jackson-source.com
jackson-source.com
Rebbie Jackson: Eldest Jackson Singer
User avatar
Curated by
eliot_at_perplexity
7 min read
9 days ago
87
Rebbie Jackson, born Maureen Reillette Jackson on May 29, 1950, in Gary, Indiana, is an American singer and the eldest child of the iconic Jackson family. Known for her debut album Centipede and her role in the television series The Jacksons, Rebbie has carved out her own niche in the music industry while maintaining a strong, supportive presence within her famous family.

 

Rebbie Jackson's Early Life and Family

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
Rebbie Jackson, born Maureen Reillette Jackson on May 29, 1950, in Gary, Indiana, is the eldest child of Joseph and Katherine Jackson. She grew up in a large, working-class family with nine siblings, including notable figures like Michael and Janet Jackson. Her father, Joseph, worked in a steel mill and performed in an R&B band called the Falcons, while her mother, Katherine, was a devout Jehovah's Witness who instilled the faith in her children. As the eldest child, Rebbie often assumed a caretaker role, looking after her younger siblings and helping with household chores. Despite her father's aspirations for her to pursue a music career, Rebbie initially had no interest in show business, preferring the stability of family life over the uncertainties of the entertainment industry. She took clarinet, piano, and dance lessons during her childhood and even won several singing contests with her brother Jackie. Rebbie's early life was marked by her strong sense of family responsibility and her commitment to her siblings' well-being. This nurturing role continued throughout her life, as she remained a supportive figure within the Jackson family, both personally and professionally.
jackson-source.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
last.fm favicon
5 sources

Rebbie's Role in 'The Jacksons' TV Show

imdb.com
imdb.com
Rebbie Jackson played a significant role in the television series The Jacksons, which premiered in June 1976. The show featured the Jackson family, excluding Jermaine, and marked the first time an African-American family starred in a TV series. Rebbie, initially considering singing a private hobby, was encouraged by the show's producer to pursue a professional music career. Her participation in the series, alongside her siblings, helped her gain confidence and experience in the entertainment industry, eventually leading to her solo music career.
en.wikipedia.org favicon
jacksondynasty.net favicon
jackson-source.com favicon
5 sources

Early Singing Career

wbssmedia.com
wbssmedia.com
Rebbie Jackson's early career began in 1974 when she performed with her siblings in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. These initial performances were part of the Jackson family's shows, where Rebbie joined her brothers and sisters on stage, marking her first significant public appearance. She also appeared in the family's television series, The Jacksons, which premiered in 1976 and was the first TV show to feature an African-American family. Before embarking on her solo career, Rebbie worked as a background vocalist for various artists. She provided backing vocals for The Emotions and Betty Wright, among others, honing her skills and gaining valuable experience in the music industry. This period of her career allowed her to develop her vocal abilities and stage presence, setting the foundation for her later success as a solo artist.
last.fm favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
jackson-source.com favicon
5 sources

 

Rebbie Jackson's Solo Career Launch: Debut Album 'Centipede' Released in 1984

imdb.com
imdb.com
Rebbie Jackson's solo career began with the release of her debut album Centipede on October 10, 1984, under Columbia Records. The album featured the hit title track "Centipede," written and produced by her brother Michael Jackson, which became her most successful single, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also earned a Gold certification from the RIAA for selling 500,000 copies in the United States. The album Centipede included contributions from several of Rebbie's siblings. Michael Jackson not only wrote and produced the title track but also provided backing vocals along with The Weather Girls. Other family members, including Marlon, Jackie, Tito, and Randy Jackson, co-wrote and produced tracks like "Come Alive It's Saturday Night" and "Hey Boy". The album also featured covers of The Miracles' "A Fork in the Road" and Prince's "I Feel for You," the latter of which was released as a single by Chaka Khan just a week before Rebbie's album. Following the success of Centipede, Rebbie released her second album, Reaction, in 1986, and her third album, R U Tuff Enuff, in 1988. Both albums included notable collaborations and continued to establish her as a solo artist. After a seven-year hiatus, Rebbie returned with the album Yours Faithfully in 1998, released under her brother Michael's label, MJJ Music. This album featured contributions from her children and included a remix of "Centipede". Centipede itself had moderate success, peaking at number 63 on the Billboard 200 and number 13 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. It was not initially released on CD and remained out of print for several years until it received a limited CD edition in 1999. The album was reissued again in 2010, paired with Rebbie's follow-up album Reaction, and in 2012 by Funky Town Grooves with seven bonus tracks, including the b-side "Eternal Love" and a previously unreleased track titled "I'm Just Gonna Love You".
thejacksons.fandom.com favicon
youtube.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
5 sources

