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Rihanna Sex Tape Drama; Lindsey Lohan Sues Pit Bull; Latest on Will and Jada Smith; Jackson Five Legendary
Aired August 26, 2011 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tonight explosive Rihanna sex-tape drama. Does the SNM singer really has a sex tape in?
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."
Breaking tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," a night of SHOWBIZ flashpoints. The Michael Jackson death trial. A startling demand to exclude past claims that Michael molested young boys. The SHOWBIZ flashpoint should child molestation testimony be banned?
Lindsay Lohan sues Pit Bull for rapping about her jail time. Flashpoint, Is Lindsay too thin skinned?
Twenty-nine-year-old Britney Spears getting a lifetime achievement award at MTV`s video music awards. Flashpoint, does she deserve it?
"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" names the most provocative celebrity couple of the week. Is it Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for Split Cake? Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries for their over the top wedding? Or Jim Carey for his creepy love letter to Emma Stone?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM CAREY, ACTOR: If I were a lot younger, I would marry you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show breaks news right now.
Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with big news breaking a nice of SHOWBIZ flashpoints. I`m talking big controversies sparking big debates tonight.
"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" can tell you the hits just kept on coming today, including the startling news that any mention of claims that Michael Jackson may have molested children could be banned at the trial of Doctor Conrad Murray, who is accused of causing Michael`s death. But it`s not the defense asking for the ban, it`s the prosecution. Should the testimony be banned?
We also learned today that Lindsay Lohan is not backing down from her threat to sue Pit Bull for just mentioning her name in one of his songs, even though he had apologized himself. Does Lindsey need to get a thicker skin?
And there was a great debate over plans to give Britney Spears, get this, a lifetime achievement awards this Sunday at the MTV video music awards, even those she`s only 29 years old.
With me tonight in New York, TV and radio host, Michael Billy and at Atlanta tonight, Jen Hobby, the co-host of the Bert show.
All right, let`s get right to this night of stunning SHOWBIZ flashpoint first up, with that explosive news on the Michael Jackson death trial. The judge in the Conrad Murray case could end up banning past molestation accusations against Michael from being brought up in court but it sure seems like a lot of people haven`t forgotten about those past accusation, especially as Jackson nation gets ready for Michael`s tribute concert, which is happening next month. You got to watch what Gene Simmons just told "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENE SIMMONS: Well, I mean it would have to come to that. I refuse to take back my word. I stand by every word I said. Admire the man and his music, not so much the man in his private life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: So, that right there, leads to our first SHOWBIZ flashpoint, should past molestation accusations be brought up? Michael, what do you think?
MICHAEL BILLY, TV AND RADIO HOST: Absolutely not because it isn`t about that. Clearly the defense`s strategy here is to distract the jury from everything but the 24 hours surrounding Michael`s death. I`m sorry, but this is about an addict, a medical doctor who was on the call right there who administered drugs that the coroner said directly were responsible for his death. That`s what this trial is about.
HAMMER: I absolutely get that. Jen, to you, the prosecutors say those accusations, like Michael said, have nothing to do with Michael Jackson`s death. Do you agree they should stay out of trial?
JEN HOBBY, CO-HOST, THE BERT SHOW: Absolutely. They`ve got to stay out of the trial. This jury has got a tough job ahead of them. They don`t need to be distracted with this type of testimony. Michael Jackson is not on trial. Doctor Conrad Murray is.
HAMMER: You can see where the prosecution would say let`s keep it to exactly what this is about.
And coming up, we have a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event. You do not want to miss this. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presenting real star stories, the Jackson Five. You have got to see exactly how Michael became the king of pop.
Well, another huge music star who, is in the SHOWBIZ justice spotlight is also breaking big news tonight. Lindsay Lohan suing hip hop mega star, Pit Bull. Here`s what`s happening with this. This is fascinating to me. Pit Bull simply name checks Lindsay in a song rapping about her time in jail. She`s not down at all. Watch this from Pit Bull`s video for "Give Me Everything."
