Michael Jackson’s three children, Prince, 25, Paris, 24, and Bigi (formerly known as Blanket), 20, have lived their entire lives in the spotlight.
When they were small, the pop star kept them semi-protected from the paparazzi with fanciful masks and veils. In 2007, Jackson’s longtime bodyguard told PEOPLE the children were “well-mannered, well-behaved kids … They are really level-headed.” The singer’s publicist added, “They were Michael’s first priority.”
But after Jackson’s death in June 2009, the children became more visible in the public eye — beginning with Paris’s short, unplanned speech at her father’s funeral. “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much,” said Paris, who was only 11 years old at the time.
Today, the siblings pursue passions and projects of their own but remain very close. “At this point in our life it doesn’t really feel like there’s that hierarchy of, ‘I’m the older brother,’ ” Prince said in 2021. “It’s more [that] we’re all siblings and we’re kind of all on that same level where my sister has her strengths, and my brother has his strengths, and where I’m not as strong in certain areas, they complement me in that way.”
Prince Jackson, Blanket Jackson and Paris Jackson appear at the Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on January 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California
Prince added that even though the three have busy schedules, they make time for one another whenever they can. “Any moment that I get to spend with my siblings now, especially as we’re getting older and our own lives are starting to blossom and grow, every moment that I get with them, any little family dinner, any family outing, is really a special moment.”
Here’s what to know about the late Michael Jackson’s three children Prince, Paris and Bigi.
Prince Michael Jackson, 25
Prince Jackson attends The 75th Annual Tony Awards – Arrivals on June 12, 2022 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City
Jackson’s first child with ex-wife Debbie Rowe, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., was born on Feb. 13, 1997, in Los Angeles. His godparents are Macaulay Culkin and Elizabeth Taylor and he is commonly referred to as Prince Michael Jackson.
“Words can’t describe how I feel. … I have been blessed beyond comprehension and I will work tirelessly at being the best father that I can possibly be,” Jackson said in a statement at the time. “I grew up in a fish bowl and will not allow the same to happen to my child. Please respect our wishes and give my son his privacy.”
Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999 and the singer was given full custody of the kids. The children grew up at his Neverland Ranch, and after their father’s death, the siblings went to live with their grandmother, Katherine Jackson.
Prince Jackson attends a preview performance of the new Michael Jackson musical “MJ” on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theater on December 11, 2021 in New York City. The highly anticipated Michael Jackson musical has played to sold out houses in its first week and has its opening night on February 1, 2022
Prince graduated with a degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University in 2019. He is an avid motorcycle fan and has a YouTube channel devoted to his rides across California, plus a few videos reviewing movies alongside his brother Bigi and cousin Taj Jackson.
While a student at Loyola Marymount University, Prince co-founded the charity Heal Los Angeles with a friend. In 2020, Heal partnered with a meal delivery service to give meals to those in need during the pandemic. He said his father would have been “proud” of his efforts.
“I would like to think that he would be very proud because I think this was one of his main goals, was not only to spread his message of positivity and happiness but to see it enacted in his kids,” he shared. “I’m very grateful that I have this feeling that it’s this collaborative ecosystem — we all need to help each other — and that came from the way that he raised us.”
In October 2022, at a party celebrating the 40th anniversary of Thriller, Prince told PEOPLE what he misses most about Jackson.
“I think about him every day,” he said. “What I miss probably the most about him are his hands. He had really strong, really big hands. Firm, but they were gentle. It’s tough to explain.”
Paris Jackson, 24
Paris Jackson attends The 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton on April 02, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California
Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born on April 3, 1998, in Los Angles to Jackson and Rowe. She was named after the city where she was conceived, her father and her grandmother, Katherine.
Paris went through several very public struggles after her father’s death in 2009, telling Rolling Stone that she’d attempted suicide “multiple times” by age 15. She was also hospitalized in 2015 after a possible suicide attempt. “It was just self-hatred,” she shared in 2018. “Low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore.”
In 2019, Paris sought treatment for her physical and emotional health. A source told PEOPLE at the time, “She checked herself into a treatment facility to aid in her wellness plan and is looking forward to coming out of this revitalized and ready to tackle the exciting new projects that await her.”
As a teenager, Paris also rekindled her relationship with her mother, Rowe. “It’s cool,” she told Willow Smith in an episode of Red Table Talk. “Getting to know her, seeing how similar we are, getting into what kind of music she likes … We look a lot alike. It’s just cool having her as a friend. It’s very chill, which I love. That’s the perfect word to describe it.”
Like her older brother, Paris’ godparents are also Caulkin and Taylor. She has previously called her brother Prince her “twin” and has always looked up to him. “He’s everything to me, you know?” Paris shared of her relationship with Prince in 2020. “I’ve always looked up to him and always wanted his approval and everything, and wanted to be more like him.”
Paris Jackson performs during the Boston Calling Music Festival on May 27, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts
Paris has been very open about her coming out experience; she doesn’t label her s**xuality and has previously said “I wouldn’t consider myself bis**xual because I’ve dated more than just men and women.” In 2021, she shared that it has been difficult to talk about with her “religious” family, though her brothers have been very supportive.
“My family is very religious and a lot of, like homos**xuality, is very taboo, so we don’t talk about it, and it’s not really accepted,” she told Smith. “I’ve gotten to a point where I respect them and I have love for them. I respect their beliefs. I respect their religion. I’m at a point where to expect them to put aside their culture and their religion … expectations lead to resentments. What people think about me isn’t my business.”
She has followed in her father’s footsteps as a musician; she’s been in several bands and released both EPs and a full-length solo album, Wilted, in 2020. “Everyone in my family does music. I mean, I’m a Jackson,” she said in 2020. “It makes sense that I’m a musician but like, a Jackson doing folk indie?”
Additionally, Paris is a model and actress: She is the current face of KVD Beauty and has appeared in American Horror Story and Hulu’s teen comedy S**x Appeal.
In October 2022, Paris met up with her aunt, Janet Jackson, during a fashion week party in France. The “All For You” singer shared a photo on Instagram of the two sitting on a couch. “So good catching up w/ my beautiful niece @parisjackson,” she wrote in the caption. Paris responded with a single black heart emoji.
Bigi Jackson, 20
Of the three Jackson children, Bigi keeps the lowest profile. He was born via surrogate in 2002 as Prince Michael Jackson II, and was also known as Blanket. In 2015, he changed his name to Bigi.
Bigi is very close to his older brother Prince, with a family friend telling PEOPLE in 2019 they two are “best friends” who love sci-fi and science. The youngest Jackson child also celebrated his 18th birthday alongside his siblings at a sushi restaurant in 2020.
“My little brother is a legal adult today. what the f—,” wrote Paris on Instagram alongside three throwback photos of Bigi. “I used to change his diapers. this is such a trip.. proud of the handsome, intelligent, insightful, funny, and kind young man he has become. he likes privacy so that’s all i gotta say. hbd lil bro♥️.”
Bigi did give a rare interview in 2021 and spoke about his desire to make an impact in the world. “That’s what each of us [siblings] want to do — make things that people enjoy but also benefit their lives,” he said.
The youngest Jackson is also passionate about climate change. “I do think it’s important we all know about it. We have some work to do but our generation knows how important it is,” he shared.