La Toya Yvonne Jackson (born May 29, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, television personality, actress, businesswoman, philanthropist, activist and former model . She is the fifth child of the Jackson family. She maintained a career as a singer throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and returned to music in 2004 with her Billboard charting songs "Just Wanna Dance" and "Free the World". A forthcoming EP, Starting Over, will be released June 21, 2011 with a full-length album to follow later in the year.
Born on her sister Rebbie's 6th birthday on May 29, 1956, in Gary, Indiana, La Toya Jackson is the fifth of nine children born to Joseph and Katherine Jackson and the middle female child between Rebbie and Janet. Growing up, La Toya was a shy homebody. After her mother became a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1965, La Toya, along with the rest of her siblings followed. She would spend some of her time (alongside her mother) preaching door-to-door. "Every morning, Michael and I witnessed, knocking on doors around Los Angeles, spreading the word of Jehovah." By 1972, at sixteen, La Toya joined her brothers in the spotlight with a tap dancing routine when her father arranged for them to perform shows in Las Vegas, among other cities. Jackson aspired to be an attorney specializing in business law. She attended college for a short time before her father insisted that she pursue a career in show business like the rest of the family.
In 1976 and 1977, La Toya and her sisters Rebbie and Janet appeared in all twelve episodes of The Jacksons - a CBS-TV variety program, with their brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael, and Randy. Along with their brothers (minus Jermaine), La Toya and her sisters sang, danced and performed skits. In 1978 during the filming of The Wiz, La Toya traveled with her brother to New York. Sharing an apartment, it was the first time either of them had lived elsewhere as adults. Close siblings, Michael and La Toya, would not move out of the family's Encino home until they were 30 and 31 respectively.