1962 (Gary, IN)
Michael Jackson (born August 29, 1958, Gary, IN; died June 25, 2009, Los Angeles, CA): lead vocals (tenor) (1968-1989)
Tito Jackson (born Toriano Jackson, October 15, 1953, Gary, IN): lead vocals (baritone), guitar (1962-1990)
Jermaine Jackson (born December 11, 1954, Gary, IN): lead vocals (tenor), bass (1962-1975; 1984-1990)
Jackie Jackson (born Sigmund Esco Jackson, May 4, 1951, Gary, IN): vocals (tenor), tambourine (1962-1990)
Marlon Jackson (born March 12, 1957, Gary, IN): vocals (baritone), tambourine (1963-1987)
Contributions to music:
It all started with a broken string -- specifically, a string on father Joe Jackson"s guitar, which he"d instructed his six boys to leave alone. But when he realized that sons Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine were serious about music, he relented, forming a family band in their hometown of Gary, Indiana, which he managed. By 1967, they"d scored a local hit with a song called "Bad Boy." Bobby Taylor of the Vancouvers, a Motown act, helped them secure an audition with the label.
Realizing what he had on his hands, label head Berry Gordy spent more time on the group"s initial single, "I Want You Back," than any other in the company"s history. And it paid off: between 1970 and 1972, the group completely dominated pop music, with an unprecedented four Number One pop hits in a row.
But as the Seventies moved on, funk and disco began to change popular tastes, and Gordy seemed to have no idea what to do with the group. Frustrated, the brothers jumped ship to Epic in 1975.
The group entered a stylistic and commercial renaissance in the late Seventies thanks to that move, but the emerging superstardom of the now-adult lead, Michael, kept interfering. When Michael surpassed even his earlier successes with 1983"s landmark Thriller album, the writing was on the wall for the group. Though they"ve reconfigured since, most recently in 1989, the deteriorating saga of Michael closed off any further opportunities for reunion. Michael died