HAMMER: All right. So Pit Bull name checks her. It happens all the time, pop culture references in popular music. He`s already apologizing for getting Lindsay all fired up about this thing. Lindsay is not backing done for her threat to sue for defamation of character which really surprises me. Watch this statement that Pit Bull just release about all these.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIT BULL, HIP-HOP MEGA STAR: I never meant to def mate or degrade or hurt someone`s career. Like I said, for me Mason and I`m number one record around the world, I thought it would be helping someone`s career and also keeping her relevant.
And will be performing this at the VMAs. And as a matter of fact I`d like to send out an invitation to Lindsay Lohan. Hopefully she can come with me to the VMAs and maybe we figure this out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: You heard it right there. He wants Lindsay to go with him to the video music awards. In fact, I can tell you, he`s actually serious about this. Can we put the video that we`ve got? Look at this. This is video of the VMA preparation. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" just captured that. This empty seat right here next to Pit Bull seat that reserved for Lindsay Lohan. I`m not kidding.
So, Michael, to our second SHOWBIZ flashpoint, what do you think? Is Lindsay being a little too thin skinned here about this?
BILLY: Well, here`s the thing, we don`t usually see lawsuits like this because if you`re mentioned in a song, it`s great publicity, right?
BILLY: Exactly. But Lindsay is trying to rebrand herself as a serious actress. Maybe we will see another "her be" movie, I don`t know. She has a legal leg to stand on because the song stands to profit, the artist stands to profit of a song that defames Lindsay. It`s just a question of do you consider that defaming Lindsay.
HAMMER: And certainly, I can understand where Lindsay is trying to move on with her life and career, she wants to distance herself from anything negative, any negative connotations, whether be said aloud or in pop music. I certainly can see why she wouldn`t want from that. So Pit Bull apologized, invited her to the VMAs. He said he wasn`t disusing her in the first place.
Jen, do you think Lindsay is just being a big baby about this or does she have a point with this the lawsuit?
HOBBY: No, I think there`s no point to the lawsuit. She`s suing because she needs money. Guys, we know she`s not working as much these days and she`s trying to get back out there but she needs some money right now. And I think the smartest thing she could do is go with him to the VMAs, laugh it off, have a good time. She needs the good publicity. Lindsey, go to the VMAs and go sober, OK?
HAMMER: Yes. Wear your pants and undergarments and all of that. Don`t walk away - be careful, she might sue you because you`re reminding people of her past accusations.
But let me just ask you this, when push comes to shove, do you really see Lindsay following through with this? Or maybe I was thinking she`s just sending as you message loud and clear that I don`t want you people talking about this stuff anymore and I mean business.
BILLY: I think if she`s smart she wouldn`t spend the money on a legal team and just use this as publicity and get out thereof.
HAMMER: Where does she have the money for a legal team anyway given all of these financial woes we`re always hearing about in Lindsay Lohan world?
Somebody who definitely will be showing up at this year`s video music awards, it`s Britney Spears. Why is that you might ask? Britney is going to be given a lifetime achievement award. Which normally, you know, that`s a terrific thing a wonderful honor but this is happening before Britney even turns 30.
Let`s not forget Britney`s VMA train wreck was just three years ago. You remember, she couldn`t even dance at that thing, it was difficult to watch. And now, she`s about to get a lifetime achieve meant award. That leads to our third SHOWBIZ flashpoint; does Britney deserve a lifetime achievement award at 29?
Now Jen, granted she`s had a lot more accomplishments in her 29, 30 years than many people have in a lifetime but do you think 29`s just too young?
HOBBY: You know what, I don`t, A.J. she`s the fifth best selling female artist ever and she`s also sold over a hundred million albums worldwide. So she has accomplished so much at just 29 years old. And I think it begs the question, too, its MTV saying is Britney ready to fizzle out, like we should go ahead and give her this award now before her career plummets. I`m wondering that as well.
HAMMER: I was wondering that myself, Michael. Do they know something that we don`t know about what`s happening in Britney`s life? I certainly don`t think so and hope not. But look, Jen makes a great point. She is a hit machine, she`s been working since she`s very young. We`re also talking about MTV, which is a much younger audience, younger performers featured on the network. So what do you think, 29 too young for a lifetime achievement award for Britney Spears?
BILLY: Way too young. Look what`s Lindsay on? It`s the bulk of her success was in the earlier part of her career. Her music is unidentifiable. She might as well be cahier right now. She`s only 29. If the award is for making it to 29, maybe -
HAMMER: I don`t know.
