Heart Don't Lie
American semi-successful pop/R&B dancer, singer and songwriter LaToya Jackson is widely known as part of the gifted and world-famed Jackson family. Starting her solo career in the 1980s, she has since released 10 studio albums and scored 8 Billboard R&B/Hip-hop hits, including “If You Feel the Funk” (1980, #40), “Stay the Night” (1981, # 31), “Bet'cha Gonna Need My Lovin'” (1983, #25), “Heart Don't Lie” (1984, # 30) and “You're Gonna Get Rocked!” (1988). Following her much-published divorce from ex-manager Jack Gordon in 1997, she vanished from the limelight for many years and did not return until 2004 with the Billboard charting new single “Just Wanna Dance.” LaToya co-wrote the Grammy-nominated song “Reggae Nights” for reggae artist Jimmy Cliff. Her single “Baby Sister,” included in the 1986 “Imagination” album, became one of the winners of the Outstanding Song Awards at the 1985 World Popular Song Festival.
Outside her musical career, LaToya has shared a degree of notoriety with a two-time appearance in “Playboy Magazine.” She is also known as the author of the bestselling autobiography “La Toya: Growing Up In The Jackson Family” (1991). As a humanist, she has visited numerous hospitals throughout the country to give support to sick children, as well as toured with Bob Hope and the USO to entertain American soldiers in the Gulf War. She has also been a spokesperson for the Just Say No anti-drug campaign.
Childhood and Family:
LaToya Yvonne Jackson was born on May 29, 1956, in Gary, Indiana, to Joseph, a steel mill employee, and Katherine Jackson. The fifth of nine children, she has six brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael and Randy, and two sisters, Rebbie and Janet. When she was 10 years old, her mother converted to Jehovah's Witness and along with her brother Michael, she decided to follow in her mother's footsteps. She used to accompany her mother evangelizing door-to-door. Recalling the events, LaToya said, “Every morning, Michael and I witnessed, knocking on doors around Los Angeles, spreading the word of Jehovah.”
LaToya left the faith in 1987.
After graduating high school, LaToya, whose early dream was to help children and the elderly, went to college to study business law. However, her ambition was cut short when her father suggested she leave school and launch a career in music, like her siblings.
On September 5, 1989, LaToya married her manager, Jack Gordon, and shortly after, she separated herself from certain members of her family. She did not reconcile with them until 1997 when she divorced her controlling and abusive husband. She returned home to Hayvenhurst to recover after enduring many years of physical and mental insult from her husband. The marriage produced no children and LaToya now lives in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She is known by the nickname “Toy-Toy”
Just Wanna Dance
Born into a family that produced some of the most triumphant musical acts of all time, including the pop superstars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, 18-year-old LaToya Jackson had her first taste of the limelight when her ambitious father arranged for the family to perform shows in several cities, most notably Las Vegas. For the next five years, she sang back up for her brothers' group, the Jackson 5, and in 1979, she formed a vocal group with her sisters, Rebbie and Janet. The group, however, only had a short life because of lack of available rehearsal time and differences over its directions. The following year, LaToya started her solo career by releasing her self-titled debut album.
Recorded under the management of her father, “La Toya Jackson” spawned the first single “If You Feel The Funk',” which reached No. 17 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and No. 40 on the Billboard R&B chart, and the follow-up single “Night Time Lover,” which only peaked at No. 59. A commercial disappointment, the album only sold 100,000 copies. Undaunted, the hardworking singer released her sophomore effort, “My Special Love,” in 1981. Although it only enjoyed limited success, the album was considered “the defining album of Jackson's career.” The lead single, “Stay the Night,” was a moderate R&B hit and peaked at No. 31. Other songs included in the album were the failed second single “I Don't Want You to Go” and the duet song “Giving You Up,” with brother Randy. Her sister Janet provided backup vocals in the song “Camp Kuchi Kaia.”
In 1984, LaToya scored her most critically praised and commercially victorious album to date with “Heart Don't Lie.” The title track climbed to No. 56 on Billboard's Hot 100 and became her first entry into the chart. In addition, it became a Top 30 hit on the R&B chart and gained positive response from MTV. She had another Top 30 R&B hit with the single “Bet'cha Gonna Need My Lovin” (# 25). Later that same year, she bolstered her prominence with a Grammy nomination for co-penning the song “Reggae Nights,” which was popularized by Jimmy Cliff.
LaToya resurfaced two years later with her forth studio album, “Imagination,” which was noted for producing the song “Baby Sister” that won an Outstanding Song Award at the 2005 World Popular Song Festival in Japan. After “Imagination,” LaToya hired a new manager, the soon-to-be-husband Jack Gordon. After signing with Teldec Records in 1988, her fifth album, “La Toya,” was released later that same year and was picked up for a global release by RCA Records. Containing songs like “You're Gonna Get Rocked,” “(Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do,” “(Tell Me) She Means Nothing to You at All” and “You Blew,” the album was a major dud, despite being produced in full force.
The R&B singer rounded out the decade by releasing “Bad Girl,” which was reissued under many different covers and titles throughout the 1990s and 2000s. It was also in 1989 that LaToya raised eyebrows with her appearance in “Playboy.” In reaction to her act, the Jackson family appeared on television to publicly condemn her. Despite the rejection of her family, the issue became the magazine's biggest seller ever.
In 1991, LaToya was put back in the spotlight following the release of her autobiography, “La Toya: Growing Up In The Jackson Family,” where she wrote about her early life that included her disclosing being physically and verbally abused by her father. The book was a best seller and stayed at No. 2 for several weeks on the New York Times List. Later that same year, she released a new album titled “No Relations,” which scored success in Europe with the Top 20 hit “Sexbox.” LaToya gained further popularity from her topless pose for “Playboy” magazine, which like its predecessor, also enjoyed massive selling distribution.
After “No Relations,” LaToya continued to release three more studio albums, “Formidable” (1992), “From Nashville to You” (1994) and “Stop in the Name of Love” (1995) before putting her recording career on hiatus. Meanwhile, in 1992/1993, her career as a live performer acquired a huge boost when she signed a lucrative deal with the world renowned Moulin Rouge in Paris. She made headlines again in 1996 when her husband brutally beat her with a metal chair that led to their eventual separation the following year.
LaToya disappeared from the public eye for several years to heal from depression resulting from her marriage. With support from her family, she eventually made her return in 2003 in a very special episode of “Larry King Live.” The episode, where she described how her ex-manager had controlled and abused her, turned out to be a worldwide top rated episode. The following year, LaToya resumed her singing career by launching a new single, “Just Wanna Dance.” It reached No. 13 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play Charts and became her highest charting single. “Free The World” followed months later in March 2005. The single peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play charts.
In 2007, LaToya, who made her acting debut in an episode of “Counterstrike” (2002), appeared in two episodes of the CBS reality TV “Armed & Famous.” Her new album, “Startin' Over” was also planned to be released that same year, but has since been delayed.
“Things are quite different today than they were in the past. When I first started, I had absolutely no experience whatsoever. From growth, being around a certain individual, and letting someone have that power and control over me, taught me a great deal about people, a great deal about life, about what you should do and what not to do and take your own position on life. That's what 'Startin' Over' is about because that's what I decided to do.” LaToya Jackson