La Toya Jackson was born into America's Royal Family of Music, the Jacksons. As one of the younger children, she was exposed to music, and the business of music, all of her life. Jackson made her debut at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, tap dancing and singing with her brothers, The Jackson Five. Having come from an extraordinarily talented family, Jackson decided to make show business a part of her life as well, and has extensively traveled the world, performing in more than 90 countries. A true renaissance woman, Jackson has emerged as a successful entertainer, Grammy-nominated recording artist, best-selling author, entrepreneur, television star and international icon. In addition to her music successes, ("Heart Don't Lie," Billboard Hot 100 #56, and "Just Wanna Dance" reaching #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Chart), Jackson penned her first book in 1991. "La Toya, Growing Up in the Jackson Family" made media history and was on the New York Times Best-Seller List at the #2 position for several weeks, selling over a million copies.
In 2007 and 2009, Jackson appeared in television shows such as "Armed & Famous," which premiered on CBS, starring Jackson and other celebrities (Jackson currently maintains her badge by continuing to volunteer as a deputy), and on the British television program "Celebrity Big Brother."
The consummate philanthropist, Jackson dedicates herself to a combination of several causes stemming from both her own experiences and following through with the causes her beloved brother Michael initiated. One of their common charities is AIDS Project Los Angeles, which provides resources to those living with HIV/AIDs, where Jackson donates financially as well as her time. Due to her personal experience with abuse, Jackson is also focused on battered woman's shelters. In July of 2009, "Home" was released in Michael's memory, with all proceeds going to APLA.
Most recently in 2010, Jackson has tapped into her entrepreneurial side launching a luxurious hand cream entitled Dream Cream, a hand cream for German cosmetics firm Alessandro International, with plans of announcing many other ventures in 2011.
Jackson is consistently sought after by international media outlets and has been featured on several major interviews including Barbara Walters, ABC News, as well as international television and print interviews. Jackson's appearance on "Larry King Live" in March of 2003 caused CNN's phone lines to stay busy for hours and was King's highest-rated show in three years.
La Toya Jackson chose AIDS Project L.A. as her charity in order to carry on the work of her brother, Michael Jackson, who was an advocate for the organization before his death in 2009. AIDS Project L.A. not only assists those who are suffering from AIDS, but also works to reduce the incidence of HIV infection through education and outreach programs. La Toya has worked directly with the organization by visiting AIDS patients in their homes, assisting them and bringing them food. La Toya hopes to bring awareness to this charity, while at the same time honoring her brother by continuing his charity work.
1. What got you interested in being on Celebrity Apprentice?
I've always loved watching the show and I love Trump, but I thought if I was ever asked, I would never do it. Well, the opportunity was presented to me and after much thought and consideration, I accepted because I felt that it was the best way to add awareness to my charity, Aids Project Los Angeles, and to raise as much money as I could for them.
2. How did you get involved with your chosen charity?
When my brother passed, I got really involved with his charities and really wanted to help them as much as I could, the way he did. So I reached out to Aids Project Los Angeles, and told them I would like to continue Michael's work with them and they were very welcoming and I started working with them.
3. What's it like competing against fellow celebrities? Were you particularly shocked by anyone's behavior on the show?
Well, I feel that the celebrity version of The Apprentice is a lot more difficult because everyone is well-known, and there's a lot more people watching the show and paying closer attention to our actions because they're familiar with us. It gives the public a glimpse of our lives, how we act and how we do our tasks, which to me, makes this version EXTREMELY competitive. Everyone wants to be the winner and look good for the public.
4. What about the competition was harder than you might have expected?
Raising money and asking people to send their donation immediately and not being able to tell them what it was for.
5. Do you have a favorite past winner or contestant from the first three seasons of Celebrity Apprentice?
Business-wise, I thought Piers Morgan did a great job, and I had a lot of respect for Joan Rivers working as hard as she did at her age. Comedic-wise, I loved watching the politician Rod Blagojevich; that was hilarious to me. Sinbad also kept me laughing.