BILLY: I`m sorry, I don`t see.
HAMMER: She`s had great success this past year though. You see I left you speechless. I`m going to give you an award for losing your words tonight, Michael Billy but thank you for your insight. Nonetheless, we love having you here. Michael Billy, Jen Hobby, I thank you both.
HOBBY: Thank you.
HAMMER: We have to move on to rumors of a Rihanna sex-tape?
Well tonight, Rihanna is actually speaking out about a brand new claim that she appears in a sex-tape with a big time rap star. Of course the question is does this thing even exist?
"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" is about to name the most provocative celebrity couple of the week. Will it be Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for their reported split and of course, their public outing? Is it Kim Kardashian and her new husband Kris for making big bucks for their over-the-top wedding? Or is it Jim Carey`s creepy, stupid love for Emma Stone?
And wait until you see this. I`m going one-on-one with Michael Jackson`s brother Tito who reveals how the Jackson Five molded M.J. into a pop sensation. This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN news and view.
And now the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.
TEXT: Minka Kelly and Yankees star Derek Jeter Split! Beyonce debuts new music video for "1+1"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it! Stop it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s do it! Let`s do it!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Did you see this? The very first look at the brawl between The Situation and Ronnie on "jersey shore." Ronnie going off on the Sitch after the Sitch tells Sammy -- that`s Ronnie`s ex, of course -- that Ronnie boasted about bringing home five girls. Well, this fight sent The Situation to the hospital. It looks pretty serious.
Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
So, does Rihanna have a sex-tape? She is speaking out today. And Sarah Jessica Parker breaks big "section and the city" movie news to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." All that`s making big news in the "Buzz" today.
SHOWBIZ breaks news. Sarah Jessica Parker just set the record straight about another "sex in the city" movie. In brand new interview with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Parker who is promoting her new movie with Greg Kinnear that suddenly put on the spot by her co-star demanding answers for CNN`s Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: In all candor I will say that there is no plan thus far for a "Sex and the City 3" movie or to my knowledge a pre- quell. But that doesn`t mean that down the road it might be considered. But in the near and immediate future, no.
HAMMER: I`ve got Wolf Blitzer standing by in The Situation room. Are you denying that there is any possibility of "Sex in the City 3"?
PARKER: I am - is it Wolf? Are you speaking directly to Wolf?
HAMMER: Yes, yes, have I Wolf on the line.
PARKER: Yes, that`s right; I am standing by my statement. My lawyer`s advised me not to answer any further questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Rihanna`s sex-tape smack down. Rihanna has just hit twitter to blast back at reports claiming an intimate video exists between her and rapper J. Cole. Hustler magazine says it has the video. But Rihanna says we don`t believe you. You need more people and of course, an actual sex- tape. Hastag-slownewsday.
So, that`s how Rihanna is spinning reports of a sex-tape but what about the big spin surrounding the story everybody was talking about this week?
Will and Jada Smith`s reported split. In a joint statement the couple flat out denied they`re having any marriage trouble but did they spin it the right way?
Calling the SHOWBIZ spin doctor, with us tonight is from Hollywood is PR Guru Howard Bragman, the founder of 15 minute public relations. Howard, of course, is our resident Spin doc.
All right doctor, let me first read the statement we have from Mr. and Mrs. Smith related to reports that their 13-year marriage was coming to an end which I couldn`t believe would possibly be true. It said "although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports the rumors circulating about our relationship are completely false. We are still together and our marriage is intact."
Howard, a lot of people are saying there was no reason for Will and Jada to respond even this time, especially if it wasn`t true. You are the Pr Guru. How would you have told Will and Jada to spin it? Go ahead. Spin it in a minute.
HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PR: A.J., one of the great skills that celebrities must really have is to develop a thick skin, to let this skin roll off your back and not really give it any more weight or credence. I honestly read the statement and I said it took two publicists probably agents and managers to write this really bizarre statement. What does it mean that a relationship is intact?
I would have love to hear if they were going to do statement, I would like to hear them say we love each other more than the day we married but intact sounds like a hurricane attack in a nuclear power plant. So, I wasn`t in love with the statement and I found the whole thing a little bizarre and unnecessary, A.J.
