DETROIT – Five years ago the world lost an icon. Michael Jackson died after a lethal dose of Propofol in his California home. His life was filled with highs and some lows, but his brothers want him to be remembered as the legend that he is.
They sat down with Local 4's Evrod Cassimy during a stop on their Unity tour and they talked everything from Motown, to cars and of course their brother Michael. He's known worldwide as the King of Pop, with hits like "Billie Jean," "Thriller," "Bad" and "Smooth Criminal."
This year, June 25 marks five years since Michael Jackson's untimely death at the age of 50.
"Where were you when you find out the tragic news?" asked Cassimy.
"Now you tryin' to get something!" joked Marlon Jackson. "We can't share that with you right now because that's a part of a special we're putting together. We're just going to say it hurt us. It hurts. Immensely. There are no words to explain the hurt."
Just before the anniversary of MJ's death, Cassimy sat down with his brothers Marlon, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine as they represented Detroit dressed in their best Tigers jerseys. Together they made up the group that shot them to super-stardom -- the Jackson 5.
"Still to this day there's not a moment that goes by every day that we don't think of him," said Jermaine Jackson. "He's everywhere. His spirit is always with us. Even on stage we feel his spirit on stage with us. And will always be with us."
Detroit was known better as Motown to them back then. As you can imagine, returning to the stage without MJ brings back all kinds of memories.
"What is it like being on stage and not performing with Michael?" asked Cassimy.
"It's tough at times," said Jermaine Jackson. "It's very tough. Uh, because when we first started this tour there were a lot of emotional moments. I would cry behind these glasses because he was always on my right and next to this one and that one. And on stage we kind of still feel him. We kind of move out the way because he's going to shoot out and do a spin and this and that, but it's healing for us at the same time because we're still mourning. We will probably mourn forever, but it's healing for us playing the music and playing the songs."
"Now I'm on his right and he turns and looks at me and he says, 'Damn,'" laughed Marlon Jackson.
"I actually do!" joked Jermaine Jackson.
Talking about MJ quickly turns tears of sadness into tears of joy. Being back in Detroit, the brothers couldn't help but remember the good old days.
"Living on Chene street, smelling that Silvercup Bread Factory each day when we woke up on the way to the studio," said Jermaine Jackson. "Smelling that bread! That bread smelled so good!"
"I had a great time here just tearing up Barry (Gordy's) house," said Marlon Jackson. "We enjoyed that. Michael and I did. That was our job to tear up stuff."
Performing now as The Jacksons, the foursome is tearing up the stage as part of their Unity Tour. They're singing all the Jackson Five hits as they did when they performed in Detroit for the first time with Michael Jackson decades ago.
"That was at Cobo Hall right?" asked Jermaine Jackson.
"Cobo Hall!" said Marlon. "Detroit used to be one of those ...There was a couple of cities that we always looked forward to playing. Detroit was one of those cities because the fans were always unbelievable."
Now the brothers are working to keep Michael Jackson's legacy alive five years since his passing. During their show they sing his most memorable songs and pause to remember his life as they fulfill his mission.
"I think Michael would want us to continue to do great music. Exactly, keep the legacy alive. Make sure we take care of our fans around the world and just make people happy through our music."
Michael Jackson would have been 56 this year. His newest album is called "Xscape" was released May 13. It features songs recorded from the early 80s to 2001, many of which didn't make the cut for his previous albums.
As for what's next for the brothers, they're working on a new album, which they say will be their most important one yet, due out sometime this year.