Meet The Jacksons: Hear from showbiz royalty ahead of Masterjam NYE
What’s On previews Masterjam NYE this New Years Eve in Dubai. Here, we interview The Jacksons, one of the acts playing at Dubai Media City.
Siblings Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito Jackson have a combined age of 240, but they are still set to party hard at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve Masterjam.
Along with their late brother Michael, the Jackson family is credited with having helped reshape the landscape of pop music with their signature moves, their charismatic stage personas, and soulful pop-funk music from Motown.
The road to stardom for these bright-eyed and big-haired kids was paved with gold. Their first single I Want You Back reached No 1 in 1969 and the following year they had three consecutive No 1s. By the end of the ’70s they’d become an unstoppable force.
In total, the group has nine No 1 hits and 14 Top 10 hits in the US including ABC, I Found That Girl, I Want You Back, Rockin Robin and I’ll Be There – which remains the best selling single in Motown history. Their 1984 tour in support of their album Victory drew more than 2.5 million people across stadiums in America. Soon after the tour though, Marlon left the group and Michael’s solo career began to rocket. It seemed like the glory days were at an end.
The family’s public dramas, legal imbroglios and controversies didn’t make it easier on the band either and the family rifts and reconciliations have provided tabloid fodder since 1975, none bigger than Michael’s criminal trial in 2005.
The brothers reunited in 2001 for two shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden, but Michael’s controversial death in 2009 stunned the world and put to rest any hopes of another full reunion.
But four of the surviving brothers still had something to prove, and in 2012 they went back on tour. The reviews were stellar. It seems that even without their more famous brother, The Jacksons remain a dazzling live act – and after almost six decades in the business, certainly a polished one.
Before arriving in Dubai, What’s On sat down with Jackie and Tito.
What can we expect from your show on Masterjam NYE?
J & T: Excitement, fun, high energy… Hearing all the hits. It’s New Year’s Eve and we are going to Do. It. Up.
We can’t wait. What are you looking forward to about being back in Dubai?
T: I’m really looking forward to warm weather, because it’s so cold here, and I hear the weather’s very nice in Dubai right now. We love Dubai – the people, the culture, everything. I love shopping there too – I loved the Mall of the Emirates, and Ski Dubai.
J: And I can’t wait to see our fans – to coming back and performing for them. Like we say, we’re going to make New Year’s a fun night. We’ve got to kick off 2015 with a bang.`
T: Plus, you know, we’ve got a lot of friends coming to perform at this show, and some of them we haven’t seen in a long time. Nile Rogers, Gloria Gaynor, Chaka Khan… we knew all these people back in the day, and we haven’t seen them in forever. We’re looking forward to seeing them all.
What are you working on right now?
T: We’re working on our new album, which should be coming out in the new year. (The Jacksons haven’t released an album since 2010’s Live at the Forum).
J: Well, that’s in the grand scheme of things. Right now I’m working on putting on these flannel pyjamas. It’s really cold over here in Las Vegas at night.
What are your plans for the future?
T: We’re going to continue touring, making records and just doing our thing. We’ve got a big tour coming up next year, hopefully worldwide. We have fans everywhere, and there are actually a few places that we haven’t been to for a while which we’d like to go back to – like South America. And there’s a TV special in the pipeline too.
Do you have a favourite song that you’re looking to performing on NYE?
J: I like I Want You Back and ABC, because those were our first two big hits.
T: We’re going to be doing all the great hits; as well as some music from our later albums, we’ll be doing all our earlier stuff too. Bring your dancing shoes!
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 6pm to 2am, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 5516708. Metro: Nakheel. masterjam.ae