HAMMER: Yes. And you mentioned these publicists and managers got together and you know they toiled over every single word which also is why it surprises me that they came up with ultimately the word intact and probably labored over that for hours alone.
Here`s the thing that really bother me though, Will and Jada went a step further in their show of solidarity. They made sure cameras were there to catch them out shopping together. I think and I`m no publicist, but I think that was a tactical error because even if it wasn`t a PR blitz, Howard, it sure smacked of one to me in my standing of how these things work. What is your bottom line spin on Will and Jada?
BRAGMAN: Well, just one quick thing. The last few things when I was out with Barry Manilow pushing his album, Jada had something she was pushing, we ran into them everywhere. They really got along well. I`m not sure that was faked. My bottom line to Will and Jada, don`t add fuel to the fire, guys, just let`s it be. And you know every day you`re married shuts the critics up.
HAMMER: But to be perfectly clear Howard, sometimes when couples are having problems and we see them out smiling and holding hands, that is a big PR show, right?
BRAGMAN: Absolutely. But honestly I spent a lot of time with them in green rooms, they kind of like each other, crazy as it is.
HAMMER: All right, I`m happy to hear it from you. You`re out there in Hollywood right in the thick it have. Howard Bragman, as always, PR Guru Doctor, Thank you so much.
Well, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" is about to name the most provocative celebrity couple of the week. Will it be Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for spurting this split report by showing up in public together? Could it be Kim Kardashian and her new hubby Kris Humphries for making so much bank on their over the top wedding? Or will we name Jim Carey for what I thought was really a really creepy stupid love confession to Emma Stone?
And Tito Jackson`s in believable revelations about his brother Michael. You have got to see this. I go one-on-one with Tito and Tito tells me how Michael really became the biggest pop star in the world.
This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN news and views.
Now it is time to roll out the SHOWBIZ news ticker. These are more stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.
TEXT: Kris Jenner to guest host on "The Talk" and NBC`s "Today." Greg Kinnear says he`s happy "The Kennedys" miniseries got an Emmy nomination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRE KINNEAR, ACTOR: We had a crew of people who worked extremely hard on that show. I think when we got cancelled by the history channel, we were all disheartened. They are all - but I think there (inaudible) fans now. So, it was good to find a home and I think we did good work on the show.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAREY: This is a message for Emma Stone. If I were a lot younger, I would marry you. And we would have chubby little freckle-faced kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Yes. Instead of saying ah, a lot of folks were saying "ew." Sometimes, Jim Carey getting a little carried away for his love of Emma Stone. That`s why tonight, Jim and Emma, nominees for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week, couples edition.
Jim and Emma weren`t the only ones making our heads thin sp week. Will and Jada Smith nominees for their split or will we name Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries for their epic and profitable wedding?
Radio host, Jen Hobby`s back with me now. And Jen, I want to start right up with Mister and Missis Humphries, they had sponsorship, they have the special edition of "People" magazine that`s out this week. They have this all access TV special coming to "E." Plenty of outrage that Kim and Kris cashed in such a big way on their wedding didn`t make it about charity. Should we send them a gift tonight, the title of this week`s most provocative celebrity couple of the week?
HOBBY: A.J., although they are seriously cashing in, I don`t think they are the most provocative. I really got to go with Will and Jada this week. I mean, it sent shock waves through the nation that this couple could be splitting up. Shocked disbelief and really true horror from people going. In fact if that couple can`t make it, then who can? And then of course the sigh of relief that, ah, it was just rumor.
HAMMER: Just a rumor, statement defiantly saying not happening and the little shopping trip that was a little suspect to a lot of people. But, let`s find out if you are right because it`s time now to name tonight`s most provocative celebrity couple of the week. Drum roll, please.
You got it there, Jen, Will and Jada Smith most provocative celebrity couple of the week. Everybody took these reports so personally. I see you obviously did. They say their marriage is intact. Sadly, though, Jen I`m thinking this isn`t the end of the drama here. Any agreement here?
HOBBY: I tend to agreement agree with you, A.J. because a lot of people feel like where there`s smoke there`s fire. But I am very hopeful that these two are sticking it out and they`re going to make their love last.
