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The Jacksons launch new tour

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After many years of anticipation from fans, the Jacksons recently announced that they have reunited for a national tour.

The legendary group will begin its Unity Tour this month. The current lineup, which includes Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito Jackson, will make a stop in Indiana on June 22 at the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, which is right next to the brothers’ hometown of Gary.

The Unity Tour will be the first conducted by the Jacksons since the 1984 Victory Tour. It’s also been announced that the Jacksons are recording their first album of new material in over two decades.

Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sheridan Taylor Group, which manages the Jacksons, did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

However, in an earlier statement Jackie Jackson described the new tour as “a dream coming true,” and added “there’s nothing like having the brothers on stage at the same time. This will be exciting for our fans around the world – and I know at each concert Michael’s spirit will be in the house with us.”

Fans can expect a parade of Jackson favorites, from their early days as The Jackson 5 with songs such as “ABC,” to their era as adult superstars with classics like “Can You Feel It” and “This Place Hotel.”

After being signed to Motown, The Jackson 5 began a highly successful career, which witnessed several Top 10 hits between 1970 and 1975 such as “I’ll Be There,” “I Want You Back,” “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Dancing Machine.”

By 1976, The Jackson 5, reaching adulthood, wanted more artistic control over their music and decided to leave Motown, bringing on youngest brother Randy.

From that point, the group, renamed The Jacksons, began another wave of success with favorites like “Enjoy Yourself” (1976), “Blame It on the Boogie” (1978), “Lovely One” (1980) and “State of Shock” (1984).

The Jacksons, without Michael and Marlon, released their last album, “2300 Jackson Street” in 1989, reaching the Top 10 with the title track and the Babyface produced “Nothing That Compares 2 U.”

Due to his charisma, flawless choreography, showmanship and overall talent, Michael Jackson’s contributions to the group often overshadowed those of his brothers. Yet, each brother is talented.

All of the brothers occasionally shared lead vocals with Michael. Jermaine is the group’s bass player, Tito its lead guitarist and Randy a percussionist and keyboard player.

Randy and Jackie also made significant contributions to songwriting for classics such as “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” and “Can You Feel It.” All of the Jackson brothers have released solo albums, with Michael, Jermaine and Marlon achieving the most success.

In 2001, all six Jackson brothers reunited for a highly rated television performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Over the next several years, rumors were spoken about further reunions.

However, none of those attempts came to fruition, mostly due to Michael Jackson’s legal challenges, which also interfered with efforts to reignite his solo career. Fans’ hopes for a reunion were diminished when Michael died suddenly in 2009.

Stunned, the surviving Jackson brothers joined their family in efforts to find answers to Michael’s death. In 2010, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito reunited for their own reality show on the A&E network.

Questions have been raised as to how the live show will go without Michael’s magnetic presence. Possibilities of using a hologram of Michael have also been raised. Regardless, Jermaine Jackson said fans will see an unforgettable show.

“We are committed to keeping the family’s legacy alive,” Jermaine said. “We will perform once again with excellence, creativity and most of all, integrity.”

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