They sang, they squabbled, they wrote books, they wore snakes, they signed contracts, they made millions. It was just another year in the life of the Jackson Bunch. If you kids don't stop whining this instant, we're gonna turn this car around right now!
Janet signs the most lucrative recording contract to date. Virgin Records reportedly pays $40 million for a three-album deal. Take that, Michael!
Michael one-ups Janet in a six-album deal with Sony, valued at $65 million. He agrees to star in a ''musical action adventure'' film for Sony's Columbia Pictures (no word yet on its progress-big surprise) and gets his own label, Nation Records. Nyah nyah!
Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness arrives in bookstores. Among writer J. Randy Taraborrelli's unauthorized revelations: Father Joe Jackson flaunted his extramarital affairs in front of the children. Michael's publicist says the superstar didn't read a word of the new book: ''Mr. Jackson is trying to finish an album, and this book is definitely not a priority.'' Did too! Did not! Did too too too!
La Toya appears at a Long Island animal cemetery with her python to protest a pet-burial fraud. The cemetery owners had allegedly been accepting payments for lavish funerals for animals that they never performed. ''Not enough people realize that pets have souls, just like people do,'' she tells reporters. Nicey-nice!
La Toya's autobiography, La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family, hits stores. The tell-all suggests that Mom and Pop were anti-Semites and that Pop was a child abuser; Mom and Pop deny the charges. She also reveals that among Michael's ''very personal souvenirs is his own nose cartilage, extracted during surgery.'' Tee-hee! Take that, bro!
An uncredited Michael does voice work on The Simpsons: He plays a white mental patient who thinks he's Michael Jackson. With his own stuffed Bubbles!
Michael's glove is stolen from Detroit's Motown Museum. Rapper Hammer offers $50,000 for its return. A fan gives it back and is arrested. Gimme!
Michael plays host to Elizabeth Taylor at her wedding to Larry Fortensky, giving the bride away. Yucch! Kissing!
La Toya appears nude in Playboy magazine again. With a large snake again. Ooooh! Naked lady! Open to that page where you see her you-know-whats!
As Michael's new album, Dangerous, is readied for release, Jermaine disses his baby brother in ''Word to the Badd!!'': ''Reconstructed, been abducted/Don't know who you are/Think they love you, they don't know you/Lonely superstar.'' Jermaine says he was retaliating for eight months of unreturned phone calls. ''I understand he's a very busy person,'' Jermaine complains, but ''you begin to wonder if he hasn't just completely lost touch with reality.'' It was a joke. A joke! Can't you take a joke??
Michael's $4 million, 11-minute video, ''Black or White,'' debuts on Fox, MTV, and BET. Includes major crotch-grabbing and car bashing. Major video bashing follows. The next day, Fox apologizes: ''In hindsight, this decision (to air the video after The Simpsons) was in error. Based on calls we've received, the strong symbolism used in one sequence overshadowed the film's message about racial harmony.'' Jackson offers a tamer version of the vid Nov. 17. Oh, he's ba-a-ad!