HAMMER: We do love them as a couple. We hope they`re together forever. Jen Hobby, great to see you. Thanks for being here.
Moving out to the SHOWBIZ line, here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." Get ready for it "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presents real star stories: the Jackson Five. Five kids from Gary, Indiana literally became as overnight sensation and Michael Jackson`s brother Tito reveals to me the dramatic story of how the Jackson Five molded Michael into the pop sensation we came to know. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presents real star stories: the Jackson Five coming up next.
This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN news and views. And now it`s the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.
TEXT: Beverly Hills `Housewife" Kim Richards to join "Dancing with the stars"
TEXT: Jaime Presley won`t serve time for dui arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Tonight a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" real star stories, the Jackson Five.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just kids wanting to do something good.
HAMMER: Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Michael. How these five kids from Gary, Indiana literally became an overnight sensation.
And they were on their way to changing the face of music. The life, the legend, the Jackson Five.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Welcome to a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presents real star stories: the Jackson Five. Tonight a revealing look, five kids from Indiana who became one of the biggest musical acts in history. Millions of albums showed, countless artists influenced. Michael Jackson`s career launched. A lasting legacy that will likely never be matched.
One of the original members of the Jackson Five, Tito Jackson, is going to be joining me to share his fascinating stories. But first we begin with that lasting legacy of the Jackson Five.
HAMMER (voice-over): It`s a moment that wowed the nation. The Jackson 5`s first national appearance in 1969 on the variety show "the Hollywood palace."
HAMMER: The Jackson Five first burst on to the music scene in 1969 with their debut album "Diana Ross presents the Jackson Five." Their first single "I Want You Back" shot straight to number one.
ALAN LIGHT, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: "I Want You Back" is as perfect a single as anyone has ever made.
HAMMER: The man behind the music was Motown records legendary founder and owner Barry Gordy. He said it was his assistant who, send a pass to discover the Jackson Five.
BARRY GORDY, FOUNDER AND OWNER, MOTOWN RECORDS: I said I don`t want any more kid acts. But Susan insisted I at least take a look at them.
HAMMER: The oldest of the Jackson Five, Jackie Jackson, remembers that first day they met with Gordy in 1969.
JACKIE JACKSON, THE JACKSON FIVE: We performed for his birthday. We did our thing. Next thing you know, we went to the studio within a week, two days, recording our first record.
LIGHT: The first four singles they put out all went to number one. That had not been done before. That`s an extraordinary way to come out and introduce yourself to the world.
HAMMER: Their next two LPS produced hit after hit on the soul singles chart, "I Want You Back" "ABC," "I love You Say it" and "I`ll be there" all went straight to number one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the Jackson Five.
(MUSIC PLAYING) HAMMER: The Jackson Five immediately appeared on a slew of TV shows, including this early appearance in the 1970 on the Jim Neighbors Show. A 12-year-old Jackson sings "I`ll be there"
GORDY: As a kid Michael was always beyond his years.
LIGHT: To watch Michael Jackson in those early days when he was 10, 11 years old, it was super human to see what he was capable of.
HAMMER: The Jackson Five were breaking records and getting noticed and together they were making history.
MICHAEL YO, CORRESPONDENT, E! NEWS: The Jackson Five was the first African-American group to take over the households of America. They were the first black group to do that.
LIGHT: Think about how politically charged, racially charged 1970 was. These were kids who were not changing and cleaning up that black style, it was modifying it in a way that translated to a pop crowd.
HAMMER: There may have been racial tensions in the U.S. in the early 70s but you would never have known it watching the Jackson Five on TV. Like in this 1971 appearance on the flip Wilson show singing "ABC."
LIGHT: There had been black singers who had made girls scream and swoon but there hadn`t been this kind of black, young teen idol. That really wasn`t something that we`d seen before.
JERMAINE JACKSON, THE JACKSON FIVE: Our music is positive. We`re just kids with dreams and wanting to do something good.
HAMMER: More albums and more fame came to the Jackson Five.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Jackson Five were such a direct product of Joe Jackson`s ambition.
HAMMER: Born and raised in Cary, Indiana, Joe and Catherine Jackson had six sons and three daughters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think from my father, he saw something in us.
