Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Piers Morgan, Wendy Williams, and more public figures have taken to Twitter to remember Joe Jackson. The Jackson family patriarch died at age 89 after a battle with cancer.
During his life, Joe Jackson was known for managing the Jackson 5 and bringing his children into the spotlight. He became a controversial figure when Michael Jackson accused his father of physical and emotional abuse in 1993.
Still, many revere him for bringing his children’s talent to the world’s stage. Sharpton was one of the first to mourn Joe Jackson on Twitter. The reverend alluded to the controversy in his post, expressing his hopes that “history correct his legacy.”
“Joe Jackson passed at 89 as the patriarch of the family that has mainstreamed our culture,” Sharpton wrote. “He was never given the credit he deserved. He influenced the world of music with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and others. May history correct his legacy.”
La Toya Jackson also mourned her father’s death.
“I will always love you! You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world,” she tweeted. “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”
Ken Ehrlich, who produces the Grammys and other TV specials, said in a statement that Jackson “was the patriarch of one of music’s true dynasties.”
“I worked with Joe Jackson both on some of our Michael Jackson appearances, and equally with Janet when we brought her to ‘Fame’ to play Cleo in 1984,” Ehrlich said. “With Janet, both he and Katharine spent a great deal of time on the ‘Fame’ set with us and what struck me was the love and pride they had in all of their kids, but particularly Michael and Janet. Joe was always pretty clear on what he wanted, and what he wanted wasn’t always easy to deliver, but certainly appreciated his directness, and learned a lot from him.”
Others, like British television personality Morgan, coupled their condolences with continued skepticism. Morgan, who is known for making controversial statements, acknowledged Joe Jackson’s contributions as well as his scandals.
“RIP Joe Jackson. A tough, uncompromising, charming and complex man who drove his children from the mean, poor streets of Gary, Indiana to global stardom,” Morgan’s comments began before adding, “But at what cost? He made no apologies when I interviewed him in 2013: ‘I did what I had to do to give them a better life.'”
Williams, another TV host, also joined in commemorating Joe Jackson’s legacy on Twitter.
“THE MAN…THE FAMILY…THE LEGEND!” Williams wrote. “RIP JOE JACKSON and thank you for giving us the many gifts of talent from your family, not just to our community as a whole…but to the ENTIRE WORLD!”
The estate of Michael Jackson confirmed Joe Jackson’s death Wednesday morning with a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family,” said co-executors of the estate John Branca and John McClain. “We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
Randy Jackson’s son also took to social media to mourn his late grandfather. “RIP to the king that made everything possible,” Randy Jackson Jr. said. “I love you grandpa.”
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