Joe and Katherine Jackson had nine talented kids, with two of them, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, being among the most popular recording artists and performers ever. Of their nine children, only one has yet to release an album: Tito Jackson. Rolling out spoke exclusively to Tito about his brother Michael, being inspired by Janet, his sons, his nearly four decades-long delay in releasing his solo project, criticism from Charles Barkley, and more.
Tito Jackson is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Jacksons and the Jackson 5, but, unlike his eight siblings, he never released a solo project until now, and explains why. “The reason I named it Tito Time is because it took some time to do this album. I started doing an album in 1970 or 1971 and I had [done] maybe one instrumental song,” he said. Tito began working on the album for Motown, but when he and his brothers moved from Motown to Epic, the project never was released.
After Tito got married and started a family, he prioritized family first. “I felt it was better for me to be a father, raise my boys instead of chasing a solo career being that I was already tremendously busy with the Jackson 5 and for me to do a solo career on top of that and try to be a father, something would have not had the attention that was properly needed.”
Tito, who is five years older than Michael, talked about early experiences with his younger brother’s talent. “Ever since I remember, Michael, he has always been talented. I mean when he was 4 and 5 he was singing, and I used to look at him [thinking], ‘How do you do that?’ I just couldn’t understand how this young, little kid could do that. I say he was made to do what he [did],” he said.
Tito also talked about being inspired by the youngest of the Jackson clan, Janet. “Janet is very helpful to us because she motivates her brothers, believe it or not, and she is a great inspiration just watching what she is doing with her career and she’s still out there doing her thing … of course that makes the brothers want to continue,” he said.
Ironically, Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley inspired Tito to finish his solo project. “Charles Barkley threw me under the bus, saying that I wasn’t talented: ‘He can’t sing, he can’t do this, he’s just there holding that guitar’ … when he said that, it really hurt my heart,” he said.
The wait is almost over, as Tito Time is scheduled to come out this fall. You can check out the first single by Tito Jackson, “Get It Baby,” on iTunes, Google Play and all major retailers. Tito also will be touring with his sons, 3T, beginning in September. Visit www.titojackson.com/ for more information.