HAMMER: Every free minute the Jacksons had outside of school, they practiced and they competed in talent shows and contests around the nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all traveled together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The uptown, all through the theater in Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a great learning experience for us.
HAMMER: In 1974 they took their album and its hit single "dancing machine" on the road.
Making historic television appearances on "soul train" and "the Carol Burnett" show and in the process, setting off a new dance craze, the robot.
YO: Whatever was hot at the time, they would embrace it and make it better.
LIGHT: The Jacksons could look around and see there were other musical forces that were changing, that were ahead of where Motown was that black music was expanding. They started to bristle against the restrictions that Motown kept on them.
HAMMER: In 1974 their contract expired at Motown and the Jackson 5 left their Motown roots and signed on to epic.
LIGHT: Motown actually held the rights to the name Jackson Five and so when the group left, they started calling themselves the Jacksons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the Jacksons!
HAMMER: With more creative freedom and the addition of their brother Randy, the newly branded Jacksons forged ahead and dove right in to disco.
LIGHT: They certainly had big hits after they were at epic. They had "Shake Your Body down To the Ground." "Blame It on the Boogie," "Heart Break Hotel." A significant number of major hits that still came at that point.
HAMMER: The Jacksons would release one final album in 1989, 2300 Jackson Street. But the Jackson Five will be forever remembered as the young vibrant kids from Indiana who influenced music and culture around the world.
HAMMER: There is so much more to the incredible Jackson Five story, and here to share the J-5 experience, a man who had a front row seat to this real stars story, an original member of Jackson Five, Tito Jackson.
Tito, it is great to have you here. When the Jackson Five made their debut all the way back in 1969, it really was as if all of America instantly fell in love with you guys. But you were all touring and competing for years before you made it big. What was that time like?
TITO JACKSON, THE JACKSON FIVE: Oh, that was a lot of work and a lot of practicing and travelling and actually we had this little Volkswagen van that we used to pack with equipment and we used to sleep and sit on the equipment because there was no seats in it and we would ride for hours like this, whether we were going to Saint Louis or Wisconsin or Chicago or New York. This is how it worked.
HAMMER: Hard to imagine you legends all crammed into a little VW van. And of course, life really changed when you first met Motown legend Barry Gordy at his mansion and performed for him at his birthday party. Tell me about that experience.
TITO JACKSON: Well, that was quite interesting because I remember the first time we saw the mansion, we were all "ahh," because we never dream such that so extravagant. And so Barry Gordy had this golf course in his yard and he bet all of us that he would give us a hundred dollars if we could do a hole in one. We didn`t know how hard it was to do a hole in one. But we tore up his hole yard trying to put that golf ball in the hole.
HAMMER: You never could imagine you would be leading your lives as Barry Gordy led his lives as life went on for you all.
TITO JACKSON: No, no, we couldn`t imagine but being under the wings of Motown, we knew we would be OK.
HAMMER: Well, I want to bring in R&B singer and song writer, Johnny Gill. Johnny, it`s great to have you here as well. And you of course, were in the massively successful group, New Edition which was a boy band born in the 1980s. The Jackson Five was probably the first ever African- American boy band. How did they specifically pave the way for your success?
JOHNNY GILL, R&B SINGER AND SONG WRITER: Oh, my God. Without the Jacksons there would definitely not be a new edition and the list goes on from Boyz II Men to a lot of the boy bands you see today. The Jacksons started it all.
And I tell you it`s like when I watch some of the footage here, it`s just - it takes me back to a time and a place in my life when I was just a little kid, a little baby and, you know, when you`re living in that moment, you really can`t grasp what`s really going on when it happening. And it`s like I`m sitting there look and I`m just like, my god, this is royalty. These guys have paved the way and opened the doors for so many of us.
HAMMER: And it`s been great to watch you throughout the years, Johnny, first with the bands and then in your solo career. It was clear that, you know, it was just part of your DNA what the Jackson Five brought to your life. But what to you is their lasting legacy?
