As fans and friends dealt with the death of Michael Jackson on Thursday, the pop star's family was also reeling from the shock of his sudden passing. Marlon Jackson was able to speak to the press about his final interaction with his 50-year-old younger brother, who had been in Los Angeles rehearsing for his upcoming 50 concerts in London.
Marlon, 52, talked to Essence.com about how he first heard the news of his brother's death. "I talked to Frank Dileo, Michael's manager. Frank told me that Michael last night was complaining about not feeling well.
"He called to tell him he wasn't feeling well," continued the second-youngest Jackson 5 member. "Michael's doctor went over to see him, and Frank said, 'Marlon, from last night to this morning, I don't know what happened.' When they got to him this morning, he wasn't breathing. They rushed him to the hospital and couldn't bring him around. That's what happened. They don't know what happened."
The last time Marlon saw Michael was last month at a family gathering, and he insists that Michael looked healthy at the time. "Michael looked great. He was looking well. He was getting ready to go into rehearsals for his tour. I don't know what happened," he told Essence, adding, "He wasn't in a wheelchair. He was walking around with his kids. When we saw him, he wasn't in a wheelchair. We all talked. He was doing great."
Marlon, who noted that first and foremost, Michael was his little brother, said the guys loved performing together. It wasn't until later in life that Marlon fully understood the cultural impact he and his brothers had on their fans.
"Me and my brothers did what we did because we loved it," Jackson said. "That's the way we thought. I'm happy that we did get a chance to just bring happiness to everybody, and Michael took it to another level to bring people happiness. He cared about people a lot. ... Michael was known all over the world, and that's why people care, and it's nice to see that people care. Not only did they grow up with my brother, but they grew up with the Jackson 5. They care, they care. He's going to be missed. He's definitely going to be missed. We are always going to remember him. We cannot forget him."
Marlon said that at age 50, Michael was too young to die. "He was going to be 51 in August. Gone too soon," he said. "He's going to live on. He has left a legacy, and it's going to be forever, and I really feel that in my heart. I want people to concentrate on those things that he did for people. He did a lot of positive things. He's going to live forever. I'm going to miss him. The memories, all the great things he has done, and my family is going to miss him. It's hard. It's really hard for us right now."
Don't miss "A Celebration of Michael Jackson on MTV," airing at 6 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
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