janet Jackson collection.jpg The Jackson Family portal

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