Rebbie Jackson's Reaction Album

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
Rebbie Jackson's second album, Reaction, was released on October 7, 1986. This album followed her successful debut, Centipede, and continued to establish her presence in the R&B genre. Reaction included two singles that achieved moderate success. The title track, "Reaction," and "You Send the Rain Away," a duet with Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, were both released as singles but did not achieve the same level of success as her earlier hits. The album features a mix of up-tempo tracks and ballads, showcasing Rebbie's versatility as a vocalist. Notable tracks include "Always Wanting Something," "Tonight I'm Yours," and "Ticket to Love." The production of the album involved several prominent figures in the music industry, including producers David "Hawk" Wolinski and Reggie Lucas, who contributed to the album's polished sound. Despite not reaching the commercial heights of Centipede, Reaction solidified Rebbie Jackson's career as a solo artist and demonstrated her ability to evolve and adapt her musical style. The album's release and subsequent performances helped maintain her visibility in the competitive music industry of the 1980s.
en.wikipedia.org favicon
youtube.com favicon
thejacksons.fandom.com favicon
5 sources

 

Love Story: Rebbie Jackson and Nathaniel Brown Marry in 1968

pinterest.com
pinterest.com
Rebbie Jackson married her childhood sweetheart, Nathaniel Brown, in 1968, at the age of 18. This decision created significant tension within the Jackson family, especially with her father, Joseph Jackson, who opposed the marriage. Joseph wanted Rebbie to follow in her brothers' footsteps and pursue a music career, fearing that married life would hinder her potential success in the entertainment industry. Despite the opposition, Rebbie went ahead with the marriage, supported by her mother, Katherine, who believed in the importance of family roles. Joseph eventually relented but refused to walk her down the aisle. Rebbie and Nathaniel Brown had three children together: Stacee, born on May 5, 1971; Yashi, born on October 5, 1977; and Austin, born on November 22, 1985. Austin Brown followed in his family's musical footsteps, becoming a singer and musician who has worked with artists like Ariana Grande and Macy Gray. Rebbie has been a supportive mother, particularly advocating for her daughter Yashi, who battles bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Nathaniel Brown passed away from cancer on January 6, 2013, after 45 years of marriage. Rebbie has continued to be a strong presence in her family's life, taking care of her mother, Katherine Jackson, since 2017, and remaining a devout Jehovah’s Witness.
jackson-source.com favicon
smoothradio.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
5 sources

Mental Health Advocacy

wunc.org
wunc.org
Rebbie Jackson has been a dedicated advocate for mental health, particularly in support of her daughter Yashi, who battles bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She has openly discussed Yashi's struggles to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. In 2011, Rebbie headlined the Pick Up the Phone Tour, which aimed to prevent teen suicide by raising awareness and providing support for mental health issues. Additionally, Rebbie has continued to support her family, taking care of her mother, Katherine Jackson, since 2017, and remains a devout Jehovah’s Witness, committed to her faith and family.
jackson-source.com favicon
smoothradio.com favicon
simple.wikipedia.org favicon
5 sources

Michael Jackson's Passing

biography.com
biography.com
Rebbie Jackson's brother Michael died on June 25, 2009, after suffering a cardiac arrest. His memorial service was held 12 days later on July 7, and the finale featured group renditions of the Jackson anthems "We Are the World" and "Heal the World." The singalong included Michael's siblings, including Rebbie, and the late singer's children. Following the service, which was held at Los Angeles' Staples Center, Rebbie, along with sisters Janet and La Toya, addressed fans at the nearby L.A. Live entertainment complex, expressing their gratitude for the support and stating, "We are extremely grateful for all the support. We love you all." In the weeks following Michael's death, media sources speculated that Rebbie would be the primary caregiver for her late brother's children, Prince, Paris, and Blanket. It was suggested that even if Michael and Rebbie's mother Katherine were granted custody of the children, Rebbie would care for the siblings on a day-to-day basis at the Jackson family's Encino home. Katherine was named their legal guardian in August 2009. In early 2011, Rebbie announced she had begun recording tracks for a new album, her first in 14 years. She also performed throughout the U.S. with a setlist containing her best-known songs, some of her brothers' songs, and some Motown classics.
jackson-source.com favicon
smoothradio.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
5 sources

 

Closing Thoughts

Rebbie Jackson's career, while not as widely recognized as some of her siblings, showcases her unique contributions to the music industry and her family's legacy. Her debut album Centipede, produced by Michael Jackson, highlighted her vocal talent and included collaborations with family members, solidifying her place in the Jackson musical dynasty. Rebbie's work in the 1980s and 1990s, including her involvement in family projects like The Jacksons: An American Dream and her solo performances in Las Vegas, demonstrated her versatility and dedication to her craft. Despite facing personal challenges, such as the loss of her husband Nathaniel Brown and advocating for her daughter's mental health, Rebbie has remained a steadfast figure within her family and the music world. Her ongoing support for her children’s musical endeavors and her role in caring for her mother, Katherine Jackson, underscore her enduring commitment to her family and her faith.
jackson-source.com favicon
smoothradio.com favicon
music.apple.com favicon
5 sources
Related
what are some lesser-known facts about Rebbie Jackson's early life
how did Rebbie's career evolve after the release of "Centipede"
what impact did Rebbie's faith have on her music and public life