“Quite honest, it was really hard for me,” an emotional Janet admitted of her father’s death to the crowd (via The Hollywood Reporter). “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to move forward, if I should cancel this festival or cancel the entire tour.”
Joe Jackson died at the age of 89 following a secret battle with cancer. While the Jackson family patriarch is credited with thrusting his children into the spotlight and nurturing the careers of Michael, Janet and the Jackson 5, Michael would later accuse him of severe child abuse. Despite Joe’s conflicted reputation, Janet had only praise for her late father.
“He was very strong, and without his drive, his strength … we wouldn’t have this success,” Janet said of Joe. “We are a black family that came from Gary, Indiana and we broke all kinds of records around the globe. That’s truth. My father was a great man.”
Following Joe Jackson’s death, the co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family. Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to worldwide pop superstardom. Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous. We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
— Michael Jackson CLUB (@mjjsource_) July 9, 2018