GILL: Oh, my God. You know, I`ve often said that what`s written in stone could never be erased and when you look at, you know, Tito, you guys might not have gotten that hole in one on the golf course but you sure as heck got a lot of number ones. And that made up for your -
HAMMER: In golfing terms I think it was eagles all the way throughout their career. Johnny Gill, Tito Jackson, thank you so much. Please don`t go anywhere. I want you back in a second to talk about the Jackson Five`s dramatic impact on its youngest original member, that of course Michael. But first the Jackson Five, musicians, cultural icons and masters of merchandising?
LIGHT: To see the Jackson Five as a cartoon on TV reaching into, you know, White Households around the country on Saturday morning to kids who were their age and younger, that was a very powerful statement.
HAMMER: From cereal boxes to TV specials, the ABCs of J-5 nostalgia next. You`re watching a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presents real star stores," the Jackson Five."
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HAMMER: The Jackson Five weren`t just a force of music. They were a force of fashion.
LIGHT: The Jackson Five had such a clear visual identity with the afros, the patch suits and bell bottoms.
HAMMER: Their variety show in the mid 70s, "the Jacksons," brought their style into living rooms across the country.
LIGHT: It was taking a lot of the young, black street style and putting that out to a general public and that was a very powerful thing.
HAMMER: Welcome back to the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" presents real star stories: the Jackson Five." I`m A.J. Hammer.
And now behind the Jackson Five`s money making empire. You know, if you grew up in the 70s, you were probably up on Saturday mornings and before you even changed out of your P.J.s you were watching the Jackson Five cartoon or maybe a took a Jackson Five lunch box to school or watched their star studded variety shows.
HAMMER (voice-over): The Jackson Five were masters of branding and commercial success. Not only did they Grace the cover of magazines and cereal boxes, they also had major endorsement deals.
Like this 1973 alpha bits commercial. Through much of the 70s they had their own variety show and Jackson special. And they had their own hit cartoon show called "the Jackson Five."
LIGHT: To see the Jackson Five as a cartoon on TV reaching into, you know, White Households around the country on Saturday morning that was a very powerful statement and impactful thing.
HAMMER: Well, as the nostalgia talk begin, joining me again from Hollywood, R&B singer and songwriter Johnny Gill right now in New York, Radio host and editor of Egyptsaidso.com Egypt Sherrod and Janet Hubert, the author of the book "JG and the BC kids." She also played Aunt Viv on nightly sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Janet, you grew up in the Jackson`s generation. What was it like to see a black pop group go so main stream at a time when, let`s face it, there were still serious civil rights issues in the country?
JANET HUBERT, AUTHOR, JG AND THE BC KIDS: For me growing up in a high school in a small town where there were probably maybe ten black kids in the whole town it was monumentous. It was like nothing we had ever seen. It gave you the hope and feeling you could actually make it from a small town. And I had five brothers so we all grabbed our coca-cola bottles and put our microphones on and wanted to be the Jacksons. It was spectacular.
HAMMER: And look at you, you made it. So did Johnny Gill. Johnny, you were also a product of the Jackson Five generation and I`ve heard where you have said that as a kid watching the Jackson Five special was like watching an event. Why?
GILL: Oh, my God, it was like the whole family would gather around and it was like, you know, we were just in awe. As kids we didn`t believe they were really real.
HAMMER: Egypt, I want to ask you as somebody else who really got to follow the Jacksons along as you were growing up, how did you feel that they impacted America? Not just musically but culturally.
EGYPT SHERROD, HOST, EDITOR, EGPTYSAIDSO.COM: You have to think at that time when the Jacksons first came out we`re in the middle of the civil rights movement. So, black people were ready to not only break out and dance, break out and scream, break out and tear the walls down. And to have them on television, I`m sure you can agree, Janet, was like, oh, my God, black people are on TV. Mom, I can do it too.
But the bigger implications there were now you have little white girls and white boys also singing and dancing to the same song so they also help to bridge the culture gap there.
HUBERT: And there were afros then.
HAMMER: You look at pictures and there were a lot of that going on.
Well, let`s go back to somebody who`s right there and brought it all to us, Tito Jackson. Did you have any idea what an impact you were making in all of these ways on an entire generation of kids?
TITO JACKSON: No. Us as children, you know, we were just having fun. We loved music and we would perform with people like Jackie Wilson, Gladys Knight, Miracles and so on and so on. And we wanted to be like these guys. We would study these guys to death. And that`s all we were kids with a dream to be superstars.
