Why these pop stars really left their popular groups

The Jackson 5 caught the eye of Motown Records after winning an amateur music competition in 1968. They signed a contract, and the collaboration was hugely successful for both parties.

But in 1975, the Jackson 5 held a press conference to announce they were leaving Motown for Epic Records. A New Yorker article from the time mentions 10 members of the Jackson family were present, but not Jermaine. Jermaine, it seemed had “not yet decided to leave Motown.”

The problem was divided loyalties. While the Jacksons might have been his family, Motown was too by then. Jermaine married Hazel Gordy, the daughter of Motown founder Berry Gordy, in 1973. Ditching his powerful father-in-law wouldn’t be easy. Jackson 5 ABC says Berry promised to heavily promote Jermaine’s solo career, which had been up and down for a few years. In the end, he decided to remain loyal to Motown. His brothers, now down one member, changed the name of their group to The Jacksons.

At the 1975 press conference, Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the family, said he was sure Jermaine would rejoin the group but that it would “take a while.” It would be nine years before Jermaine performed with them again, shortly after he finally left Motown. He must have emotionally put the whole Gordy family behind him at that point because it wasn’t long before Hazel discovered he was cheating on her. They divorced in 1988.

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