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The Jacksons Go to Africa

This just in from the First Family of Crazy: The Jacksons. Marlon Jackson (he's the other child voice in the 1970 single "I'll Be There") has announced plans to develop a slave history theme park along with a Jackson 5 museum within a luxury resort in Nigeria.

"The development will cater to the country's growing tourism industry, particularly African-American tourists who wish to trace their Nigerian roots," according to a recent report in the U.K newspaper The Guardian. "Visitors will be able to explore the site of the former transatlantic slave trade, honour the hundreds of thousands who died in what were horrific human rights abuses, and then head off for a round of golf or a massage, before gawping at animatronic versions of the siblings who sang ABC and I Want You Back."


What was that '80s joke? "There's always a Tito lying around somewhere." I think it's time to check in with the rest of the Jackson clan to see what else they're up to these days.

GALLERY: See the Jackson Family Photo Album

The biggest Jackson family star by a long shot, Michael has sold over 750 million records and is considered by Guinness World Records to be the most successful entertainer of all time. Plus, he's survived a rumored flesh-eating disorder (or at least everything but his nose). Still, he's pretty close to broke and is auctioning off his belongings in April. I hope he saves a few things for Marlon's museum.

The bass-playing heartthrob of the group, Jermaine had a brief solo career that included a duet with Pia Zadora. Jermaine is now an international reality-show star. He's been on "Australian Idol," "Celebrity Big Brother UK," and CMT's "Gone Country."

The middle daughter hasn't had much success professionally or personally. She released some forgettable singles, famously appeared in Playboy, and followed her brother Jermaine into the reality TV black hole. LaToya made her own "Celebrity Big Brother UK" appearance in 2009, then tried to earn some extra cash by charging fans for a meet-and-greet.

Aside from his Nigerian slave theme park/Jackson 5 museum resort, Marlon plays the real estate game in Southern California. Real estate prices are probably better in Nigeria than California these days.

Immortalized by Eddie Murphy ("Tito, get me a tissue"), Tito now plays guitar in his own blues band and manages his sons' group, 3T. According to his website, a new album is expected shortly.

The youngest Jackson has starred in two of the all-time coolest '70s and '80s sitcoms: "Good Times" and "Diff'rent Strokes." She could have just stopped there, and her place in history would have been secure. But she made one more legendary TV appearance with Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl XXXVIII. I prefer her in "Good Times." Lately, she's plotting another makeover. Her website is down ("new website coming soon"), and she parted ways with her label, Island Def Jam.

No, not that Randy Jackson. This one is the youngest Jackson brother, and he's a long way from "American Idol." He made one album under the name Randy & the Gypsys and now supposedly fixes cars in L.A, according to the New York Post.

Jackie's closest brush with reality-show fame is a rumored affair with Paula Abdul in the '80s. Now he watches his son rap under the name DealZ.

Rebbie is the oldest Jackson child. She had a '80s hit with "Centipede" and played Vegas before retiring. She's the only Jackson to maintain a longtime relationship. She's been married to her high school sweetheart since 1968. Other Jacksons take note.

He is the controversial patriarch who led his family to musical domination, then watched them slide into strangeness. He was a boxer, a musician, and a strict disciplinarian (to put it mildly). With no more Jacksons left to manage, Joe announced he was opening a boot camp for up-and-coming hip-hop artists. His goal was to "clean it up." Jackson family values, for sure.


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