HAMMER: At a point, Tito, imagine you probably got used to either seeing footage of yourselves on television, maybe even seeing yourselves in the magazines or on posters. But seriously, we`re looking at cereal boxes that had your pictures on it. There were lunch boxes. I`m pretty sure I had a Jackson Five thermos at one point. What was it like seeing yourselves on all of this paraphernalia and merchandising?
TITO JACKSON: Well, it was very exciting but there was so much in our life at that time doing new things that we didn`t have time to concentrate and stop and enjoy all the things that were happening around us.
Like people ask me today what was it like just you asked? And actually it`s hard to grasp it because we were doing so much and we were just kids with a dream and it`s hard to grasp and my brothers and I talk about it all the time and we say can you believe we did so much as little children? We can`t believe it ourselves.
HAMMER: You know, it`s funny, it`s almost hard to believe but maybe we enjoyed the ride a little more than they were able to because they were right in the mix of it.
SHERROD: Probably. From the time Diana Ross introduced you, the next day you were overnight sensations and it was probably a whirlwind you can barely remember. When you look at the pictures and albums and videos, you say oh, I remember when but in that moment you didn`t really get a chance to enjoy it.
HAMMER: Unbelievable. Egypt Sherrod, Johnny Gill, I thank you all. Tito, please stay right where you are. Because when we come back, Michael Jackson`s brother, Tito back with me. He`s going to tell us the dramatic story of how the Jackson 5 molded Michael into the pop sensation we came to know and love.
This is a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" special event.
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ANTONIO "L.A." REID, FMR, CEO, ISLAND DEF JAM: Michael Jackson is the greatest performer that ever lived. I think he influenced generations of people. We haven`t even felt the full impact of the brothers yet. They`re amazing. All friends of mine, by the way.
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HAMMER: So, how did the Jackson Five impact the youngest original member Michael Jackson?
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HAMMER: The moves of Michael Jackson`s 1983 smash hit "thriller" owe a lot to his Jackson Five roots, especially their work after 1975.
LIGHT: Those later Jackson records really were kind of the canvas where Michael tried out a lot of the things that then fully flowered on "thriller" and his solo work.
HAMMER: Watching Michael on the hit variety show "the Jacksons" in 1977, you can`t help but see the roots of "thriller" and so much more.
LIGHT: He did the robot and everybody went insane and that was years before he did the moon walk.
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HAMMER: With me again, Michael`s brother and Jackson Five band mate, Tito. So Tito, there`s really no doubt Michael got a lot of his dance moves that made him famous in his solo career straight from the Jacksons and the Jackson Five. How did you guys develop those memorable, incredible moves?
TITO JACKSON: Oh, well, actually we used to put ourselves in a room, you know, and we would practice all day. We would put the song on that we had choreographed and Jackie, Marlon and Michael would stay there and work out dance moves and get in front of the mirror and say this worked, that doesn`t work. Once they had something that worked, they would practice it for hours.
HAMMER: Yes. It was the kind of thing, Tito, that seemed as natural as it appeared to come to you guys and to Michael later on, it was a lot of hard work, wasn`t it?
TITO JACKSON: It was a whole lot of work. I can`t even imagine that I did all of that work. And I enjoy today looking back on it as God`s gift and I`m very grateful but I wouldn`t want to go through that again. That was - it was hard.
HAMMER: It`s nice to look back. At least you know you had it in you at some point, right? That`s always a good thing. So, when you look at Michael`s later work, when you watch that "thriller" video, when you watch "Billy jean" do you clearly see the Jackson Five influence in Michael`s moves? I know he evolved but you see the J-5 there, don`t you?
TITO JACKSON: Absolutely. You know, he`s part of the product. You can`t peel something off the apple and not call it an apple. You know, he`s definitely a part of the product. And that was training camp for Michael. Everything he did afterwards were just things that he had accomplished during the Jackson Five as far as his dance moves. And his, everything about him, his video ideas, everything. We used to brain storm and talk about things that was out of the circle and try to come up with things that were unusual and different. That was our whole thing. We wanted to be different.
HAMMER: It was such magic and it certainly was different. Tito Jackson, thank you so much for sharing your amazing story with us tonight.