Why did Michael Jackson leave the Jackson 5?

I Want You Back – The Jackson 5

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Michael Jackson and his brothers performed in The Jackson 5, a band managed by their father. Soon their father stepped back and the group catapulted into fame, teaming up with famous artists like Diana Ross on their road to stardom. Over time, Michael and his brother Jermaine did solo work, and slowly the band began to break down.

Why did Michael Jackson leave the Jackson 5?

As may be expected, Michael Jackson left The Jacksons when his solo career took off, and he wanted to focus on that.

The band was started back in 1965 with Jackie, Tito and Jermaine Jackson.

Not long after, their younger brothers Marlon and Michael joined up, and they started performing in high schools, shopping malls and at talent shows in their hometown of Gary, Indiana.

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Joe managed his children’s early careers but he became infamous for his treatment of them.

Some of his children, namely Michael, claimed he had been abusive and domineering in his dealings with the boy band.

Michael opened up about this abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying: “If you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you.”

He claimed his father whipped him with a belt, but despite these allegations, Michael forgave his father, even establishing a ‘Joseph Jackson Day’ memorial at his home at the Neverland Ranch.

“Even with their little children voices I heard their potential and knew what these guys could achieve.

“I went back to my dressing room and when The Pips came upstairs I asked, ‘Who was that singing a few minutes ago?’ They told me it was ‘Joe’s boys’.”

It has been alleged Gladys sent a tape of them to Motown Records, though this claim has been disputed.

They were rejected for some time by record labels until they signed up with Steeltown Records in 1967, through which they released their first single, Big Boy.

Two years later they signed a seven-year deal with Motown, at which point their youngest member, Michael, was only 10-years-old.

The band skyrocketed into fame very quickly after being signed, even performing to big names like Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder in their early days.

Marlon said of this event: “We were kids from Gary, Indiana, who had never been in a big mansion. I noticed Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.

“We had to sing their songs in front of them. My brothers were running around, having fun.

“They forgot that we had a show to do and that it was make it or break it for us.”

Their fame came with the release of I Want You Back in January 1970, which turned them into household names, especially for Michael when, in 1971, he released his first solo single, Got to be There.

This marked the beginning of the end for the band, as by 1975 they were struggling to release new songs and were forced to move from Motown to Epic Records, changing their name to The Jacksons.

As well as that, Michael’s solo fame started to eclipse his brothers, especially with the 1979 album Off The Wall and 1982 album Thriller.

In December 1984, Michael announced he was leaving the band after their performance at the Dodger Stadium.

The following month Marlon left the band, after which the band’s last record was released in 1987.

They reunited as a six-piece in 2001 for two performances to commemorate Michael’s solo career, taking to the stage at Madison Square Garden.

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