The Jackson family is easily the most influential group in the music industry, with brother Michael considered one of the greatest pop stars ever. He revolutionized what it meant to be a star and entertainer, melding different genres to create iconic songs that nearly everyone can recognize, and his name has been a household staple for decades ever since he was young when he sang with his family’s musical group. Although every Jackson child received a certain amount of fame and recognition as a singer, none achieved the success of Michael. Most people don’t know his other siblings’ names, especially when they are as private as Rebbie Jackson.
Who is Rebbie Jackson?
70-year-old Rebbie is an American singer and actress who performed together with her siblings in their family group. She is the oldest Jackson child of ten and a successful singer in her own right. She won many singing competitions when she was young, although she never thought much of pursuing a musical career herself.
Her first debut was alongside her siblings in their Las Vegas show in 1974. Even though her debut was postponed due to an ankle injury, she too joined the group once she was healed. She was not a part of the Jackson 5, though, and was merely a performance filler for her other four siblings.
In 1976, the family left Motown Records and signed over to CBS Records. They changed their group name to The Jacksons and even landed a television series. They became the first African American family to star in their very own show.
Her Personal Life
Rebbie’s dream was always to be married and become a mother. She practically raised her younger siblings when her mother decided to go back to school. As the oldest child and a daughter, she took on the role of the second mother, assuming responsibilities like feeding, babysitting, and helping with homework. She often took care of them as both parents were out of the house but never felt resentful about it.
Growing up as the maternal figure only deepened her desire to have her own home and family. Their mother was a Jehovah’s Witness, and she raised them to follow her faith. Rebbie was one of the more devout followers, along with her brother Michael and sister La Toya.
She decided to marry her childhood love, Nathaniel Brown, and move with him to Kentucky to start their family. Her father was the only one who opposed, arguing for her musical career instead. He was so against it that he refused to walk her down the aisle.
Her Music Career
After some years, Rebbie Jackson finally decided to pursue music as a career instead of only a hobby. She released her debut album Centipede in 1984 with Columbia Records after spending nearly two years working on it.
She had postponed her music to raise her family, as she wanted to be active in her children’s lives when they were still young. Once they were older, she felt that it was time to return to the studio. She found some success with her album, many of the songs having been written by her family. The title song, Centipede, was created by Michael and became a million-selling track and her most successful one to date.
The oldest Jackson released two more albums in 1986 and 1988, Reaction and R U Tuff Enuff. She then took a ten-year hiatus until she joined Michael Jackson’s agency MJJ Music, where she released Yours Faithfully in 1998.
Where Is She Now?
Rebbie Jackson was always one of the most private members of the Jackson family. She did not seek out fame or have even a desire to be in the spotlight. She actually wanted to leave the group and her family name behind early on due to her overbearing father and the pressures of fame.
One of the reasons Rebbie Married so soon was to leave the show and escape her father’s control. While she found enjoyment as a singer and toured the country for a time, she has always preferred her married life and role as a mother and homemaker.
When her brother Michael died in 2009, she served as the primary caregiver to his three children Prince, Paris, and Bigi. In 2013, her husband died of cancer, leaving her a widow. She spends most of her time with her three adult children and her one grandchild from her daughter Stacee.
Before the pandemic, she was publicly supportive of her younger sister Janet’s musical career, attending award shows with her and posing on red carpets. She leads such a quiet life that many people were surprised at who she was at these events or that Janet even had an older sister with a sixteen-year age gap. Now with COVID-19, she enjoys only spending time with her family.