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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 13, 2009
- Vol. 72
- No. 2
From Smalltown to Motown
Led by the Angelic-Voiced Michael, the Jackson 5 Reached Unparalleled Heights of Teenybopper Success
And irresistible. In 1970 the Jackson 5's debut single, "I Want You Back," hit No. 1, as did their next three releases—a feat no pop group had ever matched. Girls mobbed them everywhere, with Michael, who also scored solo hits like "Rockin' Robin" and "Ben," at the center. He enjoyed the adulation, but as an adult often lamented that it came at the price of his childhood.
By the mid-1970s, the brothers wanted greater control of their careers, so they (except for Jermaine) left Motown for Epic Records. In 1978 Michael starred as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, and he befriended the film's musical director Quincy Jones. By this time Michael and his brothers had scored six Top 10 albums. But the collaboration with Jones would make Michael a bigger star than even he could imagine.
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