MILAN -- Michael Jackson's nephews and heirs to his musical talent say they are ready to take up the pop superstar's legacy, ending a 15-year hiatus prolonged by his dispute with Sony and untimely death.
Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, sons of Tito, one of the original Jackson Five, are preparing for a European tour this fall and are working on a new album, they said in an interview on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week, which ended Tuesday.
Taj Jackson told The Associated Press that their career as 3T stalled when they lost rights to an album during Jackson's dispute with Sony around the year 2000. They were planning a comeback in 2009, and "the day we started recording was when Michael passed," he said Monday evening at a fashion event.
The brothers decided that focusing on Jackson's three children was the priority, Taj Jackson said, adding now the kids are pushing them to resume their careers. TJ has since become the children's co-legal guardian.
"We wanted to try to the best of our ability to fill in the holes, because we lost our mother at a young age," Taj Jackson said. "That was more important for us. Now they are kind of edging us, them and our grandmother" to resume their musical career.
The brothers each have recording studios at home, and have never stopped making music. But they have only rarely performed publicly in the last 15 years or so, notably for a Michael Jackson tribute concert three years ago.
Taj credits their uncle with not only inspiring them, but also teaching them "the secrets of music and songwriting, and performing, at an early age."
"I'll never forget, he told us, 'After I retire you are going to have to take on the legacy and continue it.' And we took those words to heart," he said.