Joe Jackson, the music manager and father of late king of pop Micheal Jackson, died early Wednesday morning at the age of 89.
The Jackson family patriarch had been battling terminal pancreatic cancer and was “not doing well” as of late, a source previously told PEOPLE.
Grandsons Randy Jackson Jr. and Taj Jackson confirmed the news in tweets Wednesday afternoon, writing, “RIP to the king that made everything possible! I love you grandpa” and “Joe was loved by the entire family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve.”
Prince Michael Jackson, grandson of Joe and son of Michael, captioned a photo on Instagram. “This man is and always will be an example or sheer willpower and dedication. He didn’t choose the path that was the easiest but he choose the path that was best for his family,” he wrote.
“You taught me to take pride in the Jackson name and what it really means, you taught me dedication in the face of adversity and most of all you showed me strength and fearlessness. There is and never will be someone like you. Fly free and until we meet again The Hawk.”
Daughter LaToya added, “I will always love you! You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared. #RIP Joe Jackson”
Joe is survived by his wife Katherine and their children Maureen, 68, Jackie, 67, Tito, 64, Jermaine, 63, La Toya, 62, Marlon, 61, Randy, 56, and Janet, 52.
Son Michael died from an apparent cardiac arrest at age 50 on June 25, 2009. Son Brandon died at birth in 1957.
Joe was also the father of Joh’Vonnie Jackson, 43, the daughter of Cheryl Terrell, whom he had a 25-year-long affair with. Katherine filed for divorce twice but never went through with the separation.
In 1963, Joe noticed his children’s musical talents after he discovered son Tito’s guitar talents. Soon after, Joe served as the manager for The Jackson Brothers, a band formed by sons Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. Then in 1965, Marlon and Michael joined the group and renamed themselves The Jackson 5 in 1966.
Anchored by a 7-year-old Michael, The Jackson 5 found immediate success, becoming the first American group to have four singles land the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Soon after, Joe moved the entire family from Indiana to California.
In 1968, Joe signed a Motown contract—without reading it—that gave the company ironclad control over everything recorded by The Jackson 5, a move that cost the family millions. Michael fired his father as manager in 1983.