Who Discovered the Jackson 5?

Aired on 02/10/1993 | CC
Long before Michael Jackson was dubbed the King of Pop, he was a novice performer who, along with his talented older brothers, was trying to break into the music industry. It's not surprising that this impressive young man caught the eye of many established Motown musicians, who could already tell that he would grow up to be extraordinary.

In 1993, celebrity friends of Michael Jackson shared their personal experiences with the legendary performer, and among them was the "Empress of Soul," Gladys Knight. "He was just really special," Gladys said, recalling the first time she saw him perform with his brothers as the Jackson 5. "I felt something from this group of young kids."

Contrary to what you may have heard, it may have been Gladys Knight rather than Diana Ross who "discovered" the Jackson 5. Gladys recounted to Oprah how she made a phone call to Motown executives after her first encounter with the young talent. Although she may have placed the first phone call, Gladys said, "It's not about who discovered them." For her, what was important was the "network of people coming together to get these young men recognized."

Original airdate: February 10, 1993