From the time Jermaine Jackson was 13 years old, he sang and performed alongside his brothers as The Jackson 5. Even then, the talented boys knew that youngest brother Michael was a star, and saw a future filled with his success -- and they were right. In the decades that followed rise of The Jackson 5, both Jermaine and Michael pursued solo careers. As Jermaine produced a series of hits and earned a Grammy nomination, Michael exploded on the scene, breaking world records with his best-selling albums and becoming known as the indisputable King of Pop. Then, tragedy struck the family when Michael passed away at age 50 from cardiac arrest caused by a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
Five years later, Jermaine still thinks of Michael daily -- not of Michael, the superstar solo artist, but of Michael, his kid brother. He recently opened up to Oprah about how he and the rest of the Jackson family are still affected by Michael's death.
"Sometimes I just cry," Jermaine tells Oprah in the above video from "Oprah: Where Are The Now?". "There's so many memories. There's so many things, Oprah, that we did together as brothers."
The world may have seen the Jackson boys as a singing group, but Jermaine says that their bond went far beyond what anyone saw on stage.
"People don't understand how Jackie, Tito, Marlon, myself... how we feel. We were that team that started this," Jermaine says. "To lose [Michael], we're not the same."
Jermaine says Michael's solo success didn't alter their fundamental bond, but he admits that his brother's global fame occasionally limited their access. "It made it sometimes hard for us to get to him because of people. With anybody successful, here comes that wall," he says. "[But] we're family. We're brothers. So, that wall doesn't mean anything to us."
All these years later, Jermaine says that he still instinctively makes room for Michael on stage when the brothers all get together to perform.
"We tour, we play the music... I'm playing the bass, Michael was right here," Jermaine says, gesturing to his right side. "When we're doing the songs like 'I Want You Back,' 'ABC,' 'The Love You Save'... our bodies are programmed to move out of the way because here comes Michael, going to shoot through or do a spin or go this way."
It's a habit that's hard to break. "We still have that same thing where we're expecting him, just looking out for him," Jermaine says. "It's the way it's been."
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