Tito Jackson

Maligned but Multi Talented

Tito Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on October 15, 1953 to Katherine Jackson and Joe Jackson. Tito Jackson is the third of nine children in the Jackson family, and is the brother of the pop star Michael Jackson. Tito Jackson was the original musician in the family; he was the brother in Michael Jackson's family who actually inspired Joe Jackson to create the Jackson Five. According to legend, when Tito Jackson was a child, he hid his musical talent from his father because he was shy, but one day Tito Jackson broke a string on a guitar, at which time Joe Jackson realized that Tito had been practicing guitar behind Joe’s back. At that point, Joe Jackson decided to form a band, The Jackson Brothers, with Tito Jackson, Jackie, and Jermaine Jackson, but eventually, The Jackson Brothers turned into The Jackson Five with the addition of Michael Jackson and Marlon Jackson. Tito was known as the quiet Jackson of all of Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters because of his shy demeanor. He did not like life in the spotlight. Tito wanted to play guitar on the Jackson’s records, but Motown Records did not allow him to do so.

In the late 70s, Tito began singing more lead vocals, along with his brother Michael, and he also co-wrote some songs for the album Destiny.

Tito Jackson played a major role in the We Are the World single, which came out in 1985, and was meant to raise money for famine and hunger around the world, especially in Africa. Michael Jackson was very involved in this project, as well as more of Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters. The Jackson’s final release, 2300 Jackson Street, reunited all of the Jackson family. Tito contributed both vocals and narration to that final album.

Tito was married to Delores Martes in June 1972 when he was 18, but they were divorced in 1988. They had three sons, who comprise the musical group 3T. Some compared Tito Jackson’s sons to the Jackson Five, as both formed musical boy bands at a very young age, although obviously few groups can attain the success the Jackson Five had.