Michael later forged unprecedented success as a solo artist. His superstardom was unrivaled, and his brothers couldn't capture similar acclaim or sales with their solo projects or last studio album, 1989's mostly Michael-less "2300 Jackson Street," but their legacy as a group has remained unchanged. The Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
While various combinations of the brothers have reunited to perform over the years, including at last year's "Michael Forever" tribute concert in Wales, "Unity" will mark the first time the brothers have toured together since their final "Victory" outing in 1984. (Marlon said Randy, who officially joined The Jacksons in 1975, elected not to join the tour but noted that the youngest Jackson brother was welcome at any time.)
"We have a certain magic," said Jackie. "Once we get out here and run it down a couple times, it comes back to you. I'm not (moving) like I used to, but we still got it."
Will the fans think so — and will they turn out to see The Jacksons, whose ages now range from 55 to 61, perform their hits without Michael?
Last year, Cirque du Soleil launched "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" in Las Vegas. The show featuring dancers and acrobatic acts performing routines set to M.J. tunes has been among the top touring acts this year, and "Immortal" will return to Vegas for a residency at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
However, Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert industry trade publication Pollstar, doesn't believe The Jacksons will achieve similar success with their smaller endeavor.
"The Jacksons were really all about Michael," said Bongiovanni. "The Cirque du Soleil show was successful because it was Cirque du Soleil and Michael's music. I don't know if that portends much for the remaining brothers and their ability to generate enthusiasm for ticket sales."
The brothers are undaunted, hoping to release an album of new music then go back out on tour.
"It's like riding a bike," said Marlon. "You never forget, but you do need to tweak a few things."